Class tonight. Klint had us focus on open guard, working our hooks and rep'ing a basic sweep. I imagine it's the one to switch to when the standard power sweep fails, but I'll have to work it in sparring to find out. We also worked an open guard pass--the same one Jeremy showed us a few weeks ago, so it was good to see it and drill it again.
Afterwards, I rolled with Zach, Jon, Stan, and Klint. In that order. I consciously tried to avoid pulling guard, so I ended up working my top game a fair amount. Zach is getting much more mobile, learning to use his size to his advantage. So that makes rolling with him harder on me, which is good in that terrible way that forces me to be much more technical. On the plus side, I hit the sweep we were working in class and tried for the open guard pass. I ended up passing, but my hand placement was a bit off. It's a start. Rolling with Jon, I tried staying on top again. It worked, though I know that it's probably because he has as little takedown experience as I do, and less class time. (The same goes for Zach.) No worries, it gives me practice and the opportunity to develop my sensitivity for grips. Hopefully, I'll be comfortable enough to try starting standing more often. Work in takedowns, maybe some judo throws (though I have maybe twenty minutes of experience with them)....so long as it doesn't cost me an ACL, I'm all for it.
Stan and I had a good roll. He's really good at staying heavy and shucking legs to get the pass, and I can almost never get out of his side control. I did get a sweep, though I couldn't get the pass to finish. Then, after about ten minutes, he put some weight right on the sore spot from my last session, so I sat for a while. Then, I figured rolling with Klint would be a good cool down. Ten minutes with him was much easier this time around. I kept my ego in check, and kept my goals manageable. I didn't really accomplish any of them, but it made for a more productive lesson.
Dave Camarillo was on the Fightworks Podcast this week, and he gave a plug for MMA Faestro, the site that Klint runs, linked on the right hand of this blog. It was interesting to hear Dave talk at such length about how Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu has changed over the years. Had I heard this interview a few months ago, I'm not sure I would have signed up at one of his academies. He's emphasizing wrestling a lot more--working his grappling system so that it's useful in all scenarios, and nothing is more useful in either a self-defense scenario or an MMA fight (which, to be fair, are kind of the same thing) than the ability to create and win a scramble. At the same time, I wouldn't want to be at another academy. The curriculum as a whole and the instruction specifically are outstanding. I wish I had more time to dedicate to it so I could improve faster, but not everyone can be a gym rat.
I read Skinny's post that he's swearing off submissions for the next month to focus only on improving and maintaining position. I envy his discipline. That's something for me to try against other white belts as a new challenge; and really, I'm rarely in a position to go for subs on blues or purples anyways, so those fights turn into struggles to achieve and maintain position as it is. Has anyone else tried going a certain amount of time without going for subs, only improving and maintaining position?