TalkShowOnMute — 23 October 2009

Training has been good. I took off a week for cold symptoms,  mostly to avoid getting one else sick.  But, on the upside, I spent that time watching tons of instructional, and I feel that I have a few new areas becoming available to my still infantile jiu jitsu game…specifically, spider guard.

I have been dabbling in the guard a bit recently, but never seemed to use it in many rolls.  I would typically go back to what I felt comfortable with, closed guard, or long distance half.  Typically looking for the triangle or armbar but mostly the sweep, my top game is currently the strongest aspect of my game…so I spend most of my time trying to get there.

First thing I can say about my newly found favorite guard…is that it take endurance!  You have to have good grips…and hands that do not burn out…even when your fingers are numb and throbbing with pain you have to keep those grips and be dynamic with them!  Also you are pushing with your feet in such a way, that your calves can get a real nice burn going.  My calves and fingers are still sore from last night… :(

Another thing, the whole fluidity/pace/operating manner of the spider guard is entirely different that your traditional closed guards.  The game is loose..but it is a very controlled looseness.  You have so much more space in this guard for movement, unlike where your hips are locked down a bit by a closed guard.  Which is where I first realized that I needed open guards…

Who wants to wrap their legs around a guy, and have him stay on top of you all day.  Now of course I’m generalizing…there are tons of sweeps and submissions from closed guard.  But it is also the first guard anyone in jiu jitsu learns…therefore, it is also the first guard that everyone learns how to defend.  And what is jiu jitsu about if it in not about adaptation and progression???

Now, the actual point of this post…

Romulo Barral Seminar

Romulo was at GB Texas last night for a spiderguard sweep/submission seminar.  The seminar lasted about two hours and mainly covered grips, hip movement, and transitions off of pass attempts.  But he also showed some really tricky leg work that sets up armbars, triangles, and omoplatas.  They could all be chained together and used alongside the sweeps he showed.

This was about the best kick start to learning the spiderguard that I could imagine.   I feel more confident in the position already.  I especially like the transition to triangle and the scissor-esque sweep that sets it up.  I caught it a few times in the rolling session immediately afterwards.  I hope to continue to improve this position, and although I do not intend to disavow the closed guard…I cannot imagine using it as my main defense any longer.

Okay, to avoid rambling aimlessly any longer I will post a few pictures from the seminar, compliments of GB Texas and Colby Black.

Draculino and Marcelo Watching Romulo Intently

The Class Working Romulo’s Sweeps

Romulo Teaching Draculino  Details if His Sweeps, I Watch Intently….wishing that I knew more Portuguese…

The Whole Group

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