John Will23 Oct 2004
1. From hooks-in guard, deep grip on collar and grip sleeve. "Old-style" but effective. If he tries to stand, pull him down with the collar so he can't stand properly. Move back and keep pulling him in and down to pull him off balance and into a hooking sweep. Will work with other versions of open guard, esp. your feet on his knees while he is kneeling. Continuing to move back and keep his head down with the collar are sound tactics.
2. If he is on his knees and pulls back. Your R hand is in his collar and L hand on his sleeve. .L knee on the floor, L shin pointing R. Swing R foot back behind; push with R leg and punch forward with your R hand, driving him to his R and off his knees onto his back; try to get to Side control, and avoid the guard - watch out for armbars.
3. Same position, grab his R collar with you R a little low snd punch it on to his chest, pulling the collar across his throat. Pull his head down (Huen sao) with your L, with your L forearm on the back of his head thread your L hand under your R wrist and pull your L fingers back to choke. His escape is to weave his head to his R, under your L arm. To prevent this, fall to your left, and push your L elbow to your R, thus strengthening the choke.
If manages to weave his head out, his weight is on his R side and you are in perfect position to punch with your R and push him over as in 2 above.
4. You have side-back control on his L side. His elbows are in. drive your L hand in under his L arm and grab his wrist. Move his L hand toward his L knee as you put your weight on his L shoulder and drive it down. This will prevent him from turning to his L toward you and pulling guard. Move to the front and put your knees on either side of his head. Move with small steps to your L until he falls to his right. Sprawl and crush his arm on your wrist; apply the figure 4. After securing the grip, go back to knees either side of his head. move his arm anticlockwise to apply the kimura.
5. Like 4, except you come to your feet as you move around to the front; put your weight on his shoulders with your knees, or by sort of sitting on him. sit down on your left with your R foot next to his head, your L shin in his back or left side and roll him to his R to armbar his L arm..
6. If he rolls forward to undo his L arm step around his head to take kneeride on his L side, keeping hold of his arm.
7. He is turtled, you are right behind him. "Dovetail” him, putting all your weight on his hips. Do not put one of your legs between his, as he can reach through, grab your leg, roll forward and catch you with a kneebar. Slide your L hand over his left thigh and cup his right knee, similar on the R side but blocking his elbow. Move out wide to his right and lift his L leg, rolling him to his right toward you. Once he falls transfer your L hand to grab his L upper arm, elbow low and pressing into his back like Rodin's "The Thinker." Come to your knees to get side control, crush his arm and get the figure 4. Come up on your R foot with the foot just behind his head then drive the shin over his head to get your knee to the floor and turn to front control, and apply Kimura. Works well against someone who escapes side control to knees, let them go and run around to their back as they come to their knees, get your arms in over their legs and roll them over so they keep moving in the same direction.
It is a good tactic when you have someone's back like that to put your hands in behind their elbows and keep pushing their elbows forward, thus disrupting their position,
John spoke at some length on developing a "game", and associated topics.
A game is essentially your ideal strategy and tactics for winning a match or beating an opponent. Ideally it is fairly simple. john related the example of Geoff Thompson, the famous British martial artist and writer, whose "game" could arguably be boiled down to a single move: right cross. However, a game is not just a small number of techniques; it must be based on the fundamentals of the selected delivery system, and also have a support system.
The fundamentals are the basic techniques and movements of your selected art. In boxing it would be jab, cross, hook, uppercut, overhand, bob, weave, parry, and footwork. In BJJ, it would be something like the 36 techniques you need to demonstrate to be able to grade to blue belt in the Machado system.
These and all the other techniques you learn, along with various tactics, etc. form your support system. Your game may be a small number, or even just one, technique; your support system is necessary for the hopefully relatively infrequent times when you cannot immediately apply your game. For recovering when things go wrong, or the "Plan B" from John's own theory of combinations (on his website, bjj.com.au). A support system will ideally be both broad and deep (more on this below)
In BJJ, for a decent game at a minimum you need a guard pass, sweep, and finish.
To select techniques for your game, selection guidelines are:
1. It should be somewhat out of the mainstream, so that surprise and unfamiliarity will work for you.
2. At the same time, it should be employable in situations that arise fairly often.
3. The first step must be doable. The "Twister", a submission which requires eight moves to implement, and with which Eddie Bravo (and maybe others) have won black belt level competition with, illustrates that such complex stepwise moves are achievable - but you must be able to do the first step.
Breadth and Depth
In BJJ, breadth of a person's game indicates their ability to flow between techniques and switch tactics on the fly. When you can't make one thing work, move on to something else. Depth refers to the ability to persist with a technique, progressively removing obstacles and solving problems until reaching your goal, the successful implementation of the technique.
John calls the two mindsets "The Frog" (breadth, jumping and looking everywhere) and "The Tyrannosaur" (depth, tunnel vision, complete concentration on a single goal).
An equal balance of breadth and depth is desirable; most people however have a natural inclination toward one mindset or the other, and one role of the coach is to develop that balance in each student.
John also discussed one of his methods of developing techniques, which he refers to as "reverse engineering" - to find out how to achieve a complex position, perhaps with multiple complex controls, start at the end position and work backwards in a stepwise fashion, until you end up at a common position where you are comfortable. Run the steps in the forward order, and you have your methodology for applying the technique.