Monday, January 5, 2015

What I'm Reading, Who I'm Watching, Et Cetera....Guilherme Mendes' Passing & Michael Lieira Jr.

Been rewatching all of Guilherme Mendes' matches available online.
All of them.

I've been drilling guard passing nearly every day I've trained since switching teams.
I've also therefore been going back and picking up small details watching his guard passing style now that I drill more pieces of his style of guard passing.

I watch a lot of Gui Mendes because he finishes with my favorite submission: the cross collar/lapel choke/brabo/whatever from knee on belly.
I began passing and staying in knee on belly after I tore my ACL and returned to training earlier than recommended. I knew I couldn't go to full mount so I learned to sweep and come up and pass and float in knee on belly. The necessity taught me knee on belly and the position and then the submission came pretty naturally. 
It's interesting to go back and rewatch a competitor's style 6 months or so later or even with 3 more months of training under your belt.

I find that you tend to have a better sense of their mindset and approach to passing, sweeping, whatever, with each level up in your mat time bank account.

Some nuances I've noticed that perhaps I didn't early on. His gripping of the outside knee/pant leg and the other hand grips the lapel sets up his lapel grip/back step-kick out-whatever you call it pass.
The pant leg grip is a big thing with Rafa and Gui and in fact, I dare say Rafa uses it more than Gui.
That being said, I watch more of Gui's matches because he cuts through/knee slice passes to the knee on belly then cross collar/brabo choke the way that I prefer to finish.

Bernardo Faria recently commented on his blue belt half-guard game. That is, he's been working his half-guard game since blue belt.
It has won him two world championships and taken him through very tough, close matches with Buchecha and Rodolfo among a slew of other world class bad*&^ competitors.

I'm a big watcher of any move or position or sequence you see one person pull off time and again against people who know it is coming, or positions you see in several weight classes (deep half guard, or sit-up guard among others). 

I'm also struck by how little time they spend in things like spider guard or leg lasso. I can think of only a handful of matches where players successfully set up a spider hook or a leg lasso type position.
The spider hook was quickly cleared and the leg lasso was bypassed and turned into a leg drag style position on that side. 

Read this bio piece on Michael Lieira Jr., recently promoted Atos black belt.

It's a cool time to watch the newly minted black belts begin plying their wares as Cobrinha still competes, the Mendes bros are facing off with the Miyaos, and Gianni Grippo has come along as well. 

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