T Nation

BJJ Technical Questions

Thought I would start a new post related to BJJ (with the gi)so we could try to answer any questions regarding the sport that ARE NOT RELATED to strength training.

So list your problems here. (ie how can I improve my cross choke? Why does my buttefly guard get passed easier then opening a 5th grade love letter)

Three pre-emptive answers.

  1. You used to wrestle? Cool. Then spend your first three months out of your comfort zone, which means on your back. I have trained with a lot of very good wrestlers who were poor BJJ players because they would only play to there wrestling strengths. Wrestling doesnt seem to help much when someone good puts you in their 1/2 guard, and even less when you get put on your back. A good wrestler who can empty his cup and start BJJ with “I used to wrestle, therefor Im good at BJJ attitude” are the toughest guys I’ve sparred.

  2. Put the gi on. I know you want to go no-gi so you can fight MMA, but put the gi on anyway. It makes your game tighter and requires you to think a lot more. My favorite example on this subject was when Marcello admited to training no-gi one day in six when prepping for ADCC. In my own experience, on the rare occasions I go no-gi I do just as well as anyone else (except I get confused sometimes looking for a lapel choke from the back)

  3. Train more. If you want to go white to blue with a legit instructor in a reasonable amount of time you need to get in a minimum of three times a week. Although at first I wouldnt reccomend more the 4 days a week until your body is used to it. Once the cuts on your knuckles have scarred over, you can step it up :slight_smile:

[quote]Bigjitsu wrote:
Three pre-emptive answers.

  1. You used to wrestle? Cool. Then spend your first three months out of your comfort zone, which means on your back. I have trained with a lot of very good wrestlers who were poor BJJ players because they would only play to there wrestling strengths. Wrestling doesnt seem to help much when someone good puts you in their 1/2 guard, and even less when you get put on your back. A good wrestler who can empty his cup and start BJJ with “I used to wrestle, therefor Im good at BJJ attitude” are the toughest guys I’ve sparred.
    [/quote]

To be honest, while I don’t disagree that humbling yourself and trying to round out your game is a good idea. I really think wrestlers would be better off spending their time learning how to set-up, apply and defend against submissions from positions that they commonly encounter; than trying to re-wire themselves to play the guard game.

I also think that an art like Catch Wrestling is a much better fit for a wrestler than BJJ, as it’s emphasis is on maintaining superior control/position, getting quickly and safely off your back if you get put there, and still has quite a few very effective submissions (or “hooks” as they call them). BJJ tends to have a completely different mindset than wrestling/catch wrestling and a lot of wrestlers have a hard time adjusting to it from what I’ve seen.

That said, if a wrestler does get very good at guard/his BJJ skills, he/she will be a very dangerous grappler.

One thing I’ve always struggled with is when my opponent has me in side control. I usually try and work back to half-guard from there, and then from half-guard try and get my full guard back on. Is that the logical step or should I be looking to explode out (if at all possible) and get back to my base?

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
One thing I’ve always struggled with is when my opponent has me in side control. I usually try and work back to half-guard from there, and then from half-guard try and get my full guard back on. Is that the logical step or should I be looking to explode out (if at all possible) and get back to my base?[/quote]

Just destroy your opponent with a chi strike. Works every time.

Really though…your question depends on who you are fighting. You should be equally adept at both approaches and choose the one that will put you in the best position against that opponent.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
One thing I’ve always struggled with is when my opponent has me in side control. I usually try and work back to half-guard from there, and then from half-guard try and get my full guard back on. Is that the logical step or should I be looking to explode out (if at all possible) and get back to my base?[/quote]

First off, being on the bottom of the side control equasion sucks… period. It has been one of my peronal demons for as long as ive trained, and seems the be the place where BJJ players go to die during comps. Best bet, avoid side control… but that doesnt really help so…

To answer your question
This would depend on how your opponent maintains side control. I personally like to aim for returning to half-guard and working my game from there. The half-guard game seems to be becoming more and more popular these days, and I have made huge gains in my overall game by focusing on drilling technique from there.

The other approach I like is the method of bridging away form your opponent while blocking with your inside forarm, and aiming to get to your knees in a turtle position, from which you can either sit back to a guard variation, try to stand up, ect.

In general the only way to defend side control is to drill a lot of it. So many people half-ass their bridge and try to bench the guy off. The key is to make space between you and your opponent hips (in general) which in my opinion can not be achieved consistently or effciently by trying to bench his/her upper body off of you.

two sweet bjj vids to watch and think about
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqJsG8UeKKY

Bigjitsu, where do you train? What belt, and why so eager to give advice?

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
One thing I’ve always struggled with is when my opponent has me in side control. I usually try and work back to half-guard from there, and then from half-guard try and get my full guard back on. Is that the logical step or should I be looking to explode out (if at all possible) and get back to my base?[/quote]

You should almost never get stuck in side control. What happens is people think, “OH, he’s passing my guard. OK. Now how do I get out of side control.” Once a guy starts passing my guard, I’m always getting a leg in for half guard. The philosophy is to not thinking about BJJ as a bunch of static positions. Always be scrambling.

When in side mount, there are several escapes. A lot will depend on the guy’s weight. With really heavy guys, I escape out the back door. With guys my size, I might roll them over.

If it’s a good wrestler, you’re not going to roll them. So go into half guard, and then into guard.

P.S. I am only a blue belt, so no expert. I am simply repeating what Marcello Garcia preaches. Since using that “always scramble, don’t view things as just positions” philosophy, I rarely get stuck in mount or side mount.

False. If he’s actually a good wrestler, you’re not fucking keeping the guy on his back. Period.

He might give up his back by rolling to his belly, which is a safe position. But you’re not keeping a good wrestler on his back. That’s a pin. If he’s good, a BJJ guy is NOT keeping him there. Again, it ain’t happening.

A better thing to say would be, “Just because you wrestled in Jr. High doesn’t mean you’re a wrestler.” I swear I’ve met more “All american” and “State Champ” wrestlers in MMA and BJJ gyms. Like, there aren’t that many state champs, but there are like 5 in every gym. All of the same age, same weight, and from same state. So, like, how did that happen? LOL.

[quote]The Woot wrote:
Bigjitsu, where do you train? What belt, and why so eager to give advice?[/quote]

Alas, dear woot Im a mere purple belt with only 5 years of bjj. Nope I am not a black belt. So you might as well just assume that anything written in this forum is totally wrong, and for entertainment purposes only. Where do I train? Would it mean anything to you?

In fairness I re-read my orignal post and it did come across a little Dr. Phil esque. So I changed it to convey my intent of creating a post to discuss BJJ technique. So please Woot, weigh in with something substantive, like your thoughts on escaping side control.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:

False. If he’s actually a good wrestler, you’re not fucking keeping the guy on his back. Period.
[/quote]

Californialaw,

Yeah, I wasn’t so clear in that… coffee hadnt hit yet. I have noticed in my own training, and watching other matches that wrestlers excell at certain aspects of BJJ but have a tendency to get hung up in certain positions consistantly.

Of course this is all relative, because there skills at a large portion of the game allow a good wrestler to wreak havoc on good white belts and some blue belts right away, their weakness in other areas stands out far more. Hence: If your a already a good wrestler and you want to do BJJ, you have the advantage of being able to focus your attention more intently on specific areas. Like being on your back, as in your guard game. Or passing the half-guard.

Now this is good advice. So sick of “wrestlers” who do the following.

  1. Posture up in guard. Do nothing active. Just sit there.

  2. If/when they pass guard, go to side control. Pin. Do nothing.

How is that BJJ? And how is anyone learning anything?

I personally do not enjoy training with wrestlers. My BJJ place has a whole host of ways to sweep and sub wrestlers. So it’s almost too easy.

They like to tripod up and posture forward, like doing a pin. Just roll over your shoulder to get top control. Since it’s hard to keep top control, start working on a guillotine from mount. As they roll back into your guard, finish the guillotine.

But it gets old.

[quote]

They like to tripod up and posture forward, like doing a pin. Just roll over your shoulder to get top control. Since it’s hard to keep top control, start working on a guillotine from mount. As they roll back into your guard, finish the guillotine.

But it gets old.[/quote]

I’ll keep this short because The Woot may start looking for me for challenge match.

My mount game is not super great but there are two things I like when I know the guy has a strong bridge.

  1. Cross choke. Right hand in as you bring your right knee to the guys armpit. Left leg slides back (staying tight) as you catch your balance with your head on the mat over your opponents left shoulder. Finish the choke with your left hand. I prefer the over grip on the left shoulder. Even if you do get rolled you have a good shot of finishing the choke.
  2. Bait S-guard. Let the guy bridge you and control his movement so he ends up his side with your knee pressed behind his neck (while sitting on your calf), and your opposite foot tight to his belly. Key is to drop your hips and stay low behind the guy. Play from there.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Bigjitsu wrote:Hence: If your a already a good wrestler and you want to do BJJ, you have the advantage of being able to focus your attention more intently on specific areas. Like being on your back, as in your guard game. Or passing the half-guard.

Now this is good advice. So sick of “wrestlers” who do the following.

  1. Posture up in guard. Do nothing active. Just sit there.

  2. If/when they pass guard, go to side control. Pin. Do nothing.

How is that BJJ? And how is anyone learning anything?
[/quote]

True. A pure wrestler who knows nothing about submissions, or how to get them isn’t all that dangerous. But, teach them how to get submissions from the positions that they commonly find themselves in (like inside someone’s guard/ 1/2 guard, side control, mount, north/south, etc…) and they are very tough opponents to deal with.

They generally have very good bases, hips, positional control, and great conditioning/aggression. Combine that with submission skills and watch out.

Personally I love training with wrestlers (at least those who aren’t only wrestlers) because it really tests my conditioning, and I know that if I can escape/reverse them, that I most likely would have no problem doing the same against a BJJ player. Because quite frankly, from my experience anyhow, other than the very best of the best BJJ guys, wrestlers as a group tend to be better at positional control and takedowns.

[quote]
They like to tripod up and posture forward, like doing a pin. Just roll over your shoulder to get top control. Since it’s hard to keep top control, start working on a guillotine from mount. As they roll back into your guard, finish the guillotine.

But it gets old.[/quote]

Are you talking about from side control, or guard?

From guard. Often wrestlers will tripod up and lean really far into you, like they are trying to pin your shoulders. I do a back roll over my shoulder to get mount. Now, how long am I going to have mount against a good wrestler? Not very long. So I start working the guillotine, knowing that the wrestler is going to start bridging immediately. Then as we roll back into guard, I finish it.

There are some other slick sweeps from guard to use on wrestlers. I can’t find the ones we use on YouTube, though.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Sentoguy wrote:Are you talking about from side control, or guard?

From guard. Often wrestlers will tripod up and lean really far into you, like they are trying to pin your shoulders. I do a back roll over my shoulder to get mount. Now, how long am I going to have mount against a good wrestler? Not very long. So I start working the guillotine, knowing that the wrestler is going to start bridging immediately. Then as we roll back into guard, I finish it.

There are some other slick sweeps from guard to use on wrestlers. I can’t find the ones we use on YouTube, though.[/quote]

I’ve used that escape from guard before. You can also possibly spin to a knee bar from there, or possibly triangle/arm bar depending on positioning.

What do you do (and I’m just asking about personal preference) if the guy defends/escapes your guillotine? Like let’s say he throws his arm over your shoulder, grabs your wrist with his other hand while pulling down (to relieve pressure on his neck), and again postures up placing his weight down into his shoulder/your neck, thus forcing you to let go of the guillotine. Do you have a flow from there that you like to use?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Djwlfpack wrote:
One thing I’ve always struggled with is when my opponent has me in side control. I usually try and work back to half-guard from there, and then from half-guard try and get my full guard back on. Is that the logical step or should I be looking to explode out (if at all possible) and get back to my base?

You should almost never get stuck in side control. What happens is people think, “OH, he’s passing my guard. OK. Now how do I get out of side control.” Once a guy starts passing my guard, I’m always getting a leg in for half guard. The philosophy is to not thinking about BJJ as a bunch of static positions. Always be scrambling.

When in side mount, there are several escapes. A lot will depend on the guy’s weight. With really heavy guys, I escape out the back door. With guys my size, I might roll them over.

If it’s a good wrestler, you’re not going to roll them. So go into half guard, and then into guard.

P.S. I am only a blue belt, so no expert. I am simply repeating what Marcello Garcia preaches. Since using that “always scramble, don’t view things as just positions” philosophy, I rarely get stuck in mount or side mount.[/quote]

Thanks. It’s like my brain goes dead if I get caught in side control. It usually only happens when I roll with guys bigger than me, so it’s a pain in the ass to try and get them off of me if they are keeping pressure tight.

Guillotine sweep! I saw it in an old Royler Gracie book, and have never been taught it in any of the many schools I’ve trained at.

I am the ONLY guy I see using this. Why? No clue, since it’s super effective. I’ve even caught brown belts with it.

The point is to NEVER STOP MOVING. (Oh shit, didn’t mean to scream.) If you keep moving, rarely will gets end up in side control. It will still happen, but at least 75% less often.

This is why when people say HIIT is the best for BJJ because BJJ is stop-and-go, I know they are full of shit and do not actually train; or if they do train, they are at a low level. (You can see more of my thoughts about this in Bodybuilding subforum thread about HIIT.)

BJJ is not a serious of starts and stops. BJJ, done properly, is never-ending movement. Show me where Marcello ever stops moving in his match against Diego:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXF8U2xEDvk&feature=related

Nowhere! He might not move as fast in parts, but he is always squirming. Always moving.

Always be moving. Oh, and as you can imagine, I don’t think “HIIT” is the best way to condition for grappling or MMA. :wink:

Fucking excellent thread…

So fucking true. My wrestling is decent but its not champion level I just have a knack for it. But if it were to be judged by how many “state champions” and “Division 1” wrestlers that I’ve thrashed like they were 2yr olds, you’d think that I won a gold medal.

I think you and I have discussed this before, but yea, I have no idea where the idea that the sport is stop and go came from. Even striking it’s not like you stop and stand in the same place, you’ll continually be working footwork, keeping your hands up, etc. even if you’re not giving a 10 on the perceived effort scale you’re never dropping below a 3 or 4…

In addition to (SOME) traditional aerobic work, various forms of sport specific endurance (bags, pads, etc)… I think that strong man medely’s or back to back circuits work the best.

for example
…(with a 10-15lb weighted vest on)…
muscle ups
50m sprint
Burpees
50m sprint
Farmers walk
50m sprint
1 arm snatches
50m sprint
squat jumps

Tabata work and stuff is great but not ideal. It has it’s place but imo circuit/medeley style is superior. Breaks are for pussies.

[quote]
Of course this is all relative, because there skills at a large portion of the game allow a good wrestler to wreak havoc on good white belts and some blue belts right away, their weakness in other areas stands out far more. Hence: If your a already a good wrestler and you want to do BJJ, you have the advantage of being able to focus your attention more intently on specific areas. Like being on your back, as in your guard game. Or passing the half-guard.[/quote]

Fucking agree big time. Imo the BIGGEST thing a person can do is get their fucking ego out of it. Just because you CAN smash someone doesn’t mean that you should. I’m stronger than most so I could clinch and must muscle them and knee the shit out of them but I won’t learn a fucking thing in plumb if I’m not working WITH someone instead of feeding my ego.

Likewise I might be able to out wrestle someone and get top position and fucking slam them twice and just get a choke. But thats only gonna work so long, its a one trick pony, and you’re not improving just basically masturbating.

If you KNOW certain shit works, start practicing the things you’re not sure about.

The problem is SO much ego is involved that everyone’s afraid of getting tapped. They want to be the gym badass and act like they’re at the fucking mundials every class.

If you relax, work on your weaknesses, and not mind getting tapped you’ll be the guy that gets tapped all the time in training but you’ll also be the guy with all the golds… no holes in his game… and that is continually improving.

"The point is to NEVER STOP MOVING. (Oh shit, didn’t mean to scream.) If you keep moving, rarely will gets end up in side control. It will still happen, but at least 75% less often. "

Word.

Cal-law, are you refering to the must have “Jiujitsu Theory and Practice” with Royler and Renzo?

If I recall the sweep in their version has you use your guillotine arm to underhook your opponents shoulder and then crank them over. Can’t remember if you use the hook on the knee to sweep as well. Any which way, as neck cranks are banned from IBJJF comps, it doesnt matter.

However, next time I am in the situation I will give that move a go. Thanks for the vid, I dont shoots guillotines ever, and I cant remember why… lol… time to revisit.