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Grab first for advantage, grab best for victory

Megaton feels that 80% of your grappling will either be passing or attacking from guard so it is important to train from there.  We used various training scenarios to warm-up.  All these are trained at 50%, there is no winning at warm-up:
  • Passing the guard versus partner trying to prevent passing, no submissions or sweep, e.g. the bottom player is ahead,
  • Staying in the guard versus partner trying to sweep or reversal, no submissions, e.g. player inside the guard is ahead.
Upa technique: Even as basic a technique as the upa can still have details that make it more efficient and technical.  When you upa, grab their sleeve distal to the shoulder on the side you plan to turn toward and pull them to you, making everything more cylindrical.  Drop your elbow on top of their thigh (the same one you are trapping with your foot).  Use both feet to bridge straight, trying to put your opponent on their head, before trying to turn over.
Shark cross collar choke: Open the lapel with your ipsilateral hand to insert your contralateral hand, palm up as deep behind the neck as you can.  Twist your shoulders, chest perpendicular to the opposite collar and position your hand like a shark going in for a bit, that is, so that the fingers will not collide with the kimono lapel.  Square up.  Your choke should be tight even before starting to try to submit them.
Z-guard tripod pass: The Z-guard is basically the half-guard with the superior knee inside and diagonal across the thorax.  Underhook the top leg and grab the pant leg on the bottom just proximal to your partner’s knee.  With the other hand grab the same side lapel.  Tripod up and slide the trapped knee through, then use it to clear their bottom leg, take the side mount.
Z-guard shrimp out pass: If you are unable to secure their collar, grab their ipsilateral sleeve, transition to this hip, shrimp your butt away from your opponent, using your bottom shin to pry your leg out.  If they try to get up pull them flat with the sleeve control or with both sleeve and pant leg.
Cross collar and arm choke: From guard (or half-guard) obtain cross collar control,  reach across and pull their arm across forming a choke with their arm and your forearm.  Shift in the direction of their crossed arm to avoid getting drilled by their elbow, place pressure with your chest on their arm as you pull them in with the cross collar control.
Hooks-in elevator sweep variation: Obtain ipsilateral collar and sleeve control, transition onto the same gluteal as you have sleeve control.  Elevate the hook on the collar control slide to sweep them to the sleeve control side
Hooks-in to X-guard sweep: Grab both collars and lift onto your hooks, pivot to one side placing your head on one shin and under hooking this leg.  The leg that was ipsilateral stays hooked behind their knee while your opposite foot pushes the medial thigh away from you.  Transition to kneeling and to your feet, pull/step backward to pull them to that mat, reversing position.
Hooks-in to reverse arm bar:  You do the above and your opponent posts both hands to the mat.  Under hook one arm, rolling your forearm over their arm just proximal to the elbow, grip your hands together.  Simultaneously, bring your hook out on this side and place in their hip, rotate the knee to their ribs.  Apply the reverse arm bar.
Toreador hooks-in guard pass:  Your opponent has you in hooks-in guard, grab their pant legs distally thumbs toward you.  Staple their feet to the mat, stand and pass to one side, try to find their heart beat and drive your weight into them to pass.
Tilt hooks-in guard pass:  Your opponent has you in hooks-in guard, underhook his leg and grab the distal pant leg, with your other hand grab their kimono in the back.  Post the leg on the same side as your under hooking arm.  Pull, tilting your opponent right to the mat.
Knee tap takedown:  From standing, grab the ipsilateral collar, pull them so that they step with their opposite foot, then drive laterally over this leg, tapping their knee on the way for the takedown.
Reversing reverse side control: Your opponent has obtained reverse side control, the arm nearest your head reaches across your body and is near your hip.  Grab this sleeve with the hand nearest your opponent.  Post up and roll away from your opponent, pulling them over you and somersaulting onto their back.
50-50 guard ankle locks
  • Straight ankle lock:  Wrap their ankle, wrist in their Achilles tendon, roll away from them, sliding your outside foot underneath and through their legs, posting the top of your foot on their far hip,  straighten your back to finish.
  • Inside figure four: Bump their knee to expose the ankle and foot, reach across your body to grab their toes, pinky finger to pinky toe.  Slide your near hand underneath distal ankle and grab the figure 4.  Attempt to put your opponent’s toe in their rectum, they should submit prior to this occurring.
  • Reverse straight ankle lock:  Again expose their ankle and foot, place your near wrist on their Achilles tendon, use your other hand to pull your hand toward your face for the ankle submission.  This is not a heel hook but a straight ankle lock.
My title comes from an observation today.  I believe that grips are critical for securing advantage and victory.  Megaton pointed out that sometimes your opponent gets a grip and you cannot free yourself.  In these cases, obtain your own grip to shut down their game.  Similar to Tony Blauer’s “Closest Weapon, Closest Target” this is “Nearest G, Nearest Grip”.  Then capitalize on this change in the control dynamic.

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