Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 12/07/2015
Most of today I spent working some open guard stuff with Rafal. The first question was how to pass the sitting guard. In my case, I tend to go with a knee cut, as the bullfighter is not so effective when they are sat up. Or, pin a leg and try and dip low to get the single underhook. Rafal built off that second option, grabbing the back of my gi and then pinning the leg, again in order to walk around behind.
In specific sparring from open guard to work on those concepts, I was finding that when trying to pass Rafal, it often ended up in his half guard. That still means I can move into a pass, as I'm much more comfortable passing half guard than I am an 'unconnected' open guard, but ideally I'd come up with a way to prevent him being able to close his legs. That could be with an arm (but there are submission risks there if I mess it up), or configuring my legs and hips so his leg is pressure away from being able to lock with his other leg.
Underneath, I'm not being assertive enough with sitting guard, waiting too long so they start their pass. Also, thinking about what to do when they manage to either break your grip on their collar or prevent you establishing it in the first place. I wasn't reacting constructively to that, as I tend to just get flopped onto my back, a much harder position to stop their pass. It can also mean I end up chasing their legs while they are already half way through their pass.
On the plus side, all that work on the shoulder clamp last month has helped, because now I am looking to shoot my arm through for a tight underhook and start controlling their shoulder. Strangely (though maybe not that strange, as it happens quite often), I'm now finding that closed guard is more appealing than open guard, whereas it was the other way round as recently as two months ago. Hopefully by the end of this month, I'll have shored up my open guard some more.
Watching yet another Jason Scully video, he mentions simple but potentially handy tip. If I can't grab the collar right away, I can just grip lower on the collar with my other hand, using that to feed in the collar grip ot my first hand. Another potential solution for when I can't get that collar grip could be shin on shin, along with wrapping the leg with my arm (making sure I scoot around slightly so they can't just drive their knee down).
Again from watching Scully videos, that looks like it would fit not only into sweeps (he shows some nifty options where you're rolling underneath them, along with a technical stand-up), but also a useful counter to the knee cut. Kev showed me shin-on-shin during that private lesson a while back too, something i could add in here as well.