London Warriors Cup

London Warriors Cup Podium

Another Bronze, but a good day out and I’m broadly happy. Lost my first (against the ultimate winner) by ref’s decision and then won my second by submission (americana from side control).

The first match was more interesting (at least from my perspective) that the lack of score makes it sound. I pulled guard and tried to submit or sweep him, while he tried to pass my guard. Basically our games were asymmetric. His passing was good, but my guard retention was better. However he had a similar advantage in posture / top-defence. So, while we moved through various guards — de la riva, feet on hips, closed, single leg x and half — neither of us could really make our game plans work. He took the ref’s decision and I think that was right; he got round to half guard at one point, which was more comparative progress than I was making.

The second match I did make my game plan work. Pulled, then used the sleeve / tricep grip to bring his arm across and move towards the back. He managed to escape before I got round, but burned up too much energy doing so. Also, he quite rightly didn’t want me to get him back into a similar position, but started to focus on it too much. This allowing me to sweep him into top-half and pass into side control. Got the americana grip and started to apply the sub. He was tough and definitely made me work for it. At one point he’d almost turned his back to me and I strongly considered transitioning. But, I felt the sub was there and, having adjusted to bring his arm closer into his body I got the tap.

What I’m taking away is that I still need to make my guard more aggressive. I was more assertive than I’ve been in the past, but still some way to go. I need to trust that a) a more aggressive guard will keep them on the defensive and thereby act as its own retention and b) that my guard is good enough that I will be able to get myself back out of trouble if a sub or sweep attempt goes wrong.