A few months back, we began drilling deep half guard in the advanced class and it was beyond awkward for me– heck, for most of us. But this past Thursday, something changed and I found myself using it several times during training, and with success.
The past 8 weeks have been pretty rough on me, training wise. First, I incurred a tear in my left MCL. That caused me to take 3 solid weeks off. And I’m still nursing it. Then, 2 weeks ago I bruised a tendon in my right knee as a I was taking side control on someone. It’s just been a lot of pain for me and not very much training.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, my first day of trying to do some free rolling, I found myself getting to my opponent’s leg. But because I couldn’t really get back up and make effective use of a single leg, I went in and hugged the leg up high. It was definitely a stall tactic. But I didn’t really care. I wasn’t trying to go for a submission. I was trying to get some mat time in.
Anyway, as my opponent was trying to shake me, I found I could simply sink it in deeper and deeper. It wasn’t deep half guard, but it was just tight. Like I said, wasn’t trying to win anything, just trying not to get clobbered or do anything to stress my knee. This was back when I still had just one hurt knee.
Then last Sunday, when I was training, I found myself with the same single leg again. Only this time I tried to get my opponents into my x-guard. I didn’t have any luck in fully executing this move. But I kept getting into position for it. For some reason, it felt very natural to simply shoot my one leg in between both of my opponent’s and then try to lift his one leg. I simply couldn’t stretch out his other one. Might of had something to do with the fact that my left knee hurt like crazy to do any sort of twisting.
Along comes this Thursday and I found myself going for the x-guard again, but rather than just lose the position, I found myself countering my opponent’s counter, which turned out to be the perfect entrance for deep half guard. And from deep half guard, I found myself nailing the sweeps each time. It was shocking to me.
What a great setup and move and I was able to use it with no speed or strength– because I had neither.