23May

From Lo to Santana

I’ve been spending the past several months taking my guard passing cues from Leandro Lo, whose attacks against the DLR remain invaluable to me. But the more I train and try to implement his approach, the more I realize that his approach to guard passing is a little too dynamic for my game at this point.

It’s a little similar to my recent realization that, when it comes to sitting guard, strategies of both Rodolfo Viera (a heavyweight) and Otavio Sousa (a middleweight) suit me better than the strategy of someone like Cobrinha, who shares my weight class (featherweight, 149 lbs or less) and uses a lot of arm drags and scrambles. Again, the issue is dynamism and the level of aggressiveness required to secure the pass.

I should point out, ironically, that tonight’s lesson was a version of Cobrinha’s attack: a near-side arm drag from sitting guard. So maybe the Pena Approach to sitting guard is not yet dead to me.

In any event, while I’ll continue to use some of Lo’s innovations against the DLR – particularly the post/knee slide and pin/backstep strategies – I need something with more control, more precision, and more pressure when it comes to guard passing broadly speaking.

That pretty much leaves one particular set of skills and at least one particularly skillful practitioner.

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