Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tips: Balancing Control and Mobility

Put a basketball on the ground. On it put:

A. A plank of wood.
B. A wet towel*.

Sometimes in BJJ / Grappling you need to be the plank of wood (projecting gravity through a small contact area with them which frees your limbs for mobility and attack) and sometimes you need to be the wet towel (maximizing friction, minimizing your own efforts, unifying both masses into one). Leverage hunters will master the plank version (constant pressure from the side control, half guard and mount top which can be tiring for both) and muscle-heads the wet towel version (constant closeness, perfect tight control but don't dare attack fearing the well-timed escape).

High quality Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players I've rolled with fluidly switch between the two almost without working up a sweat. It's not that they smother the submission out of you, which is still a valid grappling strategy, but rather the submission seems to come when you least expect it. They don't chuck you out of the frying pan into the fire. You walk into it voluntarily. That's BJJ.

*The Wet-towel analogy came to me from an excellent Roy Harris article on using Space in BJJ.

----Did You Like This Article?--- Click here to add The Part Time Grappler to your Favourites / Bookmarks ---------------------------------


A.D. McClish said...

I really like both of those analogies. Though, there are some guys I roll with who are really awesome and have managed to do the wet blanket form without using muscle. It's like they're magnetically attached to you and no matter which way you turn or how much you try to get them off, they are right on you, all the while smiling and breathing easily.

Yeah...I really hate that. :)

The Part Time Grappler said...

@Allie. Haha I know! But it sure is inspiring :o)