Passing reverse De La Riva guard

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by goatfury, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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  2. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Nice breakdown, but I disagree that

    I think the best passers finish with similar motions and try to connect the concepts of their passes, but they definitely have guard specific passing games and alter their passes to deal with the difficulties idiosyncratic to each guard. For example, you'll not see Gui Mendes try to do a long step the same way against spider guard as he does against RDLR because he'd get swept. He has a very specific method of clearing the spider hooks, dealing with the lasso, and only then do you see the same core motion of the long step as a way to finish the pass once the guard player's defenses have been reduced.

    I'm not trying to be pedantic, but I see a lot of people work on guard passes from nebulous open guard situations (e.g. guard player puts both feet on your hips with no grips and you work a pass) that aren't very realistic, rather than working on applying general motions (i.e. leg drag, long step, knee slice) to passes against specific guards while also working on dealing with the unique challenges each guard presents. For example, if you want to work a knee slice don't just have uke put his feet up and start knee slicing him. Have uke establish DLR and work on first clearing the hook, then forcing one of his legs between yours, then establishing your grips, and only then knee slicing. If you don't practice this way you'll never get to work any of your passes against a strong guard player because you won't be able to get past their initial lines of defense like spider, DLR, and RDLR hooks.
     
  3. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Uchi Mata, I took a lesson from a Purple Belt who seems to be one of the stronger players I know. Stronger than higher ranked people because he takes it more seriously.

    I was asking him about guard passing and he told me that his method was to pass and control the ankle first, then the knee, then the hip. So from any guard you are put in you still have that same process, which is clearing the hook, passing a knee, and then passing the hip. I've been watching a lot of guard passing videos the last couple of days and that certainly seems to be the process.

    After I took that lesson, I feel like I fumble fuck around a lot, but I still come out on top fairly often. I passed one of the most advanced guys I know by breaking off a hook, pinching my knees around his ankles, pushing his knees together and hopping forward to get my knees outside of his, then kicking his legs across with one knee while lifting my other leg and then kneeling down near his hip. I sort of made it up on the spot because I wasn't familiar with the guard situation I was in so I just held my base and worked it out.

    I don't doubt that there are only so many possible positions for hands and feet and that it is possible to work out the most efficient path through any position for different sized opponents, but before you get to that point can't you still become effective by sticking to a game plan?
     
  4. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    You should definitely have positions you aim for, which is basically what you're describing. I certainly have a position I prefer to achieve from which to work passes, but getting there is very different against different guards and often achieving the position in the first place is the hardest part. Remember, once you've gotten to the point where you have one of uke's legs between yours, he has no hooks, and you have superior grips, you're not passing spider or DLR or whatever anymore. Now you're just in a great position to pass a generic open guard and he has to defend how best he can. It should be easier past the point where you've achieved your desired position than it was to get there (otherwise, why did you think that position was so good in the first place?).

    To paraphrase Einstein, you should make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. Just saying 'you need to put his leg between yours and smash his hips' is too general. There are many technical nuances for how you do that that differ based upon the guard uke is playing, and those nuances are what make the difference between being able to actually pass a skilled guard player and getting swept because you didn't deal properly with his guard prior to trying your favorite pass.

    You can think of it in terms of gates if you like. The first gate to passing guard is dealing with any facet of the guard that prevents you as the passer from controlling distance, and then establishing the distance you want. That can be a spider hook, a DLR hook, a RDLR hook, a foot on your hip, a butterfly hook, whatever. If you allow the guarder to determine the distance at which you engage, you'll probably get swept.

    The second gate is gripping/positioning. Once you've taken over controlling the distance, a good guard player will be fighting grips and positioning (e.g. trying for an underhook) to re-establish distance or go directly for the sweep. You need to establish grips that allow you to work a pass without serious risk of getting reversed.

    The third gate is clearing the legs. This is what people typically think of as a guard pass. You can go over (knee slice), under (double unders), around (torreando), or through (smash passes), doesn't matter. But somehow you need to clear the guarder's legs so that they are no longer between you and his upper body.

    The fourth and final gate is preventing recovery/securing the pass. You do this primarily by killing the guarder's hip mobility, whether that's directly (e.g. clamping on the hips at the finish of a leg drag) or indirectly by getting a heavy side control or north south. But as long as the guard player has hip mobility you really haven't finished the pass because a good player will use that space to recover.

    The gates to a pass become less guard specific as you go forward because at each stage you as the passer are doing more to control the terms of engagement. But you have to do them in order, and just practicing the last two won't help you much if you can't perform the first two adequately. That's why you need to work on guard specific variations of your favorite passes rather than generic variations, because if you can't clear the spider hook or kill the butterfly hook it doesn't matter how good you are at clearing the legs or killing the hips. That's my (long winded) point.
     
  5. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    This is how I've come to think of it as well. You have to clear the feet to kill his strongest distance control, then climb the knee line to the line of his hips (forcing half or a leg drag variation, basically) before you can safely acquire upper body control (underhook or cross-face without climbing the knee line = arm gets caught), then ascend up the body once upper body control is in place.

    Of course, you can bypass some of these waypoints if you pass with speed and/or move around a lot after passing, but these are the general rules as far as I see them, and the blueprint for slow pressure passing.

    I'm also trying to make a habit of keeping my opponent's feet from bridging/shrimping off the mat, either by lifting the leg, pinning the knee to the mat or 'turking' from the half guard. Guys like Ryan Hall, Shawn Williams and Paul Schreiner utilize this very systematically in their passing games, and it's incredibly stifling.
     
  6. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Awesome stuff. You to TS.
     
  7. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    I don't think you're being pedantic at all, and that's actually sort of what I wanted to imply, but my language maybe could use a little augmenting. Part of the reason I enjoy posting these tutorials here is that I really enjoy getting feedback from folks I respect, and I can go back in there and make edits as needed, in order to make the point more clear.

    The Gui Mendes example is a great one, too. Leandro Lo would be another perfect example. Both guys are looking for the same core sequence, but the deal with each individual guard slightly differently. I guess what I was trying to impart is that you don't have to memorize a hundred different counters if you're paying attention to core concepts and imposing your will, and getting to a position where you're more familiar.
     
  8. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    This is so important and I think it is more important now than ever.

    This isn't knock on Kesting. I use his videos. Did you see his new Spider Guard set? I couldn't learn that stuff in a year if I tried, doing nothing else.

    I've been tapping people above my pay grade lately. For a long time now I've been drilling basically the same 50-60 moves with the same blue belts, but we do it all fast and clean. When I roll at other gyms, i find myself against ranked guys who can't escape Kesa, who can't stop hooks when in turtle, who still posture up so hard I can hip bump sweep them, overhooking my arm in half guard and getting rolled...

    At first I thought these blues and higher were fucking with me, feeding me errors to see if I know what to do, but then get mad if I get the better of them.

    Now on the other hand, I don't know any rat guard, little spider guard, little dlr, no rdlr, no crusifix, no inversions, no deep half, no 50/50...

    The glut of all these techniques are in my opinion fucking people up because they keep you from getting good at anything. I'll hip bump sweep > kimura someone right now so effectively that people are scared to posture in my guard. I think people find that way of doing things boring.

    We need more concepts and less specifics for those of us who aren't 100% dedicated to the art.
     
  9. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    For sure. The route to getting good at passing (or any other skill) isn't having a million specific passes, it's having a small set of passes that combine well and that you're very good at and the ability to attain a position where you can work those passes vs. any guard. Guard isn't very different. You don't see the Mendes bros or Lo or Braulio or Barral or any elite guy playing 20 different guards, they have 1-2 guards they're really good at and they can get to them regardless of the starting position. But those transitions don't happen by accident, you need lots of practice getting to your base passing position against the wide variety of guards our there just like you need lots of practice transitioning to your favorite guard against many different passing strategies.

    This rule seems to apply to almost every grappling art too. Most Judoka are only really good at 2-3 throws, but they have a bunch of gripping strategies and setups to get in a position to execute those throws. Jordan Burroughs mostly double legs guys, but he can set it up many different ways. It's hard to develop complex skill sets like throws, TDs, and passes, so it's almost always better to have a small core of moves you're really good at and then learn a bunch of ways to put yourself in position to implement those core skills.
     
  10. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Again, I couldn't disagree more. You can't practice a concept, you can only practice a move. What people need to do is practice fewer moves but more intensely and not worry so much about concepts. You don't have time when rolling to think about concepts. Concepts help your thought processes off the mat, they help you break down moves and inform your technical development, but just knowing concepts alone is useless. The only way to internalize concepts is to practice specific moves that express those concepts. If you want the small set of moves you practice to be conceptually cohesive well and good, but you're still learning moves not concepts.
     
  11. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    Also a valid perspective. I think it's like this: you learn BJJ concepts by way of seeing individual techniques. The concepts are the most important thing, but you need to work specific moves in order to actually learn them.
     
  12. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    I'd go a step further: you get good at a specific move (Romulo's spider guard, EG) by drilling, but you get good at setting them up by rolling.
     
  13. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    I think when you're talking about technical development what rolling does mostly is help you find out where your technique is deficient and allows you to test your improvements. I didn't learn how to play spider guard by rolling so much as learn spider guard, figure out where the moves didn't work during rolling, and then went back to the drawing board in class and drilling to try and correct those mistakes. Ordinary class is the lecture where you get the outlines and theory, drilling is the library where you study on your own and focus on what interests you most, and rolling is the lab where you try stuff out and see what works and what doesn't. The purpose of the lab work (rolling) is to inform your study (drilling), aside from just being really fun and improving your timing, intuition, and physical attributes. Just like you can study in the lab, you can work on new stuff or refining older stuff while rolling but you generally won't get the same concentrated practice that you would when drilling just because the situation you want to work on won't come up as often. I think rolling a lot is really important when you're at an intermediate level like high white and blue because at that point you need to develop a general feel for what BJJ is about, but as you get to purple and brown (can't speak for black) the quality of rolls is more important than the quantity and to keep improving you need more focused practice, i.e. drilling.
     
  14. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Uchi, I see what you mean. I guess I mean specific moves are almost useless when not structured by some kind of game plan.

    Like, why do I use the trap the arm escape or the elbow-knee escape when escaping mount? Because if I belly down I get RNC'd and if I push with my arms I get arm barred.

    So early on you have a package of moves. You have the back take and RNC vs. someone rolling from mount and you have the spinning arm bar. Now there is some teeth to the threats when escaping mount, so people naturally choose the escape which seemed weaker than going belly down to knees, because it has become the better option.

    Same thing with Guard - you get packages of moves. The basic move is triangle when someone breaks guard by sticking an arm in. Then you have a classic guard break and pass. Now the bottom guy gets why posture is important, so you introduce guard pummeling and a triangle from the overhook. Now top and bottom guy know where they are going and why.

    Posture and Pass
    Break and Triangle

    The problem with doing countless moves is that no one know why they are doing anything. They are just spamming 300 different techniques to see who gets off first. The showering people in threats, no defense seems coherent or valid.

    "Why would I step right while I parry the jab if you are just going to switch kick me?"

    So too many moves becomes both paralysing with option and keeps people from being good at anything, and worse still because they are doing the wrong stuff.

    A guy who does a diagonal elbow, back fist and knife hand as his first three strikes will get mauled by someone who learns the jab, cross and hook, but being good at any one of those six strikes is a roughly equal amount of work. My feeling is that the same is true with BJJ. The issue is that the techniques people learn need to encourage and reinforce basic tactics, while the convention breaking tactics and disjointed specialty moves are held off until later.

    I agree moves are important. Like I said, I am polishing a small set of moves. The difference between what I do and what a lot of other people in my boat (MMA / JKD), as well as evidently a lot of people who specialize in BJJ but learn too much extra material, do is that every move I care about I can explain its place in the great scheme of basic tactics. Little of it is just a complexity to lose people.

    That's what I mean when I say we need concepts. I guess what I really mean is we need coherent curriculum.
     
  15. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Absolutely.

    I really agree with that (keep in mind I'm no where in the ball park as advanced as you or Uchi).

    I enjoy articles like the one you just did where you explain the problem, the solution, and the cascading tit for tat.

    I appreciate hearing about white belt stuff to, how to hold posture and pressure to survive in different positions.
     
  16. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    I agree with this completely. People also need to spend more time analyzing their own games and choosing what to include and exclude, especially as they get close to purple belt. Mat time is a precious commodity, open drilling time even more so, so you need to choose carefully what you want to drill because that becomes your game. I spent blue belt learning pretty much every position, and now I've spent purple belt whittling those positions down to my A game but it's very coherent and fits together well. There are no major and few minor positions or techniques that I don't have a rehearsed, specific answer for. Having that allows you to be faster because it shortens your reaction time when you know what you want to do in every position, and that sort of speed is worth its weight in gold. You can essentially 'outrun' the other guy becuase you're recognizing the position and reacting faster.
     
  17. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    It seems to be the future for teaching Jiu Jitsu.

    I think you will like videos of Kit Dale.

    Mind you there is so many ways that people like to learn.

    There is no one solution for everyone.

    I think the traditional style of teaching 1 move and 2 variations are out dated.
     
  18. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    Meant to thank you for this as well!
     
  19. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    At the same time, you do still need specific examples. In my view, specifics show how the concepts are applied. Wouldn't you agree?
     
  20. sha

    sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    You definitely need both. But as things stand, specifics taught without concepts are still a lot more frequent than concepts taught without specifics. So I feel like most BJJ teachers could probably stand to focus a little more on concepts to restore the balance.
     

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