In BJJ / grappling, the first time I heard someone talk of the approach was on a Saulo Ribiero DVD. I was a newly graded BJJ blue belt and up to that point, I never really thought about it. To my simple, inexperienced eyes you just started from the handshake and just somehow went on with the roll, either pulling guard or working the pass. It took Mr Ribiero's well honed attention to the intricate details of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to open my eyes.
|Saulo Ribiero masterfully teaching grip fighting on Jiu Jitsu Revolution 2|
By the way, by approach I don't mean grips or grip fighting. It's even earlier than that. Just before or immediately after you shake hands with someone, you shape and turn your body and stance in a way that blocks your opponent's advantageous grips. If you are starting from standing for example, you stagger your feet to prevent an easy double leg takedown, you bend your knees and stay mobile, protect your leading arm and collar and keep your back hand active.
This isn't an extensive list by all means but it's a start. This is your BJJ platform from which you tip the scales in your advantage. Anything you do from here, while it may or may not work 100% successfully, will at least be built on a solid BJJ / Grappling foundation.
How do you approach the roll?
Ps. One of the best articles I’ve read about the approach in Stand-up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is this one by my friend Glyn Powditch. Glyn is an awesome brown belt in both Jiu Jitsu and Judo and he taught me 90% of my stand-up strategies, approach and grip fighting.
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