Tell you guys, jiu-jitsu is such a chess match. One minute you're dominating, the next, you're caught in something. Frustrating, very frustrating.
I played chess for years and JJ is full on chess. Maybe not like a whole game, but definitely like a small skirmish to capture a piece while maintaining strategic positioning.
As for frustration, I know it well. I'm new (4 months) and spend a fair bit of time rolling with a blue belt who stopped training 5 years ago and just started again. I'm bigger by about 25 pounds, but he is a mini tank. Extremely strong and mobile and LOVES to go to my back from his guard and choke me.
I literally spend 10 or 15 minutes at a time in his guard (which he keeps closed and tight) and only occasionally escape, and usually end up back in there pretty quick. I've gotten better at stopping his choking me but it takes a lot of time and effort. Last time we met it took him almost 20 minutes to finally get me and he really had to work for it so I guess that means I must be doing something right.
When I do defend him from my back we end up back to me in his guard and I always joke "And now my reward for fending off the choke...BACK TO YOUR GUARD! YAYYY!!" Talk about demoralizing...
I'm off to meet him in about 90 minutes. Wish me luck.
if you guys are learning he shouldnt just hold you in his closed guard. one reason he might be having a hard time tapping you now, is 1 you have gotten better and 2 he is just holding you in a closed guard and trying the same things. you should ask him to work an open guard some and allow you to work on things. kind of off subject but just a suggestion.
Just got back.
We didn't go full on, opting instead to work specific positional strategies, one of which being my cracking open his guard. I asked him to go about 60% then 80% then 90% each time while I tried some new methods I read about last week. Each time I was able to get posture and break his feet within just 10-30 seconds and get to side control most of the time therafter (he's got a compact frame and is good at getting his knees between us).
And yes, his guard game is usually just keep it closed and tight, break my posture try to get my back and just generally wear me out and frustrate me. He'd rarely open his guard to attempt sweeps and subs.
But now he's going to have to because that above strategy is not going to work on me anymore and he realizes it as well as the fact that it's very one dimensional. So all in all a productive day.
One minute you're dominating, the next, you're caught in something. Frustrating, very frustrating. That's the beauty of the art. :)