Open Mat (12/27/08 10:00am)
Neil and I met up for open mat on Saturday. The gym has limited hours during these holiday times so we decided to take advantage while we can. There were no normal classes on Saturday (i.e. No gi, Fitness Kickboxing) but instead open mat ran from 9:00am to 1:00pm. That's pretty awesome. Actually, I wish the open mat time was like that every week. I find that time invaluable because I really learn a lot in that environment.
Neil had said that he had wanted to learn from me so, that was interesting. Particularly because at times I feel like I don't really know anything!!! But as it turns out I had plenty of things to show him. He wanted to work primarily on sweeps from guard and on some side control escapes. Both of those are things that I always want to work on because of how practical and necessary they are.
We went over the pendulum sweep; he got that one down pretty well quickly. We also did the normal scissor sweep and thanks to my new Jiu Jitsu University book (Thank you Saulo Ribeiro) we worked on a nifty sweep from the guard that makes it easy to take your opponent's back. I love that book. It doesn't teach anything new and flashy but it sure puts the polish and perspective one things.
We reviewed different side control escapes and I helped him work on his phobia of being trapped in side control. This was good for both of us. I have always had a really strong side control so working with someone who is really wanting to learn to escape was beneficial for me in terms of positional awareness when I get it. Also, who doesn't hate being in side control? It sucks. So why not work on getting out of it whenever you can.
We did take some time and I taught Neil that choke the Doctor and I learned from Dennis during the last open mat. I was actually pulling it off pretty well this time. I like it now and I think I will be using it during rolling as situations arise.
We finished the session off with some specific drilling. Starting from guard, the other would try to pass while we would attempt to sweep, submit, retain guard or just survive. It went well. Neil did an awesome job. He tried out a nifty choke from inside my closed guard that worked surprisingly well, so we'll try that out some more and report back later.