BJJ / Grappling Tips: control vs management

Yesterday, I choked a white belt out from side control with the bread slicer choke (aka the fish bone). Here's a very nice and detailed breakdown of the choke by Kid Peligro:

I initially learned this technique from another Royler Gracie black belt, none other than Saulo Ribiero, or at least his amazing DVDs: Jiujitsu Revolution 1, but a couple of weeks ago I visited my friend and instructor Mr Eddie Kone and attended his Annual Gathering and there he taught, amongst many other techniques and concepts, the finer details of the bread slicer choke.

As soon as I settled in position, I started adding pressure onto my partner and I asked him:

-Are you ok buddy?

I started controlling the nearside arm and waited for him to move his far-side arm and as soon as I could, I pinned it with my head. All that was left was to grab his gi and apply the choke and the circular motion that Kid explains in the video above. I asked again:

-Are you still ok buddy?

I put the choke on and waited for the tap, but instead of realising he was in too deep, my partner started bridging and thrashing like mad, trying to push me off him. The thing is, the more he pushed, the more he released the gi that was trapped under him and the more material I had to work with. Tight tight tight!!

-Are you ok buddy?

No answer. But he was still moving.

I let go and looked at him, only to realise he had passed out. 

I got up and lifted his feet to get the blood back to his brain. Slowly but surely, he woke up.

-Hey dude, you passed out my man. Are you ok?

He smiled. He was fine. Life went on.

The whole incident reminded me of a lecture we had at university about Behaviour Management in the Classroom.

No, no, we were not instructed to choke children out!

I'll give you two quotes from our lecturer, the great Mr P. Hook:

"There is no such a thing as behaviour control. You can not control someone's behaviour. You can only manage it!"

We've all rolled with someone who completely managed the space around us. Every time we moved, they'd be 2-3 steps ahead. They didn't quite glue us flat to the ground or anything, but they were on us like white on rice! That's what the lecture reminded me of.

Similarly, I felt the white belt I rolled with didn't try to manage my behaviour. He wanted to control me.  He wanted to pin me down, pass my guard, get to the top then submit me with on of two techniques. 

In all fairness, that's a good plan to start off with, but as you become more experienced in BJJ / Grappling, you have to shift your thought process from "control" to "management".

He should have tried to manage my movement rather than try to control it. Follow me around and take advantage of any openings. Once I got on top, rather than try to hug me (giving me the first arm) to control me, he should have moved in way that kept him safe and, perhaps, presented an opportunity to escape.

Control is an illusion.

I leave you with the second quote from Mr Hook: 

"A classroom full of 14 year olds. If they wanted to, they could kill you!"

Think about it.



Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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

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