This year I had to put a ten million Won deposit down on an apartment (about $9,500), and I bought a new computer after my old one completely broke down.
I decided the responsible thing to do was to enjoy my free time at home. Well, I didn't really stay at home. I spent the whole week training at the gym.
Lately, I've really been working on passing relentlessly. Mostly from half guard knee shield and open guard. My instructor has been teaching my some of his "secrets" and also taught me a killer pass to completely destroy the knee shield and open guard. I told him that he needs to start charging money for this pass, because I have been working on it and have been consistently passing people's guards, that previously gave me problems.
The five key points in general that I have been working on to pass half guard and some forms of open guard are:
1. When I start, keeping my inside arm wrapped around my inside leg (making sure that my leg is bent and that there is no space between my calf and hamstring to stop a DLR hook) and keeping my chest and stomach tight to my leg (no space) before I start to pass. This posture stops a DLR hook and the position of my arm around my leg and my chest and stomach pressed against my leg keeps my opponent from placing his foot on my hip and trying to go to open guard. My outside leg (the one not hooked if I am in half guard) is splayed out, slightly to the back to avoid my opponent grabbing it to get into X-guard.
*Sorry guys, I can't post any photos. My instructor has asked me not to put any photos or videos of his techniques, and I have to respect that. If you are ever in Korea though, I will be more than happy to show you!
2. Creating an angle before I pass
3. Head and shoulder pressure, that is using my head and smashing it (nicely of course) into the side of my opponent's face
4. Not forcing anything
5. Staying in a ball (you knew I'd say that)
I also have to control my opponents hips, but that goes without saying.
I have to say that it feels great when you put in a lot of hard work and start seeing results. BJJ is very rewarding in that aspect. It feels even extra rewarding for me, because as a white belt and until about midway through my blue belt I hated trying to pass guard. I don't weigh very much and even as a blue belt guys would just bench press me off of them. Hell, that even still happens occasionally. Lately I have been getting comments like, "Your pressure feels really good" and, "Wow, I can feel your pressure". Small little comments like that me me feel like I'm walking on air. I feel a lot more comfortable and confident in my passing now.