BJJ / Grappling Tips: mat time - fundamentals v combinations v crazy jiu jitsu

Here is an example of three technique sequences that are aimed at different levels of proficiency in BJJ:

Americana from mount: Everyone should know how to perform this technique. It's a basic and very very effective Brazilian jiu jitsu attack from mount and while there are many good instructionals on how to perform the Americana from mount, I feel that Ryron and Rener show it best in the Gracie Combatives (watch here for free, courtesy of Gracie University) course. If you don't want to go the link, this clip from 2007 Gracie Insider is very good too.

Amrbar counter to the americana prevention: No technique will work all the time and on everyone. Every technique in grappling and BJJ has counters and counters to the counters and here is a beautiful example. It's beautiful because of it's simplicity. It's almost impossible to finish the americana shoulder lock with one of your arms still trapped under the opponent's head so a simple way to prevent them from finishing it is to trap that arm there with a heavy head and a death grip. As you progress in grappling and BJJ it's important to learn to combine your attacks and the counter demonstrated here by Mr James Smart at the Gracie Academy in Cape Town (I trained privately with James during my last visit there and he is very good) is an excellent transition.

Omoplata counter: This is just crazy. This is just mad ape-shit jiu jitsu from Mr Paulo Sandsten and I mean that in the bestest way possible. I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on here but I find it very intriguing. Becoming creative with your jiu jitsu is a beautiful process that everyone should "indulge" in. I say "indulge" because I don't think this is where the majority of mat time should be spent but when someone with solid jiu jitsu fundamentals invests in his or her creativity in grappling, you get this kind of beauty. The fact that the clip comes from somewhere in my homeland of Sweden is the cherry on top.

I don't feel beginners should only ever practice fundamentals or that black belts should never dedicate time to the good ol' elbow knee escape et al. In fact, Stephan Kesting said it best recently when referencing the way the staff at Google work - They spend the majority of their time of productive activities. Maybe 70% or so on the fundamentals. They also invest 25% of their time on projects that may or may not lead to productive outcomes. These are not fundamentals but they rest firmly on them. The last 5% is spent on totally bonkers and out-there activities. Crazy shizzle that is not necessarily aimed at producing anything of use but, funnily enough, sometimes does!


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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