Saturday, October 31, 2009

The thin line between everything and everything

My perception of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is that there is a very fine line between when you need to fight to hold on to something (submission,position,wrist,etc.) and when to move on. Sometimes you can switch your arm-lock attempt into a triangle, omoplata, sweep, etc. depending on how they defend. However, sometimes you just need to hang on to the arm-lock and finish your opponent.

I have recently been focusing on the latter. As much as I like to flow and have a lot of cool transitions when I roll, I also like to armbar people. The more I try to incorporate a "competition" mentality into my game, the more I am realizing that I have been beating myself by being too passive. I usually try to switch from one attack to another, sometimes without really trying to finish any of them. The last two times I trained I was in a situation where I almost let go of a submission only to give it the 'last-ditch effort' and force my opponents to tap.
Obviously, I don't want to be 'that guy' that just grabs your foot and pulls like my life depends on it. But I also don't want to be the guy that ALMOST taps people out on a regular basis. I want to finish my opponents, especially in tournaments. The point system is subjective and very inconsistent. Clearly the best way to keep points out of the equation is to get the submission.

Also, I have also been focusing on... well, focusing. I have been a little lackadaisical in the past and I have made a lot of careless mistakes. This includes training, tournaments, and tournament preparation (or lack of). These seemingly small mistakes proved very costly and serve as proof that I need to keep my mind sharp, especially when I am rolling. Not only do I want to be aware of everything that my opponent is doing, I want to be aware of what they are thinking, and nothing else. I have been trying to convince myself that outside of the mat I'm rolling on there is infinite nothingness. And I'm pretty gullible...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just the beginning...

This blog is going to be focused exclusively on my experiences and principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I think it is important to take notes on the specific techniques that I learn from day to day to help me retain the information as well as giving me a resource to go back and review later on in the game. I now realize that it is just important to keep a record of my principles and philosophies as I grow with the art.

Currently, I am trying to examine EVERY transition and turn the "gray area" into a chance to predict my opponents next move and have a trap ready for them as apposed to reacting and using speed/explosiveness/agility. Also, I'm realizing how often I give up position or get swept due to carelessness or lack of urgency. Where most people's instincts tell them to get on top or base out, my instinct tells me it's okay to get swept if I can at least trap half guard. This is a terrible strategy, especially since I'm trying to make my game more effective for competition.

In order to be successful in tournaments I have to take my top game from a 2 to at least a 7. This is obviously on a scale of 1-1000. My guard passing is probably the biggest hole in my game, immediately followed by controlling and pinning my opponent. Only recently have I developed the ability to consistently get my knee in and maintain a solid base. From there I have difficulty breaking the guard, passing, and holding a dominant position.

Still a long way to go...