I just have to laugh a little. Spent about an hour this morning with the patient help of a good friend, exploring the intersection of my open guard pass (which, thanks to Liam aka TPTG, tries to have a straight back and a staggered stance) with his De La Riva guard sweepy-take-your-back position.
I really do like the exploration side of jiu jitsu. It's so easy to flow back and forth between cooperative and scientific examination of physics and body mechanics (hmm, what happens if I do this?) and the defiance of the adversarial system (then I'll do this!) and the pleasure of success (and you'll get nowhere!/and you'll sweep me like a dusty floor!)
So that was my morning. Vidush wants to get DLR guard, and then take the back, of his standing opponent. I pretended to be his opponent (but don't often fight DLR very long, so I wasn't sure I was a quality uke.) For a while he just played with that, varying grips and pressures while I tried to surf the position, maintain my base, and advance to a better place. I wasn't terribly successful, but neither was he (at getting my back. Sweeps were working fine.)
Then, we worked through/he taught me some basics of another open guard pass, involving knee grips, foot position, and posture that made me feel like I was kneeling on his hamstring. He pointed out it's just like knee on belly, but standing in his guard. Hmm. Good stuff. Eventually we got into a semi-positional sparring mode. I learned that IF I can get my foot in the right place and IF I can get the good pressure forwards BEFORE he gets feet on my hips, I can manage. So I trotted out of the shower at the academy all fresh, squeaky clean, and perkily confident that I could handle at least a whitebelt open guard tonight.
Came to class around 5:45pm and the air in the academy was like... soup. Warm, thick, wet. Really not suited to bringing oxygen into the lungs. Like cake batter against the skin, only NOT smelling so good. Actually, didn't smell much, but it was like inhaling warm water. (Until Amit sat down near me. The man bleaches his gis all the time. Smells like summertime and fresh clean swimming pools and all manner of good clean fun. I love it. Men, take note. Do I need another post about why gis shouldn't smell like catbox?!)
After technique and 4 promotions (two to bluebelt! and Anthony and David got 4th and 2nd stripes on their blue and purple, respectively!) we had some positional sparring round robins. First I landed with Tommy, a serious and respectable purple. Um. What the...!?!? First I went for the knee grips. Gone! without the grips, I can't control his damn feet! They're pushing on my hips! Grabbing for the knees again... dammit stripped again! And with the foot/feet on the hips I can't get my foot in the right place, I can't pressure forwards on the hamstring, I can't control the hips, damn his paws. Damn his feet. Shit swept again. What the...!!!!
Phew, Coach calls time. Next I landed with one of the new blues, a really nice guy whose name I don't know. He's playing open guard. PERFECT!
Except, um, crap. I keep the grips this time, have the hamstring pressure. But not enough, the damn hips are moving! I'm slipping! Pond of sweat on the mat and my foot slides and I'm on my knees and I'm in half guard. OK. Not bad. I like half guard. I can put in some mean shoulder pressure. Nope. He's coming up! I'm scrood!
.... phew, time again.
After a few rotations, I'm back to Tommy. He tweaks, encourages. Good deal. Then we switch peeps and sides and I am bottom half guard now, against another tremendous purple. I have an answer (though lumbering, inefficient, slow and ugly) for passes where they face my head... but shizzle for the reverse pass. Start again. Try for one of Sean's weirder half guard passes, but I can't get the knee grip behind myself. (Don't ask.) Kept the underhook against his wizzer when I should have gone for Scott's sweep with the clamped wing. But it's progress. I'm remembering stuff. I'm recognizing stuff. Late but better than never.