Answers to Saulo - Guard DVD Questions

If you read my last post "Thank God for Saulo", you saw that I posed three questions inspired by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series One (more specifically, the Guard DVD) and invited you all to send in your answer suggestions. Of course I am very grateful that you took the time to read the blog and send in your answers. The questions were:

1. Which part of your opponent's body doesn't move when you perform a knee tap take down from the knees?

2. Which part of your body doesn't touch the mat when you perform a butterfly sweep?

3. Which direction do your hips move in when you are flower-sweeping to your left?

Not the most complicated question, I know, but if you've been reading my blog for a while you'd know that I don't believe in beginner vs advanced techniques (in fact, I don't believe in techniques at all!) I believe in experiencing positions with a focus but without judgement and put all my energy into raising my level of awareness. Enter Saulo!

From watching the DVD for the nth time, I once again picked up a few great pointers. Some I do and some I've seen others do repeatedly. I'll go into what I perceive the answers to these three questions to be and why I chose them.

1. Which part of your opponent's body doesn't move when you perform a knee tap take down from the knees?

The knee that you are tapping. I think everybody answered this one correctly. The reason I chose this is because I see people all the time, rather than just obstruct the knee, trying to actively pull it towards them. That's strength, wasted strength I may add. To gain further leverage (where needed), rise off your knees and drive from a higher position rather than try to pull the knee.

2. Which part of your body doesn't touch the mat when you perform a butterfly sweep?

Got some very interesting answers here. Some were right, but the one I was looking for was "your back", simply because I see too many people who get their grips for the butterfly guard, get into the right "momento" (that's what Saulo calls "timing") and then lay back for the sweep, when they should be going completely on their side/shoulder/arm.

3. Which direction do your hips move in when you are flower-sweeping to your left?

By far the most interesting answers, and I think I'm to blame. The question was a little open-ended as (in most sweeps) the hips move a lot!

The funny thing is, the way Saulo performs it (using his left leg to block the opponent's right leg/side, rather than throwing the legs up in the air for momentum as per the Ceasar Gracie DVDs), he only moves them to the left a few inches before he launches it. My sketch at the top (Blue is the sweeper) is supposed to illustrate just that (no, it's not a scene from the Baby Delivery Room!)

I love things like that. Small details that I either experience or suddenly realise/notice about a situation or a position that simply change the whole dynamics of it.

Once again, thank you to all those who posted or emailed their answers. Awareness is king.

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1 comment:

The Part Time Grappler said...

This comment came from Facebook:

Antony Griffiths commented on your note "Answers to Saulo - Guard DVD Questions":

"do you not think that with the butterfly sweep the most important thing is the angle you hit it? think about a table, take away one leg (or in this case an arm) and try to push the table over. you cant do it forwards backwards OR side to side it has to be that 45degree angle! if you sweeping them from square on (something i dont advocate but will happen) then sometimes you will have to go slightly to your back to hit that angle.
There was a brownbelt in bradford who showed us this the other day and i was watching thinking thats a shit butterfly sweep but..... he got the sweep.
the action isnt back and sideways or sideways and then back (if they post the leg otherwise sideways on its own will work) is hitting whatever angle you need in relation to what they can base with"

My reply:

Awesome account Griff! 2 things:

1. I'm a little slow so I didn't completely get all the things you were describing. I'll try to figure it out but I'd rather you bobbed down one day. I still promise to come visit your mat ASAP bro.

2. I really don't believe in techniques any more. It's all about awareness. You can only connect two bodies in so many ways. From there, the balance changes every millisecond with every move or even fake. A heightened sense of awareness will allow you to either manipulate where these two connected bodies will end up or at least make the best out of the (ever evolving) new situation. Techniques are just still-shots from what is, and can only be, a movie.

Think about someone doing a throw from standing in super slow motion. I'm sure you agree that there is a point of no-return past which, the thrower will get his throw. But what if (before that) the uke changes his balance/weight distribution/angle/grips...etc. it opens up new opportunities which would be completely missed if the awareness wasn't there. It's the same with sweeps, submissions and guard passing. You're going for a pass under the leg and the heavy legs opens the door to over or even around the leg.

To bring this to the original idea, what I get the most from Saulo is that he get's his posture then works a whole bunch of pressures to create gaps (much like the missing leg of the table you mentioned) and when that happens (what he calls the momento!) he goes for the sweep (he even stands in the middle of one :) )

You have people who sweep only this or that way, but what if an opportunity comes to sweep a third way?! Go for it, I agree with you! Set techniques are like restaurant menus: They are just suggestions.

My issue with the back touching the mat is that most beginners would use strength to move the legs, rather than create the missing-table-leg opportunity.

I hope this makes sense in writing. I like to waffle.