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    Guard Surfing

    I've been talking a lot lately about Aliveness, teaching and training methods, the Inquiry method, the fleshing out Isolation stage, Inquiry Method, Fundamental Fives and the instruction and drilling of concepts over techniques. And now I've got one more to add to that pile which is a combination of all of those. Namely, guard surfing.

    This is a drill that Matt Thornton came up with to teach guard passing. He broke down what he considers the primary pressures when passing guard and gave these names. How this applies to drilling and teaching guard passing is explained below. Sadly you're out of luck if you want to learn how to do each pressure (it's only on video from SBG members), but I think you'll find the idea interesting in itself.

    Here's what Matt has written about it on the SBG Forum:

    Guard Surfing
    1. Barrel
    2. Tripod
    3. Push
    4. Pull
    5. Squat
    6. Rudder
    7. Lift
    8. Spike
    9. Hip in
    10. Reset
    The ten pressures are usually taught two at a time. An example of a typical progression I use:
    1. Barrel/Tripod
    2. Push/Pull
    3. Squat/Rudder
    4. Lift/Spike
    5. Hip in/Reset
    Start with at the introduction phase, I will demonstrate two pressures, i.e. Barrel/Tripod. Minimum instruction is given, just some basic pointers. I allow the athletes 3-5 minutes to play, without resistance, with the pressures.

    Then I hit the timer.

    This is a very tiring drill, as there is no rest time in it. The maximum I have seen anyone do the drill is an 8 minute round. Typically I will use 3 minutes rounds where the athletes try to pass while I call out one of the two pressure. I will yell "Barrel!" or "Tripod!" and they try to pass accordingly.

    As the class progresses I add more pressures. Once all ten pressures are known by the athletes, you can begin the first round by calling out all ten, and this is where the drill really becomes powerful. I have sometimes taught a class of new people at my own gym using just three pressures and calling those out so that works too.

    Here is the really important key to this drill:

    Switching pressures the very instant the Coach yells it out is what is important, NOT passing. The objective is to switch your hips immediately, the very moment the new pressure is called, even if you are 3/4 of the ways into a successful pass. This is absolutely crucial.

    Why? Because this forces the athlete out of their own comfort zone and requires them to engage in a series of movements that they may otherwise have never used before. And this, in my opinion, is a big reason why the drill drastically improves everyone's passing game so much.

    Secondly, each pressure represents a certain "type" of hip position. So switching between the various hip positions is what creates the element of skill.

    Passing therefore is a distant objective in comparison to the two above stated ideals.

    If the athletes follow the directions, the passing will just happen on its own. They will literally fall into passes that they have never otherwise noticed or used.

    You can add two pressures per round. If they are brand new, you may want to just add one pressure per round, especially with more complicated pressures like Lift or Spike. As I stated above, once you have a group which knows all ten pressures already, as my current ICC class does, then you can call out all pressures every round. Three 3-minute rounds per side makes for a fantastic warm up and skill set practice. I usually do a few rounds of this every time I teach passing now in class and at least once per week now.

    The pressures of Squat and Rudder is always taught together, as Rudder is the one pressure you don't call out since it goes hand in hand with Squat as it is only done off of the Squat.

    I used to say Sink, which is the term Steve Whittier used at camp, but I changed it to Squat as it is a better description of what I am trying to get the athlete to do (it also creates a distinction between Sink and Spike, which is important to the drill). So no matter where they are in the moment, the instant the coach yells out "Squat!", they squat, and if there is an obstruction, they follow with a Rudder, which is just a hip switch in this case.

    (Much thanks to Steve for inspiring this drill with his guard passing segment at Spring Camp.)

    I also used to use the term "Bail" instead of Reset, but changed to Reset as Bail sounds a lot like Barrel, especially if you have been yelling out pressures for 30 minutes. So it is less confusing.

    I should also add that good music is a key to this drill. In general I play a lot of Bob Marley when teaching this drill. It seems to have the right vibe.

    I will post a video of this drill, pics of each pressure, and also add the brief set of instructions and pointers I give to the athletes at the start of each Introduction round.

    If there are any questions let me know. I would really like to hear feedback as the various coaches try this drill with their athletes.

    As I stated, I have been teaching this at seminars and my own gym, and the results have been pretty amazing. I am sure everyone will enjoy it. I consider this a fundamental to the curriculum now.

    #2
    Just...brilliant.
    Best poster ever x100000000000000000000000000000000000.
    And that's when I figured out that tears couldn't make somebody who was dead alive again. There's another thing to learn about tears, they can't make somebody who doesn't love you any more love you again. It's the same with prayers. I wonder how much of their lives people waste crying and praying to God. If you ask me, the devil makes more sense than God does. I can at least see why people would want him around. It's good to have somebody to blame for the bad stuff they do. Maybe God's there because people get scared of all the bad stuff they do. They figure that God and the Devil are always playing this game of tug-of-war game with them. And they never know which side they're gonna wind up on. I guess that tug-of-war idea explains how sometimes, even when people try to do something good, it still turns out bad.

    Comment


      #3
      Am I the only one to notice how BJJ is sliding closer to CMA when it comes to naming principles and techniques?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by MEGALEF
        Am I the only one to notice how BJJ is sliding closer to CMA when it comes to naming principles and techniques?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MEGALEF
          Am I the only one to notice how BJJ is sliding closer to CMA when it comes to naming principles and techniques?
          No one gives a fuck about names in bjj (except sbgi). There is also very little consistency in naming since there are about a billion independent orgins for every technique.

          Comment


            #6
            There are 10 essential pressure listed for the Surfing Game. They are:

            1. Barrel
            2. Tripod
            3. Push
            4. Pull
            5. Squat
            6. Rudder
            7. Lift
            8. Spike
            9. Hip in
            10. Reset
            Ok not all of BJJ but at least SBG. If the above list had been written by an internal CMAist we would probably all have been giggling at its silliness. (Yes, perhaps these posts don't have much to do with actual grappling and would be better suited for the history forum.)

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MEGALEF
              Ok not all of BJJ but at least SBG. If the above list had been written by an internal CMAist we would probably all have been giggling at its silliness. (Yes, perhaps these posts don't have much to do with actual grappling and would be better suited for the history forum.)
              That's only because the names would be like: "Snake traverses the waterfall" and "Elephant parts the long grass"

              But seriously, as much as I don't want to "Monkey steals the coconut" some people, naming conventions are the first step to sharing information on a large scale.

              Comment


                #8
                Actually a lot of bjj guys do make fun of Thorton's terminology.
                The differnece between him and too many instructors of CMA though is that he isn't teaching crap and hiding it behind pseudoallegorical nonsense.

                Comment


                  #9
                  "The differnece between him and too many instructors of CMA though is that he isn't teaching crap and hiding it behind pseudoallegorical nonsense."

                  No, he much prefers pseudointellectual & pseudospiritual nonsense.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Last edited by Shuma-Gorath; 4/24/2007 2:06pm, .

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Spezza
                      "The differnece between him and too many instructors of CMA though is that he isn't teaching crap and hiding it behind pseudoallegorical nonsense."

                      No, he much prefers pseudointellectual & pseudospiritual nonsense.
                      I'm really disappointed that a 4 stripe brown belt has so little to contribute to a grappling forum. We tend to give higher ranked people more leeway in what they post here, but I'll start kicking your posts if you don't plan on contributing more than this to threads. Especially threads that have been dead for 6 months.
                      "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Spezza
                        "The differnece between him and too many instructors of CMA though is that he isn't teaching crap and hiding it behind pseudoallegorical nonsense."

                        No, he much prefers pseudointellectual & pseudospiritual nonsense.
                        He does prefer those things, fortunately he isn't sheltering crap behind them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think his drills are not too complicated. he says he teaches 2 pressures at a time and then has guys drill them for 5 minutes. How is that complicated? Also, there is terminology at a lot of gyms. It's much easier to coach when you say" Tripod" then, "Hey, get your ass up and put a shoulder on him and then try to blah blah blah blah"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That's one of my sticking points for liking SBGi (aside from Thornton's lectures). Their nomenclature may be goofy but there's a name for everything.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Shuma-Gorath
                              That's one of my sticking points for liking SBGi (aside from Thornton's lectures). Their nomenclature may be goofy but there's a name for everything.
                              That's why I like Judo a lot. There's a formalized, systematized pedagogical system. Kano was a very smart guy who also happened to be a professional educator.

                              There are names for most things (but not too many) and a progression for teaching principles and techniques. And, if you understand a bit of Japanese, the names are consistent and make a lot of sense -- and they're not goofy. It's also consistent everywhere on Earth.

                              Their groundwork nomenclature isn't a developed as BJJ for certain kinds of things (like naming various sweeps and passes) but is actually a bit superior in terms of naming positions.

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