The bad news is I ended my not losing streak tonight. The good news is I was able to experiment a lot with my guard game. Usually, everybody blows right past my open guard (meaning I don’t often get the chance to pull someone into my closed guard, much less try the fancy open guard stuff), but I did a much better job defending against passes this evening, giving me more time to try different things. Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in trying all the fancy moves, such as the spider guard tilt sweep (I couldn’t get any of the moves to work, but for many of the moves, this was the first time I got to try them in live sparring), that when each guy passed my guard, my arms were completely out of position for the Roy Harris defense. I had no choice but to go with a more conventional position for my hands, which still allowed me to eventually recover guard against the first guy. However, I got careless with my side control leg positioning and got mounted by the second guy, which meant my arms being out of place created much bigger problems for me. He was able to sink in a cross lapel choke before I could free my hand from underneath him to defend my collar. At the last minute, I remembered to thrust my hips up to buck him forward (in order to create enough space between his torso and mine to get my hand to my collar), but it was too little too late. Still, I was glad I had the opportunity to do some guard work. The fact that my guard was not so easy to pass tonight means that I’m improving in this area. However, I need to find a way to disengage my arms if I feel the pass coming on, so that I’m in a better position to defend from the bottom of side control. If that doesn’t work, I think I need to be more active in bridging my hips to create space so that I can get my arms into the desired position. Finally, I need to work on staying heavy when I’m holding the other guy down in side control or smash half guard. The second guy rolled me right over while I was trying to pass from half guard to side control. I was able to recover guard that time, but it shouldn’t have been so easy for him to roll me. My only consolation is that he was breathing pretty heavily at the end, while I was not, which meant he was probably relying more on strength than I was.

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