After Day 1 of Bruno's seminar, I spent another hour with him one-on-one. My greatest concern right now is my lack of bottom game. As a Heavyweight (currently 230 lbs or so), I haven't had much need of a bottom game since I'm usually dealing with smaller guys at the club. However, when I compete, I'm in against guys who are at least the same size as I am, but usually significantly bigger. Thus, I need a ground game. My instructor tells me that, with my hip flexibility, no one should pass my guard. Well, that's not the case.
I'd been working different aspects of my game with Bruno in past sessions, but this time we decided to focus on sweeps. I demonstrated the one sweep that I have a decent grip on: the Flower sweep. From the closed guard, you get control of one sleeve. For note purposes, we'll say it's his right sleeve (using my left hand). I use my right hand to grab his pants, somewhere near the knee. This sweep is all about the timing. As the opponent shifts his weight forward, I raise my hips off the ground as high as I can. Next, I drop my hips and pull his sleeve towards my head, removing a potential base. As I'm doing this, I open my guard and kick my legs to my left and pull his left knee off the ground with my right hand. I roll myself over to the left. Keep in mind, this is happening at roughly the same time. The momentum created should take the opponent over and leave me in the mount.
The first sweep I worked on with Bruno depends on my opponent standing up to pass my guard. As he stands up, it is imperative that I gain control of the opposite arm's sleeve. So, if I'm reaching with my right, then I need to be controlling his right sleeve. I use that sleeve to pull me over to his right leg and ankle. I trap the ankle against my shoulder with my left hand. Keeping my guard closed (though I can let the guard open, if needed), I push my hips against the inside of my opponent's right knee. Since I have the right foot trapped, he has no way of stepping to correct his balance.
The next sweep was a review of one I've used in the past. As my opponent stands up, I wait to see if he keeps his feet essentially parallel. If he does, I reach for his ankles/heels, open my guard and drop my hips. I pinch my knees together in front of him, then extend my hips upward, while pulling at his ankles/heels. This should send my opponent backwards and then the scramble ensues.
The third sweep of the session is connected to the first sweep I learned that day. If the opponent is resisting really well against the knee pressure, I can open my guard, pull the sleeve I'm controlling (the right sleeve, being pulled by my right arm) and shoot my leg up over his shoulder. I should be hitting him with my calf as hard as I can to try and affect his balance. From there, I make a figure 4 with my legs, locking over his right shoulder and start sitting up. Once he's falling forward, I feed his arm into the 90 degree omaplata position. If I land it, great, if not he's still in a bad position. I need to remember to point my foot in the direction I want my opponent to go. If not, then I'm not doing it right.
The last point that we worked on was my lapel choke attack. I need to reach as deeply as possible inside the cross side lapel. So since I'm right handed, I'm reaching across my body and grabbing inside my opponent's right lapel, palm up. Where I had gone wrong is the angle of execution. I need to turn my wrist and curl my hand in more, taking as much fabric as I can, pretty much like I would if I were trying to get some extra "pop" out of a bicep curl. From there, I reach across to find any sort of fabric I can, palm down. I cross my forearms and make like my forearm is a blade that I'm sharpening. If I've got the blade of my arms applied correctly, then he should be tapping out. Another thing I can do is to open my guard and use my right leg to push my opponent to the left. This will straighten my right arm across the correct contact point. From there, I reach across to this left shoulder with my left hand, palm down, grab some fabric and X my forearms.
My biggest problem has been getting a small enough contact point, so I need to really work on rotating that wrist and curling my hand.