The wrestling coach that attends judo told me to think of a sprawl as an offensive action all by itself.
My shitty open guard passing has picked up a lot since I started "feeling" which side my opponent wants to have the half guard in, and then fighting to pass on the other side. I feel more secure passing to the left, but if he wants me to pass on the left, I will simply not pass there, back off and then start passing on right.
Same thing from the guard - if he wants to pass on my left, I'll make sure to invite him into my right. I rather use my weak side than let him decide.
For me it would be continuously scrambling to retain/replace guard when somebody was nearly passed. When I was new, it felt like I'd just lay there and wait for somebody to take side mount rather than continue to try and preserve my guard. I'd be like "Ah, they got me. Time to work my escapes."
Also the notion of using your body weight against your opponent. Took me a while to learn how to make myself heavy.
It has already been said before but it needs to be repeated again(and again and again). Always attack. Miss a throw, attempt another one, miss that one, attempt another.
And if you do get part of a throw but he is starting to defend, drive, don't let him get away or counter. Don't let him set you up.
So about a month ago I started at a new academy after near a year's absence from BJJ in Judo. The time in belt is longer than my old academy, a couple judo injuries and my absence has combined to bump me back down to blue belt level in rolling (except in no-gi, which I don't even like very much).
Last week I got massively overstoned and had a huge paranoid freakout (I called everyone I know at 3 AM to tell them this). I figured training the next day would do me some good, even though I was in far from peak physical condition. To my surprise I was back up to purple belt level.
I wracked my brain for why and then it hit me: the cannabinoids were still in my bloodstream, which annihilated my usual impatience while rolling. Simply put, I was too stoned to rush. I tended to rely on being quick and squirmy way too much during rolling due to being one of the smallest colored belts also, and a year of judo had taught me to hunt after subs without taking the time for setup.
So the epiphany is: patience.
This one came to me after a brown belt kept destroying my guard. If they have to carry your weight every time they move their hips they'll get tired. Stay heavy with your hips pressuring into theirs and they'll slow down giving you the pass, submission, or create openings.
The two biggest ones that I've had to date:
- Move yourself, not your opponent
- Space is your enemy on offense and your friend on defense