Friday, November 5, 2010 a coward with the closed guard.

It hit me tonight. I knew I had problems with submissions but after TOTALLY punking-out on an omoplata, it sunk in that I have an actual issue. It's pretty sad. I'm pretty good at getting people into my guard, decent at breaking posture, but I just don't go for submissions from there. There's something about how it feels...I just feel loose right before the hip escape and I freeze. 

I've developed a serious appreciation for a couple of the teenagers in the class. I can end up very emotionally raw on the mats at times, and after a week that almost had me in tears and a day where my eyes were going cross from 8hrs of staring into a dark abyss of spreadsheets, I was rubbed down to the nerves. We ended up doing intense work on just the standing part of standing guard passes (my least favorite move in all of jiu jitsu). After two passes, I felt my strength give out. I just couldn't stand with a whole person around my waist anymore. I felt a flash of tears and was surprised. I felt silly, sitting there with a 14 and a 15 year old, way too close to the edge of crying. Then, from the wall I heard a calm "don't get frustrated, just don't be afraid to put your weight on him". It's humbling to be encouraged by someone to whom you could have given birth. 

I got it a couple times and fell right back into my bad habits. By that time, an instructor was standing nearby, looking down at me, smiling. "You don't like this one, do you?". I looked up and thought "You taught me this ago and I've gotten worse." I shook my head slowly and he explained what I needed to change. The solution was simple. Let go of the lapel. Don't fear using your weight. Unfortunately I've developed some massive walls (fear of losing balance and fear of knee pain...there isn't any anymore) and bad habits (feet staying turned out) with this one and need an erase and rewrite. It's going to take a lot of drilling. A whole lot of drilling.

Being more aggressive is working! For some crazy reason, I wasn't even more tired after a 7 min round of pushing harder. One thing I did notice, is that in trying to be more aggressive, I focused more on breathing properly and moving myself, as opposed to trying to move my opponent...which might be why I was less tired. One of my favorite blues, JazzHands, told me I was moving better and that every couple of months, you generally notice a difference.

Ohoh! Three new ladies tonight! I didn't get to work with them, but I hope they stick around. For some reason not many ladies show up for the all levels class on Fridays, and it was nice not to be the only chick on the mats.


A.D. McClish said...

I have been there, too. The closed guard thing is something I struggled with for a WHILE! It just seemed so much safer. But really, sitting in it was inhibiting me.

Megan said...

It is snuggly, isn't it? I think as I get more comfortable in other positions, I'll start letting go of it more.

SkinnyD said...

I don't have a problem going from closed guard to another position, but I do have problems submitting from closed guard. Except for the triangle, which just seems to work for me, I really struggle with submissions from guard because the opportunity for the opponent to escape just seems so overwhelming.

Megan said...

Yeah@Skinny...that opportunity to escape is what has me holding on for dear life. The thought of voluntarily unlocking my ankles is still a bit much for me. I need more confidence in handling myself on my sides.