BJJ / Grappling Tips: Everybody Makes Mistakes in Jiu-jitsu

It's just that mistakes made from mechanically advantageous positions tend to be more forgiving.

A recent BJJ discussion centred around countering someone whose tripoding to Ezekiel choke you from inside your own closed guard. It's not the best or smartest move but it can still work. It can at least make you open your guard for them. But It's still a mistake, at least for beginners, for many reasons:
  • Committing the weight forward,
  • Making the legs light,
  • Committing the arms to their upper body,
  • Leaving their hips free...etc.

The counters we discussed involved:
  • Sweeping,
  • Armbarring,
  • Taking the back.
  • Attacking the legs (oh yes!)
All well and good. The thing is, I often catch myself make stupid mistakes like these (committing too much weight forward...etc.) but usually from mount or side-control. I lean too much in this or that direction or commit my arms too early to a technique and I often get away with it. There are just simply wider margins when you have the positional advantage. They can still throw you, joint-lock you or take your back. It's just so much harder, more obvious and hence easier for you to stop or even counter.

It becomes my responsibility to keep my ego in check and realise that I simply got lucky. When I'm in mount and I almost get thrown off or even worse, it really is my responsibility to go back and check why that even came close to happening, rather than pat myself on the back, content that I got away with a quick last-second recovery. "All's well that ends well", but why did it even get to start, never mind come close to ending?

While this might be the kind of thing that corrects itself with lots of mat time, I think it's a perfect opportunity to put the Part Time Grappling mentality to test. Why not learn 3-4 things at once if you can?

Here's a great example of attacking from a mechanically advantageous position: Ezekiel choke from half guard top by Roger Gracie:



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