Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Self-discovery

We all train for different reasons, and with different methods. All I know, the more I train, the more I find jiu-jitsu is about self-discovery.

My journey as a beginner white belt was all about creating distance between my partner and myself. I saw guard playing as more challenging, so that's what I focused on. In the beginning, it was all about surviving from side control. I had no guard. Then, as the months flew by, my fights were happening in a defensive half-guard. As soon as I discovered how to be offensive, I was hooked on spider guard. Note the increase of distance between my partner and myself. I was unsure of myself and keen on survival. My Bjj was about defense and creating angles for a sweep.

When I got my blue belt, my confidence started building. I discovered spider guard is pretty hard to play against most people since my legs weren't long enough for putting proper pressure, so I focused a lot on de la riva type techniques. As even more time passed, I closed the distance even more, preferring a type of open guard based on a cross sleeve lapel guard from which it evolved into cross lapel straight sleeve. I built a little game around that and called it a day.

Then one day, it struck me. I was in denial this whole time. My body type is perfect for a close type of bjj. Be it x guard, single leg x or butterfly was all I needed. Mainly because my cross lapel straight sleeve grips were still useful. The only modification I had to make is move my outer hook between the person's knees. That's exactly where I am now, and everything seems to connect from there. From knee picks to armdrags to loop and cross chokes, to overhead sweeps to x guard, it was aaaal there. The only missing piece of the puzzle seems to be a good defensive butterfly guard. That's exactly what I'm working on right now, and I can't wait to see how far this will take me. I just need to get passed another few hundred times, and I just might start building a coherent guard.

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