White Belt Questions, Black Belt Answers

Our fearless Panda Nation leaders Hillary and Nelson finally completed their relocation to Allentown, PA, placing them just minutes from Zombie BJJ, the school where I teach and train. That means I now get to see them all the time (or at least when they aren't jet setting to another BJJ Globetrotters camp). This gave me the idea for a new series on the Inverted Gear blog.

Every week, the /R/BJJ subreddit runs a White Belt Wednesday thread where you can ask any question, no matter how basic or embarrassing, without fear of judgment or criticism. These are always popular and people are very supportive with their replies.

The three of us pandas are going to to film answers to WBW questions. Below I've embedded the Q&A from our first week of filming. We'll be doing another round this Wed too.

To get our attention with your WBW question, the next time you post in a WBW thread, tag /u/invertedgearnelson, /u/invertedgearwitty or /u/aesopian.

White Belt Wednesday Q&A (from 9/14/2016)

xlice says: Any tips for how to free your foot when in 3/4 mount without getting rolled over? I've been trying to get a strong crossface, walk his arm up so he can't push my knee, then bring my free foot on top to kick my foot free, but at the last second I keep getting rolled over to closed guard as I can't establish any base to stop the upa.

Hillary answers how to pass when the ankle is stuck in guard

jacksnullpointer says: Any good resources (or at least a short overview) on grips? Which grips should you go for, grip fighting basics, what grips are considered 'strong' (as in, your first priority is breaking them, otherwise you are not going to be able to do anything). I just started going to gi classes after a couple of months of no-gi and I'm lost all over again. 

 Nelson explains grip fighting

SnoopyJackson asks: When you are in closed guard on top. How do you manage to be stable enough in order to avoid the sweeps (especially against upper belts )?

Nelson explains how to not get swept in closed guard

arlmwl says: I'm terrible at getting on my side and getting an underhook in bottom 1/2. Usually someone passes my guard, I get bottom 1/2, but then they flatten me out before I can get to my side. What should I focus on; being faster during the transition to get to my side, or should I try to slow them down with framing, knee shield, etc and then get to my side? I just feel like I'm missing some key in getting to a better position in bottom 1/2.

Matt explains what to do when flattened out in half guard

bitmoji says: I am a 3 stripe white belt. I have been training for about a year and nine months. I still can't reliably arm bar from closed guard.

Nelson teaches the armbar from closed guard

godofdestruction asks: Any tips on how to finish the darce? I see a lot of videos explaining how to get there, but not how to finish.

Matt shows how to finish the d'arce choke (and Nelson adds an escape)

That's it so far! We'll try to do more of these every week.