T Nation

BJJ Training Tips

I have been training BJJ for the past year.
I love being on top and don’t work so well off my back although im working on it.

What have some of you guys done to improve your takedown defense? Also what did you guys do to improve your shoots.

Repetition. Just shoot and get shot on often, and by better grapplers than yourself.

Yea, repetition is the best way. As for working your back, if you can let go of your ego, just start on your back all the time when grappling. You may get subbed more but you will learn much quicker. You can also start on your back against newer students. Eventually when you can dominate newer students you can move on to students at your level and start using knew techniques.

Yep. Pretty much the way it works is through endless repetition. Spend a few weeks wherein whenever you can, get shot on and shoot. Make sure to attend any wrestling classes on offer. Make it a focus. At a year in you should have enough of a base to focus on one aspect for a while.

And then, when you are better at avoiding the takedown, focus on guard work.

Your best bet is to actually develope your back game early. Most people feel that if they are on top they are winning. You have a little greedy voice inside you that wants one thing “control”. You can have control from any angle once you learn how, I say practice on your back, set a goal, Ex: May: you will work one only a few different things, and choose one submition.

Like for me I am working on Getting into Guard/knees from back, Sweeps, and if I can get an Arm bar I will, if not, keep working. pick a number, If I get A certian move like say 20 times or what ever go to a new one to work on. So Reps and work on those things that make you uncomfoftable, Back is such a good thing to work on. Good luck! Screw the ego, just have fun, getting tapped is an awesome learning tool.

[quote]Ianct wrote:
Ex: May: you will work one only a few different things, and choose one submition. [/quote]

This seems like a good plan. I like to try the same moves while rolling and just focus on those until they get easier. I’m playing around with guillotine and anaconda chokes now and transitioning between them in the sprawl. It’s getting easier and easier!

Do want you hate the most. So if your guard game needs, start or get that position when you roll. Best of luck

[quote]roc wrote:
Do want you hate the most. So if your guard game needs, start or get that position when you roll. Best of luck [/quote]

Agreed. If being on your back is what gives you the most trouble, work on your back game. Keep your hands in tight, work for guard and if you get mounted - hip-escape, hip-escape, hip-escape. Working on your weaknesses early on will make you more well-rounded. Have fun!

[quote]andruw_doucette wrote:
I have been training BJJ for the past year.
I love being on top and don’t work so well off my back although im working on it.[/quote]
Blindfold drills. My number one favorite, and I feel one of the most helpful, ways to practice. Either keep your eyes closed (no cheating) or fold a bandana around your eyes. It forces you to focus on body awareness and makes you think on a whole different level.

Your training partner should either be blindfolded too, or they should start out going just a bit less than 100%, until you get more comfortable with the idea. But after that, go all out.

If it’s at all possible, depending on how serious you are about it (if you’re competing), maybe look for some local universities’ wrestling programs and talk to the coach about watching some practices.

wash your gi after every practice. The number one piece of advice I’d give to anyone who trains in a gi.

Gi’s are gross.

as for training the TD defense and the (outside?) shot:

Instead of trying to get shot in on during live sparring you should try and drill it first. Have a guy shoot in on you at about 50% speed and learn to push the head down and take the armpit wizzer, while pushing your hips back into him.

It’s hard to explain in this way but this will spoil his leg and hip anchors and he won’t be able to turn out or turn you. From there you have the opportunity to either sit out if he got your legs or attack from the sprawl/back-side.

you have to train these movements at a drilling speed and then get faster. you also have to isolate the drilling. If you don’t isolate the specific situation then you wont be able to get the movement into your “skin” and it will not be as automatic in sparring.

The expansive nature of full sparring does not allow you to really work on technical repetition that will actually give you good defense habit as opposed to bad ones. To be able to use a counter movement that is as complex as a proper sprawl in live sparring you must drill it into subconsciousness.

Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice does.

sweat in training or bleed in battle,

-chris

[quote]roc wrote:
Do want you hate the most. So if your guard game needs, start or get that position when you roll. Best of luck [/quote]

I second that.

I used to hate working off my back, too, when I started. But I made it a point to get better at it so whenever I rolled, I always started from my back. After a while you’ll learn to control your opponent’s body, close the space, not let him get posture and look for escapes/submissions.

[quote]slimjim wrote:
wash your gi after every practice. The number one piece of advice I’d give to anyone who trains in a gi.[/quote]

Absolutely. I’ve rolled with a few guys that clearly don’t make it a habit to wash their Gi and the smell was unbearable. I’m sure I gave up more submissions due to the B.O. from the Gi.

Being a wrestler and having a strong top game, shot and sprawl I have started 99 out of 100 times off my back for the last 10 months. If you don’t strengthen your guard, 1/2 guard and escape game you are going to get crushed when you end up on your back. If you really want to strengthen your shot make sure the initial penetrating step is very deep and explode through the shot, face into chest. You shouldn’t do this to training partners.

I agree with these posters too. I usually take 1 or 2 things and work on them for awhile. I firmly believe that you don’t have to, nor can you, master every single aspect of jiu-jitsu. Since you love being on top, really focus on escapes and sweeps from your back. Master a couple of subs, but really focus on being able to always get back up or sweet your opponent.

Biggest thing for me with sprawling is to get hips back, stuff the head and get back up as fast as possible. If you wanna stay on the ground and take the back, learn the anaconda choke well from that turtle position so you can at least threaten with it and then you’ll be able to spin to back well. I also love to have my partner get down in the turtle position and I put my chest heavy on his back, my hands behind my back, and I get up on my toes and move around him in circles, changing directions, flowing.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
slimjim wrote:
wash your gi after every practice. The number one piece of advice I’d give to anyone who trains in a gi.

Absolutely. I’ve rolled with a few guys that clearly don’t make it a habit to wash their Gi and the smell was unbearable. I’m sure I gave up more submissions due to the B.O. from the Gi.[/quote]

I don’t even roll with “stinky’s” anymore. Even if they ask me and then I smell them I tell them I’m not rolling with them because they didn’t wash their shit. That’s how fungus goes around and i tell that shit to their face and so should everyone. this is a close contact sport and no one needs any staph infections, impetego etc.

That or if we are the last to pair up I just rock a knee on into the solar-plexus and sit there. If they give up from lack of breath then I go take a shit.

Gross cocksuckers should be shot with a small caliber gun in a non-lethal area.

-chris

Know what’s worse than a stinky kimono? Guys who don’t wear an under shirt so that you get your face rubbed on sweaty chest hair.

I try not to get that well pinned.

-chris

[quote]JRT6 wrote:
Know what’s worse than a stinky kimono? Guys who don’t wear an under shirt so that you get your face rubbed on sweaty chest hair.[/quote]

worse than that? This is no joke- a 240 lbs guy who doesn’t wash his gi, is uber-hairy, and doesn’t wear underwear…so if you’re unfortunate enough to get stuck under him in north-south and he rolls you on your side and then sits on your head in order to get the kimura, that’s straight ass and ball sweat all over your face. That was my first day in a jiu jitsu class.

my bjj tips… be consistent.

truth is that the whole collective of subs and escapes, how to move to diff. positions and such can be learned completely in about a year of consistent work. (By “learn” i mean if someone says “xguard to north south to reverse triangle” you can pull it off. )

Hell, if you open up eddie bravo’s books he has a flow chart that will show you your options in each position and a LOT of other good coaches have flow charts that do the same (lloyd irvin and the guys at grapplers guide.com come to mind)

BUT

what takes a long time to develop, cannot be shortcutted, and that TRULY comes with consistency and rolling everyday is that kinesthetic touch.

You need that “touch” to be able to sense someone’s movements, to know where you are, to “feel” when a submission is developing, to be able to instinctively move through the “flow charts” etc…

You have to roll live a LOT and learn to pull off your weakest movements on your best opponents. If you want to get better at BJJ, that has to be your priority. Roll a LOT with different opponents. If you have a hard time escaping from the back, give up the back when you train and practice getting out, even if your partner taps you… get to the pt where a live opponent CAN’T get that on you and you will have improved.

Which would be my second tip

work on your weaknesses. People get into class, go through drills, then when they roll live act like they’re in the finals for abu dhabi.

What you need to do is go in there with distinct goals. Decide “for the next 4 weeks I’m just going to work on armbars” so no matter what position you’re in, get creative, and go for some sort of armbar variation.

Or, “i’m going to work on escaping triangles”, let your opponent attempt to sink a triangle on you. What will happen is two fold, one- you’ll start to learn when someone’s attempting to sub you with a triangle and two- you learn to defend it when the time comes.