Two new guard passes and Training

I learned two new guard passes this week that are unusual and sneaky.

#1:  When you are in guard, grab your opponents belt or place your hands on her abdomen.  Mind your elbows!  Do not get lazy and let them face out, keep those joints faced toward your own body.  Jump to both of your feet.  Jump with commitment!  Squeeze your butt and hips,  keep your head up, and keep your shoulders straight and strong for solid posture.  Press your hands into your opponents abdomen to break their guard.  Stand up and grab their pants around the knee area.  Step through your opponent's legs with your right leg to the right side of their torso.  

The next part requires attention be paid to your posture, timing, and balance.  Keep grips on both pant legs.  Kick your left left leg up and swing it over your opponent's right leg, using your grip to push their leg down as you kick over it.  Quickly bend your right leg to knee on belly and change your grips to their collar, or collar and hip.  Obviously, you can move to a number of positions from knee on belly.  Of course, you can move to side control.  One predatory idea comes to mind as I write this; a vulnerable part of this move could be when you kick your own leg over your opponent's leg; this could cause you to lean forward enough for your opponent to attempt reach up and grab your collar.  Perhaps you capitalize on those outstretched arms for an armlock of your choice?

#2: This move starts from half-guard.  Say you are "stuck" in half guard, maybe you are attempting several methods which are being properly deflected.  Change your grips to your opponent's collar, once again, pay careful attention to your elbows!  Keep them pointed toward your body.  Plant your left leg on the mat, and move your right leg up the center of your opponent's torso to either knee on belly or move to side control.


Good training the last two weeks.  Workhorse training.  I am not currently "officially" training for any particular tournament, so I am playing around with moves; purposely putting myself into compromised positions to fight my way out, playing with spider guard combinations: triangle, omoplata, sweep, maybe take the back like Rachel Demara?  sit up from the bottom and sweep my opponent to their back and into one my weakest (but improving!) positions, the mount.  After training for the No-gi Mundials, it's wonderful to have grips and handles and hooks and holds once again!

I enjoy these workhorse times between tournaments.  Like an unpredictable artist,  I can ram into class and tear down walls of a room to begin construction on new moves, or I can focus in on one move and play in one small corner to fully explore the hidden details.

Back in my theatre days, one of my favorite types of rehearsal were "exaggeration" rehearsals, which were usually conducted after the play had been fully memorized and staged, but not yet solidified.  An exaggeration rehearsal involved tossing out the set blocking, emotion levels, character choices, and reality levels, and turning the play into a completely unrealistic romp of opposites, yelling, whispering, crying, laughing, jumping, extreme quiet, etc.  So, for example, say a scene was supposed to be sad and serious, the actors might turn the whole thing into an uproarious comedy.  This exercise had two important goals.  One, to give the actors a fun break from the hum drum of regular rehearsal.  And two, to give the maps of the play and the characters more detail.  To zoom in on the topography to find the small streams, the hills and valleys, that are simply not visible in the text alone.  Exaggerations always yielded several "moments" that "worked" for the actor's character choices, giving the overall performance more depth and power.

This is how I want to approach my workhorse times.  With abandon.  Deepen the zoom.  

I am successfully staying in the lightweight (under 141) zone.  Yeah Paleo!  One suggestion for combining vegetables and protein:  Prepare a meat spaghetti sauce as normal.  Chop broccoli in a food processor until it becomes the texture of fluffy snow.    Substitute one half of the portion of ground beef (or protein) with the broccoli.  The chopped broccoli has a texture that blends well with any ground protein.  Serve the meat sauce over cubed, baked Acorn squash.  Another idea, prepare canned tuna with celery and onion and instead of mayonnaise, use 1/2 of a large ripe avocado.  Substitute big Romaine lettuce leaves for the bread and make lettuce wraps, or use the Romaine in place of crackers as a scoop for the tuna mixture.

Work is fun these days.  I work for one of the best supervisors in my division.  She is wonderful leader and she wants to be a our leader.  I am sure she has plans to promote someday, but she leads our squad with commitment that is truly rare.  This is woman who, if the bullets started flying our way, would line up the troops, assess the scene, move us into position and lead the charge forward to victory, all the while having to restrain herself from physically jumping out in front of us to protect "her" people.  Good leaders are rare, and I am fortunate to be working for one.

On a Christmas note, I recently ordered some "Scentsy" brand candles.  They are scented electronic candles in ceramic votives and come in various styles, scents, and colors to suit practically any design motif.  The scents are pleasant and do not smell like cheap perfume.  My consultant is Jessica Hagel and her website is

Ah sigh....I think I have covered it all.

Train well!


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