BJJ / Grappling Tips and Strategy: What’s Your Core game?

I just read two blog posts back to back and they inspired me, in two separate ways, to write this one. First, I read Rob’s article about BJJ and The Butterfly Effect and then I read John’s Making the Connection (I recommend you read those two articles first. Click on them and they will open in new windows so you won’t lose this page)

For those of you who don’t want to read the two articles first (shame on you!) I can summarise that Rob was talking about how Jonathan Torrez’ near fanatic focus on set-ups and grips in the beginning of his BJJ / Grappling career helped catapult him to his current level of slick smoothness in a mere 4,5-5 years. John’s article on the other hand talks about how having a solid core game will make learning new moves easier and remembering / recalling them becomes faster if they are attached to a pre-existing core game. But seriously, read the articles as the guys express it way better than I do.

I’m happy to say that I do have a core plan. I shamelessly stole it from the BJJ positional hierarchy as outlined in Renzo’s Mastering Jujitsu (Co-authored by the amazing John Danaher) and Royler and Renzo’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique Co-authored by Kid Peligro. It’s the same plan outlined by BJ Penn in his No-Gi 101 video.

This is always, always what I’m working to do. I’m always looking to survive, escape, pass, secure, advance, secure, advance, secure, lather, rinse and repeat.

If I learn a submission along the way, it needs to fit in this BJJ / Grappling pattern. I.e. I will not go to triangle from mount if it means I need to roll back to guard to finish it. I seldom go to armbars from guard unless I have a quick detour back to the core game waiting (always combine my armbars with sweeps) and my favourite attack from side control is always, always to mount.

But that’s just me. I roll with a number of different people who play a different core game. Only this morning I was watching a short video of me rolling with fellow purple belt Mr Graeme Kidd and his triangle transitions straight from falling (after I bridge him off me) are nothing short of lethal. He is very sharp with catching them.

Here's a Time Management Tool you can use to help filter thru your moves:

And here's a BJJ adaptation* of that:

What’s your core game? What is your BJJ / Grappling backbone?

*Naturally, this is not for everyone and it's not extensive by any measure. Go do your homework :)

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BJJ Rob said...

Thanks for the shout out Liam!

Wonderful, wonderful points here. There's nothing that will stall your progress faster than learning 50 random moves and not linking them together.

To answer your question, chokes from the back. All my sweeps, guard passes, and transitions lead straight into the back take with a seatbelt grip.

Then I've got four chokes (two for gi, two for no gi).

Thats it.

The Part Time Grappler said...

My pleasure!

I completely agree. Like Mike Mentzer used to say about bodybuilding training. You can train hard or you can train long, but you can't really do both.

I feel it's the same with number of techniques vs being really good at them.

I like the sound of your plan...a very sharp game plan bro.

G-Man said...

When was this roll Mr Wandi? I never see these :(

The Part Time Grappler said...

Hey G! That wasn't a roll. These were the photos that my brother took for the beginners' induction course I've put together.