I’m starting to form the beginnings of a rudimentary jiu jitsu flow chart in my brain. If the person is in position x, then I move to position y. The trick is to have a reliable response to enough of the most common scenarios. For example, if the person is sitting and you are standing, your basic goal is to get around his legs, since his legs play a vital role in his ability to defend against your attack. How you accomplish this depends to a certain extent on the tactics he uses to prevent you from executing your plan. In my personal flow chart, I often like to start out by grabbing his legs. The problem is that some people are very good at not letting you grab their legs. Worse still, some people will try to capitalize on the fact that you have to bend down. I didn’t have a very satisfactory answer for this kind of scenario, but tonight, I learned a guard pass that I think may help me to better respond to such situations. It involves engaging someone’s butterfly guard, which carries risks of its own, as I was reminded of when trying it out in sparring against a skilled blue belt. However, I also tried it against a pretty good white belt. While I couldn’t make it work completely, it gave me confidence that I may be onto something if I keep working on it.

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