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PURCHASE YOUR LEG DRAG WORKSHOP DVD HERE:
Read these thorough reviews:
THE NEXT REVELATION:
“HE WHO CONTROLS THE SCRAMBLE HAS THE EDGE”
This essay is a follow up on “Mental Revelations of The Progressing Grappler.” I am pleased to announce that the initial list was not exhaustive (though I never purported it to be), and even as I have continued to progress, my eyes are continually being opened to new features and aspects of grappling. My prayer is that you are exposed to this revelation at an earlier stage in your training than I was and therefore are able to tailor your training to make your grappling as sharp as it can be.
Nature and Existence of “Scrambles”:
A scramble is a period of time within a match/roll where movement is opened up, neither participant has full control, and the apparent pace of the match quickens noticeably. Continue reading
TRAINING CONCEPTS FOR BJJ/MMA/SUBMISSION GRAPPLING
“Meeting and dismissing that inner-voice, the one that calls for retreat, calls for rest, calls for acquiescence to physical exhaustion, then proceeding forward, pushing on and achieving more than what you thought you could endure, hardens your ability to survive.” –Tim Sledd
Warriors, athletes, and competitors are looking for an edge. Some stay tuned to the latest diets, exercise routines, and literature. Some choose to buy the latest equipment, gear, or instructionals on their relevant field. But throughout history, a key characteristic of successful warriors, athletes, and competitors has been the desire to survive.
By “survival,” I mean the ability to meet great obstacles head on, overcome them, and continue forward with the mission. Perhaps the obstacle is pain, limited finances, or fewer troops, but to a real warrior, there is nothing that will get in the way of the mission. A small percentage of people exemplify this character trait, but all of us are born with this trait and can condition ourselves to endure obstacles so as to meet our goals.
“Fighting is actually the best thing a man can have in his soul.”
– Renzo Gracie Continue reading
Many people spend hours on the mat, hours watching instructionals, hours in the gym and often they are left looking for an edge. Nothing replaces mat time, but proper conditioning and strength building are components of any athlete’s over all game and often the difference between winning and losing.
Of course running and weight lifting can help you develop sufficient cardio and strength to excel in grappling. What do you do when you are bored with those options, don’t have a gym near by, or believe (as I do) that running is harder on the body than an armlock and weight lifting is inefficient? You turn to non-traditional yet functional alternative training methods.
Below are several cheap, simple, and FUNCTIONAL exercises that will leave you exhausted while building relevant strength. There is AMPLE example and explanation on how to do the exercises that I demonstrate, so I (after demonstrating the exercise) take you through it’s BJJ/Grappling counterpart. Enjoy the exercises, and Happy Grappling! Click “read more” to see the vids. Continue reading
Regarding having trouble with bigger classmates, I always take the approach that they are going to have to play to my terms. I am a top fighter, so with large tough guys, I won’t pull guard and start from the bottom. Instead, I will work for the top and practice smashing them. If you find yourself in bad positions with the big guys, remember their weight cannot be everywhere at once!
Take cross side for example, if they are crushing your chest with theirs, their legs will be light… Grab their pant legs and lift while moving your hips and legs to re-guard! If they’re sitting back on their ankles, put both hands on their head and push as you shrimp away. Alternate between these two until you catch a hole.
I have found that a key thing to rolling with larger partners is to try and be as rounded and ball like as possible! (See Roy Dean’s explanation of this on Youtube) Don’t let them stretch you out and smash you but instead make them work to open you up, in so doing they will create space.
Regarding how to address the larger, stronger partner who uses strength versus technique to escape: One way to address this is to use tight defense, let them wear themselves out, and then look for the hole to capitalize on. (Helio’s method)
Another thing to do is to make a mental note of when they use muscle, then review the roll with them afterward and ask them, “If I weighed what you do and was as strong as you, do you think you would have been able to pull that off? How about you try using this technical escape instead.” They will respect that you are teaching them despite their ‘dominance’ and hopefully they will see the flaws in their jiu jitsu.
Communication is the key. Identify the exact moment or position that you are suffering failure at. Communicate to your partner that you want to explore this position and construct remedies. A good training partner will gladly do this.
Good luck and have fun…
If you are not from the midwest, then the term ‘rut’ might be foreign to you. A rut is a low, trench-like path that out is difficult to escape. Often, when one is traveling in a rut, it feels as though the rut is controlling the direction of your progress. (e.g. if a 4-wheeler is going through a field and his tire gets stuck in a rut caused by a tractor, it can make steering difficult.)
Training Ruts are periods of perceived stagnation in your progression or development in jiu jitsu. They are often indicated by inability to perform basic techniques with the same ease on lesser classmates, decreased successfullness of defenses, mental blocks, frustration, and physical exhaustion.
Causes of training ruts:
My guess to the causes of training ruts is based solely on my experiences with them. Here is my list of causes of training ruts:
1. Your strategy has become apparent. (Your classmates are picking up on your cues of movement, your tells of attack, and therefore they are employing alternative strategies)
2. You have drank the ‘flashy koolaid‘! (Someone or something has convinced you that there is an easy way to do this… as such you are trying an ‘easy way’ and it isn’t working)
3. You are over-training. (Jiu jitsu training occurs in class, after class, and every moment of the day you think about it. Make sure to take some healthy time away… you have the rest of your life to have fun with this)
4. Your classmates have hit the curve. (I have come to realize that there are interesting curves in jiu jitsu knowledge… they tend to indicate readiness for belt promotion. Take for example a student on whom you could hit a basic hip switch method to mount time in and time out, but now anytime you make any attempt to mount you are re-guarded, or worse reversed… that white belt is hitting the curve of linking the techniques to their practical purpose. Or, let’s say you training with a blue belt who has always been good at armbar from the guard, but this time he sweeps you with arm-inside sweep and immediately is setting up s-mount armlocks… that blue belt is chaining moves together in productive sequences. That does not happen overnight, but once the switch is flipped, the upward curve is sharp.
List of ways to get out of the rut:
1. Identify why you are in a rut. The reason leads to the solution
2. If it is mental or physical exhaustion… take a very brief break. Enjoy a night away from class.
3. If is because you are drinking magic potion ‘easy-way’ crap… quit! Focus on the fundamentals… they work.
4. If it is because your strategy has become apparent… determine how they are defending or countering and prepare your attack to their defense or counter… work to stay steps ahead of them.
5. If it is because your classmates have hit a curve… be patient if you are training right your curve will come. Refocus your attention on the core basics and making sure you are sharp there too.
I hope these suggestions help with dealing with training ruts.
Dealing with losing!
I have only heard of one guy who claims to have never lost a competitive BJJ match… Rickson Gracie. Putting him aside, all others have lost. It comes with the nature of the game. There are so many variables that any confluence of a few in the direction opposite of your favor is likely to result in a loss. Here is the vid of my latest loss (as of 6/14/08):
One of the keys regarding losing is making the experience positive. What happened? Were you out-classed, surprised, caught dumb in the moment, under conditioned, or did you lose due to a bad ref call? Regardless of the answer to these, there are lessons to be learned that will better your training and performance in the future. Use a loss to do the following:
1. Evaluate your strategy. (Are you over doing it or under doing it. A flying gogo plata might theoretically be cool, but I have yet to see it as a viable strategy)
2. Identify your weaknesses. Nothing is better than failing to pass the guard to tell you that part of your game needs work. Likewise, if you got caught twice in an armbar from the guard evaluate why and address that mistake.
3. Use a loss as a call to train harder and smarter for the next tournament. If you did no win, the event was ‘no joke’.