Last night in the advanced BJJ class we were learning some techniques that Pablo Popovitch favours when on the bottom in half guard. A few were about maintaining a strong defensive position before attempting anything offensive. If you move before you’re strongly positioned then you’re just going to get swept or submitted, or at the very least find yourself in an unfavourable position.
Then it got a little bit more complex, including a roll to a knee bar (of course illegal at my belt level – got to wait for brown (be waiting a while!) for that to be a-okay, but it’s still a good technique to know), a sweep from a position that was vaguely similar to x-guard, and a toe hold if the knee bar proves to be challenging to apply. Something funny happened with that one, one of our instructors (Adam) is known for being pretty good at toe holds, and whilst we were training, my partner, Natalie, couldn’t successfully apply a toe hold to me. I have fairly bendy feet and a pretty high pain threshold thanks to training footlocks/foot attacks for a while now (and I guess it’ll just get better from now on in?), and whilst I could feel what she was trying to do, there wasn’t any real pain, so I didn’t tap. Adam was sat to the side giving her tips on grip and force etc. but it still wasn’t working. In this manoeuvre I was facing away from her, so I couldn’t really see what was happening, and I just heard a sound of moving and Natalie let go of my foot. I started to say “Hey wait up, am I about to get toe held by Ad-OWWWWWW!”, I didn’t get to finish the sentence as he cranked it on. Guess that’ll teach me for being so damn stubborn.
It’s going to take a lot more for me to even begin to remember these techniques, because my brain wasn’t entirely absorbing everything last night. Some of the Popovitch top half guard game we learnt lately though is fast becoming my favourite, particularly twister half-guard. I’ve pulled it off a few times in rolling… I guess the real test is whether I can get it to work in competition!
Anyway, Manchester in 2 days!