18.6.09

BJJ Tips: Re-framing and Re-phrasing in Grappling/BJJ


I'm currently studying an excellent management course with the Open University. The module I'm busy with now is called Communication and Language, focusing on how best to encode one’s ideas in to words and gestures that will deliver the message in the most suitable fashion. The model we are looking at is the one in the picture above. It’s a very simple model, but there in lies it’s magic.

After our BJJ session yesterday, someone asked me about passing when the guard player either has hooks in the knee and/or has a foot on the hip. His exact words were:

“I am keeping my front elbow and knee connected to exert pressure against the guard, but what should I do about him hooking my knee or putting his foot on my hip and hence stopping my pass?”


The frame was: I’m doing this. He is doing that. Now what do I do?

Told him to first re-frame and then re-phrase.

The new frame I suggested was: I’m doing this. I am allowing him to do that. Now what do I do?

With that in mind, the question becomes:

“I am keeping my front elbow and knee connected to exert pressure against the guard, but what should I do about me allowing him to hook my knee or put his foot on my hip and hence stopping my pass?”

Not only does the answer become much simpler, but you suddenly own both the problem and the solution.

I remember many years ago in English class the teacher asked: Does anyone know how to change a sentence to passive form? We all said yes. Then he followed that with: Does anyone know why we would do that?

After much silence he explained: it's to shift focus from the object to the subject. That’s a lesson that has stayed with me all my life and I have found many uses for it outside the classroom.
Most grappling problems can be easily fixed if we were to bring the focus back to ourselves.


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