The Power of "Negative" thinking.
If you have read the previous topics, it is probably becoming obvious that "Space" is the Red flag I am trying to spotlight.
In most cases, space is not good. Once again, I stress most cases. There are a couple of exceptions.
One of those exceptions is when you're battling a guard player. Especially the open guard.
Keep in mind, if your opponent pulls guard, they want you to go forward. Why?
Let's think about this...
If Your opponent drops to the ground, and is willing to let you be on top of them, they probably are comfortable with being the "underdog". There's the first sign!
In most combat sports, the guy underneath is losing, However, in jiu jitsu, it is different.
Reason #1, When you are on your back, you have 4 limbs pointing at your opponent, verses their 2 limbs pointing down at you.
Your limbs are your tools/weapons. So in this case the guard player has an advantage.
Reason #2, It's easier to conserve your energy on your back, as opposed to constantly driving into your opponent like a training sled, or idling in a lunging stance fighting for a window to pass your opponent's guard. It's more energy taxing for a top player when they are up against a guard player that has an understanding of how use their legs or knee shield.
After considering these 2 factors alone, it's simply not that bad to be the guard player. To put it more boldly, the odds are actually in favor of the guard player.
When the top player pushes forward, there is always the risk of being knocked off balance, especially moving forward against a knee shield or leg lasso. As the top player goes forward they must also be aware of arm attacks or chokes that are available from different directions.
Plain and simple, passing the guard is not easy, that's why it's the second highest point scoring transition in Jiu Jitsu. Every time you go forward, the guard player has a chance. So what do you do?
Here is the answer..
Don't go FORWARD!!
Back away! Simply move back and don't let your opponent play with your weight. keep your neck and arms away from the "strike zone" of the guard player. This is what we refer to as "playing negative".
Most of us learn from the start to pressure pass and try to crush our opponents guard, but there is no rule that says you have to go forward Into the guard player's grasp.
It's a natural reaction to go forward. However, you should make your opponent earn the position of playing guard, as opposed to just walking right into their traps. When you go forward, you give the open guard player a chance to play with your base and control your limbs. In other words, "Smash passing" is not the only way. Instead try to back away and exhaust their grips, and once their guard becomes loose, then try to go around, under or through the middle if they try to sit up.
Keep your eyes open for future demonstrations on this concept.
Long story short...
Take a few steps back, to have much more success going forward.