Yesterday we learned a confusing spider guard sweep to use if top-guard tries to stand-up pass. Then we learned a not-so-confusing sliding knee pass that I really liked and plan on using. And finally we learned an utterly confusing z-guard pass.
I wanted to write out the z-guard pass and post it for my benefit, give it some sort of clarification as writing about a technique tends to do that for me. Originally, I had just my notes on the pass but it was too vague to understand. I added tons more detail in the hopes of making it read better, but then it became far too complicated that if you read it you’d need a cipher to decode it.
So instead I’ll just write about my first sparring session.
So How’d Class Go?
It really wasn’t a sparring session, more like positional drilling at full resistance for 6 minutes. Start from guard, top-guard passes gets to side-control: winner. Bottom-guard sweeps, submits, or stands up: winner. Loser leaves, winner stays as bottom-guard, and new top-guard comes in, re-start.
I paired up with Brent, we went slow. I almost passed his guard but he stood up. I leave.
I immediately went to an open spot and paired up with a three stripe white belt. He complained of having a sore neck but stayed in. We went slow, I almost passed again but he spazzed out and tried for a single leg during a scramble. I dropped my weight on him, triangled the arm hooked around my leg attempting the single leg, rolled forward and found myself on the better-end of a crucifix. I shrimped out to neck crank him, remembered that he had a bad neck and submitted him with a collar choke. I stay in.
Next up was a purple belt I knew as a blue when I first joined Paraestra. Actually, he became a blue belt a couple of months after I joined Paraestra. Two years later, he’s a purple. We went slow and I don’t know how much trouble I gave him stopping his passes but when he gave me a ton of space, I stood up. I stay in.
Finally, a rather large white belt comes in. Tomari-sensei immediately voices his concern, I tell him I’m good. We’re gonna go slow and I look the white belt dead in the eye when I say it. He nods. We start off and he uses big man strength to pass my guard. Fact was I was giving him a hard time passing on my left side when he switched over to go to my right side (right leg is the post-surgery leg) I dropped my leg to give him a clear path to pass.
On his way to secure side control I bumped – out of habit, I didn’t need to cause I had lots of space – and spun out to escape. He was so surprised that he kinda stalled getting back on track and seemed apprehensive to engage again. So I pulled him in butterfly guard. He went into gorilla pass mode and I let him have the pass after pushing against his shoulder and shrimping away to make him “earn” the pass. I leave with a big goofy grin on my face.
I felt incredibly happy to roll again even if it was limited. I did much better that I thought I would have. And even better than that my right leg is feeling quite outstandingly well.
If there’s more positional sparring drills I’m definitely heading in. I think that will improve my movement, slowly work up my comfort level especially with my knee, and help my reaction time and grappling skillset in a much safer manner than sparring straight out. Plus I’m staying away from spazzy big guys for as long as possible.
When I can stay in for the entire round of positional sparring that’ll be the time I step up to full sparring.