BJJ / Grappling and Buddhism: How to get better at BJJ?

How to get better at BJJ? How to stop people from passing my guard and dominating from side control or mount? How do I pass their guard and dominate and submit them? These questions occupy the minds (and hearts) of thousands of BJJ players and grapplers around the world, both professionals and Part Time Grapplers alike.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that rather than getting "better" or being "worse" at BJJ / Grappling, I prefer to see training as an end in itself. My goal is not to get better at BJJ. My goal, for the lack of a better word, is to do BJJ. Every time I step onto the mat, boom, goal achieved.

Every time I step on the BJJ mats, I know I will experience difficulties and challenges, but I also know that by experiencing these, my awareness will rise. I tailor my training in such a way that every round is an opportunity to learn something about the interaction between two bodies that is BJJ.

I’m currently working on my open guard control and sweeps and last night, I completely and utterly got owned at BJJ. I shook hands with people, worked to get some gi grip and was working my open guard but players just kept stuffing and passing my guard. Yes it wasn't a walk in the park and yes I got a sweep here or there but all in all I was nowhere near what BJ Pen talks about in Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge “No one should be able to pass your guard”. Purple belts were passing my guards and I couldn't stop them. Blue belts were passing my guards and I couldn't stop them. Even white belts passed my guard, established side control and stopped me from recovering. But it was all an experience. Not the most pleasant one, but hey, that's the game of BJJ and that's why we love it.

Some of these blue and purple belts get twice as many hours on the mat per week practicing BJJ and it would be a sick, twisted world if all that mat-time didn't translate into higher levels of awareness and performance.

Where do we go from here? There's nowhere to go. That's the illusion. Chop wood, carry water.

What's around the corner? More road :)

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Anonymous said...

Good article. I am a part time grappler that gets my time in by teaching twice a week. I try to tell my guys this all the time. That it dosent matter. Your problems or achievements are just moments in time. Just do Jitz and dont worry. No one cares but you.

Liam H Wandi said...

Exactly! Very well put Anonymous. Thank you for the kind words too :)