Last night during the fundamentals of BJJ class we introduced the Toreando or Bull Fighter guard pass. The Toreando guard pass is standing guard pass where you control both of the bottom jiu-jitsu players legs and then move around them to land in either side control or the knee on belly position. Off of this guard pass we worked a number of techniques designed to acclimate all of our new students to standing guard passing from both the top and bottom positions.
The focus of the night was movement, being able to link techniques together smoothly while at the same time training key reactions into our muscle memory using situational drilling. We started with a Toreando pass to knee on belly switch, and then moved to defense or Re-guard for the bottom bjj player. On the bottom it is essential to keep your feet in-between you and the top player, if he or she is able to circle around your legs you not be able to maintain the guard position. After this drill we introduced the idea of changing directions for the top bjj player. When the bottom player stops the pass to the left we pass to the right. The last drill of the night included each of the previous techniques but added in an armbar and an armbar recovery into the flow drill. We are often afraid to attack the armbar if it means we will lose position and be stuck on the bottom. Understanding how to stay on top if your armbar is not successful is essential to developing a solid attack.
This class was not only included a great deal of cardio but also helped new students develop several intangible qualities that are required to develop good jiu-jitsu, continuing to move despite being fatigued, timing, balance, mental toughness just to name a few. Part of being able to defend yourself in a stressful situation is to remain calm, and to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Last night’s BJJ class helped every student on the mat get a little bit better at developing those qualities.