BJJ tips: armbar escapes, guard passing and the two voices of the mind

I recently competed in BJJ at our regular InterClub event “SubNorth”. I am no champion grappling competitor, as most of you know, but I did have a great day and while I did lose both my jiujitsu matches, I still came with some very beneficial first-hand knowledge and experience:

1.       I had first-hand experience grip fighting with a very good purple belt. I applied my newly acquired judo knowledge in both gripping offensively and grip breaking. This allowed me to dominate the grips in the standing phase

2.       I tested my standing guard opening and passing with great success. In fact, the majority of the points I scored were guard passing points.

3.       I accidently came up with this awesome way to prevent a guard recovery that flexible players do, where they fold upside down from side control and somehow manage to re-insert a foot for the guard or half guard. It worked a treat!

4.       I tested my half guard sweeping system (switching from the Old Skool to the Plan B plus using the deep half guard to sweep and prevent guard passing)

5.       I tested Saulo Ribiero’s Armbar defence and escape from “University of JiuJitsu”. I had played with that jiujitsu technique before, but never tested it in a competition. The great bonus was that it made my opponent think that he still had a chance and tired him out massively until I passed to his side.

That’s something I want to talk about. That moment when you get caught. That moment when your opponent transitions from a position that may or may not be uncomfortable (mount, side mount, back) to a position of actual threat (and armbar, a choke, a and your brain splits into two parties:

·         One party is telling you you’ve had a long day. You’ve hung around waiting for your damn category to start and you’re tired now. You have better things to do. This other guy wants it more than you. He’s hungrier for this than you. You have nothing to prove, he’s already kinda got the arm, choke or foot. Let him have it. Let go, tap and we can all go home and forget about this day.

·         The other party has other plans. It sings from a very different hymn sheet. You didn’t hang around all day long for this. You have plans for the evening and you don’t want to spoil them with the feeling that you gave up. Just blank gave up. You want this more than your opponent. He doesn’t deserve it. You have nothing to prove to anyone else but everything to prove to yourself. It’s no longer about jiujitsu. It’s no longer about the foot, the arm or the choke. It’s about you. Use the technique you know and work your way out.

The line between these two is very thin and if you’re not careful, you might injure yourself. I am a big believer in tapping early to avoid injury, but I am also a huge believer in investigating the mind through jiujitsu. For that, you will need a partner you can trust.

It's a thin line. Very thin.


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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