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Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by fittycentguard, Apr 14, 2017.
If a guy is avoiding you at all costs, I'd say your A game is working just fine.
That's not what happened in this match. Eddie sat, tried to pull, tried for takedowns, but Samir barely engaged and literally ran away several times (most absurdly after taunting Eddie twice to stand and wrestle, Eddie finally did stand and Samir still ran). Not sure what Samir was hoping to happen.
Just curious did you see the Cummings vs Chantre match?
Because that isn't what happened at all. Cummings would be in butterfly/seated guard and Samir would kneel and then any time Eddie would get a 2 on 1 grip or wrist control, Samir would stand and take a few steps backwards. Then Samir would step back in and kneel. Then Eddie would get a grip and Samir would stand and take a few steps back. Those were the times that Samir engaged the most. Many times he simply circled away no matter if Eddie was in seated guard or standing.
Halfway into the match Eddie stood up and started walking Samir down and Samir continued to back away. Samir made no takedown attempts and did not even step forward one step on the feet. All of Samir's actions were moving backwards except for the few occasions where he reset to kneel in front of Eddie's seated guard for a few seconds before standing and walking backwards to disengage again.
He would have been disqualified way before the end of the match in adcc or ibjjf rules.
What you are describing is more like what Tanquinho did against Eddie Cummings in their Polaris rematch. Samir did nothing like what Tanquinho did in either of Tanquinho's matches with Cummings.
I Would call that defending the position, he's forcing a restart on neutral position, the guy on top in.not force to try to pass your lockdown, he should be force to try to pass your guard. He should engage, but it's dumb to try to engage on his opponents terms, not his.
Is not up to anyone to beat anyone's game, if I am grappling against you and i know you're very strong at close guard, why should I try to beat you at your strongest position, that would be dumb... If you want to play some type of game, it should be up to you to force the position not to your opponent to willingly engage in such...
Didn't see the match... If that's what happened Samir schaubed Cummings... I was merely taking about the situation as a whole...
It shocks me that people still think Eddie did something wrong in this instance. Look, like it or not pulling guard is an accepted way to engage in BJJ competition, and if someone pulls guard, you run away, they get up, chase you down, and pull guard again, and you continue to run, it's not on them to change their engagement strategy, it's on you to engage. Maybe that means you pull guard too. I wouldn't like to watch it, but at least it's engagement.
If this were a boxing match, and one guy kept coming after the other guy just throwing jabs and his opponent continually retreated without throwing punches, you'd never say that it was the jabber's fault and maybe he should throw some crosses. You'd say the other guy was being a pussy. I don't see much difference here.
I'm going to borrow the analogy in that second paragraph. That's perfect.
Still not sure why Samir took the match other than a paycheck? For a match judged on sub attempts he didn't even try to do anything that would get him anywhere close to one.
It's a fine line. Because you shouldn't be able to just sit down and say 'come get me', but an active guard pull directly to a leg attack like Eddie does should be thought of as a positive attacking action, not a passive defensive one. And if you retreat repeatedly from attacking actions by your opponent without launching your own, that's just passivity.
I've noticed that the common strategy among traditional competitors vs. the DDS guys seems to be to maintain a long range distance at all times. We've seen variations of this recently from Felipe Pena, Lo, Barbosa, and Samir. I wonder if it's their taking advantage of the open rulesets more than a specific fear of the leglocks-- they'd rather run around the guard, berimbolo to the back, or just accept the top position and stall, rather than risk running into a submission they aren't required to run into. Joe Soto in EBI seems a better analogy to what these guys are doing than Schaub.
I don't really have a problem with playing a distance game if you're trying to pass. Being cagey isn't bad. Literally refusing to engage...not so much. Tanquinho had the best strategy, basically to play a very top heavy passing game taking few risks. That I can accept even if it's pretty boring to watch.
It is absolutely up to a competitor to have an answer for their opponent's strengths. I'm not saying you have to beat them at their own game. I'm saying you should have a plan for how to deal with their game and employ your own game. "Defending" without mounting any offense is a sure way to lose. Defense only wins games if you bother to score your own points.
The Top Player's Burden In Submission-Only Matches
IBJJF rules, ADCC rules, submission-only rules, so many rules. Over the past 20 years of jiu-jitsu competition, growing discontent with the various point systems created a market for submission-only tournaments.
In the past few years, we have witnessed an explosion of submission-only competitions. However, even submission-only matches are not without their own controversy.
Here's my problem with submission-only rules and their consequential judges decisions. In my experiences, I have heard a great many people complain about the rule of advantages in the IBJJF point system.
From what I understand, these complaints are based on a belief that it is ridiculous to decide a match with a tie score by tracking how many times they "almost" accomplished submission attacks or positional advancements. However, when sub-only innovators decided to create a new submission-only rule set, what they did is actually just empower the advantage point, decrease the value of the positional points, and take away the scoreboard so that no one can see who is winning in real time.
In the event that a match lasts the entire time period without a submission, the judges base their decision first on submission attempts (aka "almost submissions"), which hold the highest value for deciding a winner. Positional advancements (aka standard points) are tracked with a secondary value and are considered when there were no significant submission attacks or the number of submission attacks is equal between the competitors.
Lastly, unsuccessful positional advancement attempts (aka "almost takedowns," "almost sweeps," and "almost guard passes") are tracked as the last tie-breaking measurement of aggressiveness when there are no other significant measurements from which to judge the match. The most important takeaway here is that the submission advantage is the most powerful deciding factor in a judges' decision of a sub-only match that did not end in a decisive submission victory.
Lucas "Hulk" attempts to pass Gordon Ryan's guard. Photo: Mike Calimbas
Now let's consider how the grappling match might start. Two grapplers come out of their corners, and one immediately sits to his butt while the other stays standing. The bottom player is able to immediately engage in submission hunting. From the bottom position, there are triangles, armbars, omoplatas, leg locks, etc.
The bottom player has very little incentive to execute or even attempt a sweep. Sweeps or "almost sweeps" hold little value to the judges, AND many sweeps will put you into the guard of the opponent. This means the bottom player will go from a relatively safe position (bottom with easy access to many submissions) to a position of danger -- that being in someone's guard.
Of course, it is possible to sweep someone to mount or side control, but at the higher levels of jiu-jitsu, practitioners are commonly able to recover the guard in the event that they are swept. Being in the guard is dangerous, because you are constantly under attack until you pass it. This brings us to "the top player's burden."
The top player's burden is that he or she must pass the guard in order to attack the majority of submissions that are readily available to the bottom player -- namely armbars, triangles, various types of "platas," RNC, kimuras (granted these can be attacked from a half-guard smash position, although in many cases the kimura is secured, the guard is then passed and lastly the kimura is finished.) The only set of submissions available to the top player who chooses not to pass the guard is the leg locks.
Joe Baize goes for a leglock. Photo: Mike Calimbas
However, the top players can successfully execute very few leg locks while he or she maintains the standing position (the exception being the estima lock). Usually, the top player needs to latch onto the foot or leg, fall back to the mat, and proceed to apply pressure in order to finish the submission. Essentially, the top player needs to sit to a double-guard position in order to attack the leg. So what is the incentive for the top player to stay on top?
If he or she wants to attack leg locks, it is most logical for him to double guard pull at the same time as his guard pulling opponent. This is, of course, the worst situation for jiu-jitsu spectators. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, the double-guard pull makes for one of the most ugly and most unentertaining forms of jiu-jitsu known to man (second only to 50-50 sweeping battles).
If the top player stays on top he risks more than the bottom player. In order to pass the guard, he or she must defend the bottom player's plethora of submission attacks. While many stubborn guard passers do not mind dancing through a submission minefield in order to put some shoulder smash on Mr. Butt-Scooter's face, it is in fact a less than favorable strategy considering that the judges will be counting the number of submission attempts the bottom player is able to throw at the guard passer as he or she is passing the guard.
Guard passing in submission-only
If the guard passer fails to pass the guard, he or she is sure to lose the match since the bottom player would have many opportunities during the passing sequences to attack submissions. If the top player does pass the guard and takes side control, the mount, or the back, he or she then must at minimum launch an equal amount of threatening submission attempts at the opponent in order to level out the invisible scoreboards that exists only in the mind of the judges. If he or she can do this, then the top player is likely to win the match based on positional dominance.
In situations like this, whether the match takes place in a gi or no gi plays a substantial role. It is in fact much more difficult to control an opponent in a no-gi match. It is decidedly easier to escape bad positions if there is no gi on which to hold.
The point here being that if a top player was able to pass the guard of the bottom player, he or she would likely only get one good chance to attack a submission before losing his position in a scramble and returning to the bottom player's guard. The gi makes it much easier to attack submissions without losing the entire position if a submission attempt fails.
So I pose this question: in a nogi sub-only match judged mainly by submission attempts (aka submission advantages), what incentive does a competitor have to stay on top and try to pass the guard? Why shouldn't he or she just double-guard pull with the bottom player in order to minimize his or her exposure to the wider variety of submission threats that are present when trying to pass the guard? I don't know the answer to this.
In my opinion, the reason is because top players are game for putting on an exciting match. They aren't willing to sacrifice the entertainment value of their match for the sake of minimizing potential threats. So in my opinion, when judging a match, it should be taken into consideration that the top player is the active aggressor. The fact that top players cannot immediately attack submissions because they are busy passing the guard should not be held against them simply because they refuse to double-guard pull and chase the ankles from the beginning. However, the way the rules are set up, the top player will always be at an immediate disadvantage to the guard puller.
"No points" matches are pointless
The points exist in the minds of the referees, judges, and spectators. Whether they are counting legitimate submission attacks or counting the positional dominance, the points exist. The only problem is that there is no standard to keep everyone on the same page. The spectators and the judges are subjectively tracking their own points in their own minds. At least with a scoreboard, competitors and corner men know who is winning and who is losing at every moment of the match and by how much.
Additionally, with a scoreboard the referees and judges are more accountable for their decisions as everyone gets to see when and for what points or advantages are awarded. Taking away the scoreboard did nothing for the sport except create more controversy and disgruntled spectators who do not understand how judges are coming to their conclusions.
Tom Deblass vs Ricco Rodriguez. Photo: Mike Calimbas
A possible alternative
I would suggest a limited amount of time for guard pullers to be on their butts without any significant action. If they are unable to engage and control their opponents, I think a stand-up rule would make for more engaging matches. For example, one minute of non-significant action requires a stand up, and after three stand ups, no more guard pulling is allowed.
This would require that the guard puller make some significant contact and effort to engage the opponent with their guard instead of passively waiting for the top player to engage them. Recently, on F2W Pro 30, Tom DeBlass made a fine example of how when his opponent refused to engage his guard, he immediately jumped up and chased down his opponent and engaged him on his feet.
I believe the spectators are tired of watching uneventful guard pulls and top players who are constantly avoiding dangerous guards and resetting their passing positions. I am not suggesting that guard pulling be penalized, NOR can we force the top player to stay in the guard while the guard player sets up an attack. Bottom players complain that top players run away, top players complain that guard pullers are afraid to grapple on the feet and fight for takedowns.
The reality is if you don't want someone to run away from you, you should be able to execute a takedown and control them. They can't run away if they are on their backs.
An article by Joshua Hinger on Flo
I actually came on here to post the exact same thing. The article makes some great points particularly to the fact that the guard puller is able to "attack" without having to really establish a position or actually accomplish any real prerequisite unlike a top player who has to actually DO something first in order to "attack". You can't have one side sit/scoot and refuse to play into the standers game but get mad and judgmental when the stander shows some refusal to play into the scooters game or do anything short of diving headlong into a dangerous butterfly guard or knee shield. Nobody wants and epidemic of double guard pulls yet with the way things are we're headed to just that direction with how people are blaming Lo for a "boring" match with Ryan, Samir for his admittedly disengaged fearful approach to Eddie, Keenan and Tanquino for their long and repetitive exchanges with Ryan and Eddie respectively, and the robbery of Lucas 'Hulk' Barbosa in his match against Ryan. Had the Pena vs Ryan match been on F2WPro instead of Studio 540 I'm sure it would have had the same outcome as Hulk/Ryan with Pena being judged as the loser.
I wonder if they are going to try DMCA this.
Bill Cooper and Geo Martinez both had decent strategies against Eddie Cummings at EBI and Bill Cooper used it earlier against Garry Tonon at a Grappler's Quest which is kneeling passing. They tried to keep forward pressure but stay on their knees and not get elevated. Ultimately Cooper got greedy chasing a brabo during a leg weave/folding pass once Cummings was already setting up the saddle and Cooper didn't realize he was in trouble, and Geo was able to keep the same kneeling pass pressure for longer against Cummings but still ended up getting put into the saddle eventually.
The DDS guys are a frustrating puzzle to try and crack from a top perspective. Tanquinho did have a good strategy like you said but he also ended up in 2 or 3 bad leg entanglements in the first Cummings match and one very bad one in their second match. He ate full heel hook torque at least once in each match and he did have to have knee surgery after the matches. And he did about as good as I think anyone could do with standing passing.
I really think kneeling passing may be the way to go even of we haven't seen someone do it effectively yet against them.
Side note what I find very confusing is when people try to mount these Danaher guys. It happens way more than it should. Someone tried to mount Cummings at the last ebi. A few people tried to mount Gordon last year. At the adcc trials this weekend someone tried to mount Oliver Taza. If you mount them your pressure has to be fucking awesome and you can't mount them lazily. They all got heel hooked.
When I watch these guys my biggest thought is always about what invisible Jiu jitsu defensive guard shit Danaher is teaching them. Most impassable guard players, like Rafa or the Miyao brothers, use a lot of tricky guard retention tactics to keep you from ever finishing a pass, but the DDS guys just present a simple seated posture and suddenly these heretofore passing monsters like Lo and Tanquino can't deal with it. When Geo is on top he typically plays a very angular, explosive style, but when he met Eddie he seemed tentative and stiff, and I think that uncertainty is what led to him getting so dominated during the regulation portion of their match.
I keep waiting for someone to use a leg drag strategy against them. Even if you don't get the pass the first time, if you're doing a good job controlling a leg strongly and angling their hips away those leg lock entries would be tough. I think Eddie would have a really hard time hitting his entries against someone like Rafa Mendes, asides just from Rafa being better than him.
Regarding the mount, Eddie actually talked about that at his seminar I attended, he basically said that that kipping thing only works if you're not strongly controlling an arm, preferably with an underhook. He said it never worked at Renzo's because people used strong arm control to prevent the entries. He also gave an unexpected plug to the 10th Planet mount system, he said it was really good.
There's a really big difference between passing someone who's trying to sweep you and passing someone who is trying to leg lock you and is very good at it. You have to be so much more careful because while you can ride a sweeping attempt, especially no-gi, if you try and ride a good leg locker you're probably going to end up getting heel hooked. I don't think it's anything in the way they're playing guard per se, it's the intimidation factor of their leg locks that stiffens guys up and makes them cagey.
That seated guard is really cool in general. Every time I've rolled with Ryan Hall and he plays guard he just sits there in that same posture. It looks like it would be difficult tor retain guard from there but it's hell to deal with. And even during passing attempts I think Cummings has underrated guard retention. He did a great job stopping Tanquinho and Mansher Khera from passing his guard. Very good hip movement and framing. I think a big reason also why good passers have a tough time dealing with Cummings' guard is because the guard is constantly threatening leg entanglements. That right there might cause some understandable hesitation.
I think so much so that the leg weave/folding pass in no-gi has had to fundamentally adjust. As recently as a couple of years ago the leg weave pass was done one way but now the bottom player knows they have the saddle, so the top player always has to staple the guard player's bottom leg with their shin during the leg weave pass.
I train with a dude that is a Renzo Gracie guy and I train with a guy that was at Atos and they both have awesome bottom games. Trying to pass the Renzo guy is way more frustrating because of all the heel hook attempts. It makes passing feel more like navigating a mine field than just a back and forth battle of sweep vs pass.