BJJ tips: The BJJ Game Plan vs Details

I think a lot about jiu jitsu. So much so that I dream about it and last night was one such night. I dreamt that I was using the zoom function on Google Maps, only I wasn't looking at maps. I was somehow looking at a video of 2 people rolling; a Brazilian jiu jitsu match.

Google it! You know you wanna!

Every now and again I'd scroll the mouse button and zoom in on the details of the moves: the grips, the foot placements, the almost invisible hip movements. Quickly, however, I'd scroll back out to watch the full exchange of BJJ techniques, attacks, sweeps and escapes in all its glory.


When I woke up, I couldn't help but think what it all meant, other than that I was slightly bonkers. One question was formulating in my still-sleepy head: how should Part Time Grapplers best use their time on the mat, to drill the ins and outs of specific techniques OR work on experiencing the BJJ game plan in all its glory, i.e. roll?

As I'm writing this, it's 7.31. I'm at Starbucks and most of my morning coffee is in me already. I can see a little more clearly now. The answer is obvious: both, but with a twist!

Part Time Grapplers want to get good at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but they have a more limited supply of time than professional fighters / full time coaches...etc. Therefore, we need to:

1. Focus on fewer techniques from each position (2 max!)
2. Use the majority of our limited BJJ mat time to drill these positions against progressive resistance.

So, yes we need to roll but mostly within one of the 5 major positional geographies of BJJ (mount, side control, guard, back and stand-up Jiu Jitsu) rather than free-roll all the time.

Yes we need to zoom in on the particulars of BJJ techniques, but we'd do well to make a conscious effort to limit ourselves to one or two grips or postures from each position (e.g. the lapel & sleeve grip from guard) and one or two techniques that flow directly from these particular grips or postures (e.g. The scissor sweep and the armbar).

The next step (we're talking BJJ blue belts approaching purple) is finding common user for the same grips in multiple BJJ geographies. An example is having techniques that flow out of the lapel & sleeve grips from mount, guard, side control, back and standing. Suddenly your limited range of techniques translates into a very efficient and aggressive attacking game plan, hunting for submissions from practically every position, without having to change grips much*.

Not bad for something I dreamt up, is it?

For more tips (more eloquently written) check out this awesome link to Grapple Arts.

*I’m thinking this might be perfect to make a short BJJ video about. :)

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Radian said...

Great post! Starting it out bjj it's so tempting to focus on too many techniques. I like the concept of getting certain grips and drill the best moves from there. As a white belt I'm focusing on scissor sweep and it's variations. Success rate goes up instead of being low percentage with 5 different sweeps.

The Part Time Grappler said...

thank you for the kind words Radian. I wish I was as smart as you are now when I was a white belt ;p

Georgette said...

Agreed, agreed! I think this makes awesome sense, especially from standing. I find that lately I'm trying more and more to chain takedowns together, so that the counter to one specifically tells me what takedown to do next to take advantage of their movement. I know that is true on the ground as well.

I'd be VERY interested in how this theory can be applied to guard passing. *hint hint* :)

The Part Time Grappler said...

Ha. Thank you Gorgeous. I take the hint! I will tape a nice sequence this Friday but would be curious what your favourite guard pass is (so I can play off it)