Thursday, 21 October 2010

Aggressive Guard

Something that bothers me about jiu jitsu is the "lazy guard".

When playing the bottom game in BJJ there must be a sense of urgency. Too many times have I watched skilled jiu jitsu players practically falling asleep in their guards. The goal in jiu jitsu is to finish your opponent and advance in position.

Playing bohemian music and flopping around the mat are not going to prepare anyone for a combat situation. A classic pitfall to this type of training is becoming too wrapped up in technique and losing grit and toughness. I’m not saying avoid working on technique and become a spaz by any means. The goal is to be aggressive and attack non-stop. Work on your physical abilities while engaged in training not just your strategy.

The goal is to reach a level where everything is improving. As you advance in BJJ the following should also improve; stamina, strength, flexibility, skill, strategy, balance, toughness, heart, determination, etc! Don’t be one of those guys that gas out and quit the moment the training becomes challenging.

If you have any questions about this topic ask me and I’ll explain it in more detail. This is an important topic and one of particular annoyance to me so work on it!

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The core concept we are going to discuss is attacking fundamentals in the Jiu Jitsu game. Learning the sport of Jiu Jitsu and wrestling one often focuses on drilling the moves and learning the transitions. It’s critical to know the move inside out. The fundamentals of good offense in Jiu Jitsu is knowing when to execute a move, and then how to perform the technique. The second part involves good instruction and a willing drilling partner. Once you are able to perform the technique with speed and precision you are ready to learn the timing.

What I’m going to convey to you guys is the idea that every technique has an ideal timing. Lets use the guard position as our first example of offensive timing. While attacking inside your closed guard, there is a timing I call the “attacking zone,” it’s when your training partner is posturing up. This is the ideal time for an attack. Anyone with six months or more time training BJJ will understand the fundamental attacks. Knowing this, if I attack an armlock while my opponent is ready he can easily perform the counter. However, if I attack the move while he is focusing his attention on gaining posture I will have a much higher finishing percentage. If I attack the same move while my partner is in full posture or fully broken down he can defend much easier. A good set up is to break your partner down several times making him think only about the posture game. Then, surprise him with a submission attempt as he regains his posture. One of the ways more skilled jiu jitsu players win is by predicting their opponent’s next move. When you are able to start predicting your training partners moves, you will seem much faster and in turn finish more attacks.

Using the same concept will help your all around Jiu Jitsu game. Another example of attacking during the transition is the takedown game. The best time to attack your training partners hips is on his recovery. For instance, your partner attacks a double leg takedown but fails to finish. At this stage of his recovery, while your opponent is getting back to his feet is the most crucial time for a counter attack. In the takedown game, you will notice your opponent defending his hips well prior to his shot. After the initial sprawl there will be a moment of space ideal for an attack. It is essential that you learn these moments for fundamental attack timing. Also, when your training partner is switching his grips during grip fighting is an important transition to attack from. The same grip timing is also available in guard passing where you want to attack as your opponent switches grips. Every move in Jiu Jitsu has a fundamental timing where the move is most likely to succeed. Your goal as a student is to not only learn the techniques and drill them until proficient, but to also understand the appropriate timing of the move. I hope this has helped you guys out let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

First Year Of Training

There are many challenges to face the first year of Jiu Jitsu training. It’s important during this time period to keep a healthy prospective on what is important and what is not.

First of all, this is a long-term sport that takes hundreds of hours of practice to become proficient. It’s not realistic to expect to be finishing people on a regular basis until the appropriate amount of work has been devoted. The most important thing to focus on one’s first year is drilling moves and conditioning.

When your actively training you will be on the defensive most of the time as more experienced practitioners will be several steps ahead. Do not compete against fellow students in class this is not a tournament.
Everyone should be working on their own game plan and focus on themselves and not who is tapping who and so forth. The easiest way to stunt your progression in Jiu Jitsu is to close off your game. What I mean by this is you have to play open and try new moves to learn and progress. If you become competitive in training you will only use moves you feel comfortable with. Improving in Jiu Jitsu is all about taking chances and opening up during practice. In a tournament is the time to be competitive and care about winning and losing period!

The most effective strategy to get good in Jiu Jitsu is consistency and patience. When you learn moves in class drill them before and after the class and work on them during training. Jiu Jitsu is like life as the hard lessons come far before the rewards.

Good luck and stay positive!


"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training".