Wednesday, October 12, 2011

UGA Grappling Club - Halfguard

I visited the UGA Grappling Club last night to teach a guest class and had a great time. Since there were quite a few new people and many of them in general haven't been training very long I started the warmup with just a brief series of fundamental movements. Showed them how to shrimp, had everyone shrimp down the mats, then showed upa and sitouts and had them do some reps with those as well then moved directly into teaching techniques.
I taught four halfguard techniques, two passes and two sweeps. The first pass was a basic knee cut pass to the inside. You lock down a solid halfguard and posture up onto the balls of your feet, staying well based, get your knee up past your opponents thighs (Via bouncing usually) and then cut your trapped knee towards your other knee and to the ground. At the same time drop your hip down on your opponent and begin to free your leg. If your opponent clamps down really hard on the ankle then place your untrapped foot on their bottom knee and push as you pull the trapped foot free. Then take side control.

Second was a fancier pass to the back. Start with the same halfguard and posture your hips up, then drive your knee through on the outside, moving towards mount. Your opponent clamps down on your ankle and you posture up a little to give them an opportunity to try to push your knee back down into halfguard. When they start pushing the knee you reach under their head with your opposite arm (So if they are pushing on your right knee, you reach under with your left arm) and then hug them up to you and sit down, then roll to your back and insert your second hook to take the back. That last bit can be complicated to describe, but it's a great transition to the back and usually gives you half of a choke on the way.

Next up was the first sweep. I taught the Caio Terra sweep that I've been using recently since it's so incredibly simple. Your opponent has a good halfguard on you, so you shrimp out to the side of the untrapped leg, and then bring that leg over to hook your opponents leg, then shrimp under the OTHER direction to bring their hips all the way up onto yours. Now take your trapped leg and hook your opponents outside leg and drag it in close. Finally  block the arm on the same side as the leg you just trapped, then remove your outside leg and plant it to Upa over into halfguard top.

Final sweep was again fancier. You are on your side in halfguard with an underhook and your opponent has a wizzer. Base up on your free elbow and push into your opponent some to force them to base. Use your free hand to grab your opponents wrist on the arm then are using to wizzer you, now bring your underhooking hand in to also grab that wrist and pinch  your opponents elbow. At the same time switch your legs so that the outside leg is trapping your opponents leg. The underhooking arm should be putting some pressure on your opponents bicep here and already starting to sweep them. Next bring your trapped leg up so that your knee meets the elbow of your bottom arm. This will give you a hook on the inside of your opponents leg. Now roll flat to your back and drive your underhooking arms elbow to the mat. At the same time lift with your bottom legs hook. If you try to go to mount from here you will usually get caught in halfguard, so I recommend using the space created to just take side control.

That took up most of the class time, so I briefly showed a partner drill that has one partner performing the first guard pass to side control, then the other partner shrimps and regains halfguard and executes the first sweep, then passes with the first pass, then the first partner regains halfguard, sweeps with the first sweep, and repeats. I'll show that to Antony in class tonight so that he can have them drill it thursday.

After that we rolled for about 30 minutes. It was fun, but those guys are all rolling at a higher intensity than I was willing to engage in on a tuesday night after fish and chips. The first kid ended up on my back with 75% of an RNC pretty quick. The second kid was a very tall lanky guy who kept grabbing my pants, which was very annoying in a no-gi context where I had no similar grips to use. At one point he grabbed my pants, kneed me in the face as he was passing to side control, and then while I was stunned grabbed a power guillotine. As I started to defend it he pulled me to standing, as I went to trip him back down I realized the choke was too tight for that and started to tap, I THINK I managed to tap BEFORE I blacked out, because while I was waking up on the floor they didn't seem to realize that I had been put pretty much completely out. It wasn't as fully as the first time I was put out since I didn't have any vivid dreams. But I was definitely out. That kid has a WICKED guillotine. He kept trying to get it over and over and over after that and I rolled with him for another 10 minutes or so just preventing him from passing the guard and waiting for him to get tired enough for me to get a hold on him.
Rolled with a few other folks, but at this point I was gunshy about letting them actually work anything since I had already run into two of them that clearly were trying to rip my head off. I did have a fun roll with the one other guy that had a gi which was a little lighter and more relaxed and technical. Everyone else I just prevented from passing my guard or immediately escaped back to guard. It was fun, and underlined some things I need to work on as far as dealing with people who are athletic and intense, but it wasn't as fun as the more relaxed and technical rolls that I prefer.

So, things I learned from the UGA Grappling club this time around:
1. Fish and Chips is NOT the best pre-workout meal, no matter how delicious.
2. Don't underestimate anyone.
3. Never wear my gi pants to a primarily no-gi class.

I will probably visit again next semester, but I'd like to get a couple of the more promising ones into class at Megalodon where they can reach their potential.

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