I entered this tournament just before ADCC 2011, as a way of tuning myself up for competition. I hadn’t competed since last ADCC in 2009. This was the first match of the day, against Pablo Popovitch Black Belt Shawn Eager.
I can count the times in my life that I have been swept in competition on one hand. I can also count the number of times I have been submitted from bottom with no hands – because that is none. 🙂
So I know right away I have the upper hand. I start pressuring to pass right away, using a mix of squeeze passes and knee cut passes. I know that I can pressure to pass and outlast any person on bottom. He did a good job defending the squeeze pass, and was able to recover it each time. As someone who trains half guard with a guy like Popovitch, I’m sure he is very familiar with that game. In fact, you can hear his coaches telling him just that.
So I then started working from standing against his open guard. That is when I took over the match. He didn’t have an answer to the knee cut pass.
Because he was sitting up in an open guard. The knee cut absolutely slices through a sitting open guard. What it makes it so effective is that you can actually place your knee in his stomach while he is sitting up. Your knee will then block his shin shield to replace his guard. You also get a bit of a slam as he doesn’t have any way of breaking fall is the pass completes.
He didn’t seem aware of this vulnerability, and kept playing this guard, giving me a clear path to pass over and over again. I did toy with the kimura trap back take that gave me his back, but when I locked up the grip again I give him too much space when I then bailed on it and took top position again.
With about 30 seconds left, I saw an opening and jumped for a heel hook. To my surprise, he tapped before I can even lock up the submission. I call that one the No Mas Heel Hook. 🙂
This was a good match, a lot of transitions to pick up stuff from. I hope you learned something from it!