BJJ tips / attitude: Keep it playful. I think not!

At least not this summer.

Those who know me know I’m a huge fan of Ryron Gracie’s Keepitplayful philosophy, not just in training jiu jitsu but in life in general but recently, incidents have been happening around the gym that made me decide to conduct a jiujitsu experiment.

Martyn has often sited this Marcelo Garcia video when encouraging people to go harder more often. Go harder might be a bad description. I think he wants people to simply give their all. Leave their hat on the mat and all that jazz.

I’ve always been of the opinion that the important thing is train with a purpose in mind, and having fun and playing around can be a great purpose too. I believe in becoming a great mediocre BJJ player / grappler, unless you are preparing for a competition so more often than not you’d see me slowly and methodically going for sweeps, passes, positional transitions and submissions at a slower than average rate. The cost / benefit analysis of this style of rolling has been that I often lost techniques because my training partner saw it coming but the ones I got where magical and in perfect timing. The cost / benefit analysis of “going hard” never made sense to me, mainly because I’m not interested in competing.

But I recently saw this meme about science:

And I decided that what I was doing was not scientific. I wasn't playing with the variables enough. I was using the same gear all the time.

And other more personal reasons. I’m quite fed up of people clearly seeing that I’m going at the 10th of their speed yet still whacking things on just to say they caught some purple belt. 

You can only say “dude chill, class started 10 minutes ago and you’re already trying to fly-armbar past my seated guard!” so many times before you lose your fucking zen. 

I don’t care about getting caught and happily tap quickly, often and early but I’m sick of people taking their work / life issues out on my elbows and shoulders or deciding all is fair once the bell goes.

So for a couple of months, I’m going to roll balls (or at least groin guard) to the wall. Every round. Every session.

As soon as I get the chance to stand up, I’m standing up.

As soon as I get a chance to hurt you, imma hurt you.

Tap early my friends. It’s nothing personal. I just want to take your limbs home.

To science.



Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters


Anonymous said...

This can also be not just for competition, but to explore yourself and what makes you tick too. I for one have a very difficult time turning on my kill switch, or whatever you wanna call it. Its been an experiment for me for the last few months just trying to access that level of intensity without getting my butt kicked for ~20 mins. first.

Collin Mizeur said...

How did this turn out for you?

Liam H Wandi said...

Hi Collin & Anonymous,

This turned out great as it revealed so much about me and about the people around me. My priority was to not get injured as I value every minute on the mat.

I wrote an article about the experience which was published in Martial Arts Illustrated. You can read it

Liam H Wandi said...

It made a huge different to my stand up grappling / judo. It made me a pressure player too.