Friday, September 9, 2011

The State of The Union: What's my game?

*Update* This post is part of the "Homework" series, so I wanted to put a little info and background in front of it to explain what's going on. Everyone has a "comfort" zone of techniques that they use regularly. The ones that fit your style,  body type, and experience level and that you feel you are the best at. That is your "Game". One of the more productive things that you can do with your BJJ that isn't actually going to class is to get your game down on paper so that you can look at it and shore up weak spots in your comfort zone or expand your strengths. It also will give you an idea of what to drill before a  tournament. If you don't really have any idea what your game is, then you should pay attention while you are rolling for a couple of weeks and make a note of anything that happens more than three times. If you're doing something every single session, then it's part of your game.
So the homework for this assignment was to document your "Game". If you're just now looking at the homeworks, then this is where you should start since it will help you figure out the rest of them.

Well, it's been a WHILE since my last mindmap, and I haven't made an updated one, but since BJJ GRRL finally wrote up her current game I'm going to go ahead and lay mine out to show I'm not afraid to take criticism either! Don't want anyone to think I'm just goin around picking on folks! I liked her position layout, so I'm going to copy that format

From Knees: (I ALWAYS start with either combat base or sitting/butterfly guard. No knee wrestling)
Double underhook pass, or Teleport pass.
Pull feet on hips spider guard and transition to somewhere else
Loop Choke

Opponents Guard:
Guard break via whatever method followed by one of the following passes: Teleport Pass, Double underhook Pass, Cut through pass
Standup with knee or ankle control -> Toreador pass to KoB
The Reis/Chim pass is my current guard passing project, have about a 40% success rate with it right now.

Opponents Butterfly guard:
Backout and get knee/ankle control
Hug knees together and sprawl pass

My Butterfly:
Over/Under sweep
Kick out to Scissor Sweep
Armdrag to the Back.
Loop choke

My Guard: (Aww yeah, this is where the fun REALLY starts)
I'm going to get into a little more detail here because this is where my strategy really comes together.
My primary goal is always to sweep. I want to get on top. My primary methodology for that is to set up the over and under hook and use the over/under butterfly sweep with a half butterfly hook. My secondary is the Scissor Sweep.
If people are posturing away from me really hard I try to snag an underhook, then technical stand and rush them over. To help me with that goal I use the following submissions to set things up:
Loop Choke
Single Collar Choke
Guillotine -> 100% Sweep

I almost always establish an immediate cross collar grip and a same side sleeve grip to let me setup to try the scissor sweep. If that fails because my opponent bases out I can transition to a collar choke that will force them to bring their basing arm up to defend. I can then grab the sleeve of the defending arm and move to an armbar.
If they posture up against the scissor sweep instead I will start to technical stand and push against them hard to make them base back into me, then with my same collar and sleeve grip hip out to the opposite side and push their arm across while I drive my elbow to the mat and either take the back, or reach over and fish for the Gift Wrap or the Single Collar choke.
If my opponent is moving out around my guard and has disengaged while I still have the cross collar grip I will work to pop my elbow over his head and spin under for the loop choke, which I primarily use as a sweep to get on top. I will also aggressively pursue this option when starting from combat base.
In the event that my opponent is playing a tight, low posture game I will work to achieve an overhook and a high guard and transition out to the omoplata or triangle. The object is to force them to posture up to allow me to get one of my preffered options working, but I'll take the sub or omo sweep if I can get it.

In Mount: Arm Triangle setup with Side Control finish
Mounted triangle
Baseball Bat Choke
Transition to Tech Mount
Transition to KoB
Americana setup with finish in side control
Underhook to spinning armbar or N/S kimura
I really prefer to move to KoB to launch offenses from here

Knee to Elbow escape (Works 100% of the time.)

Half Guard Bottom:
90% of the time I reguard via the Retard Sweep
10% of the time I get lockdown -> whipup -> Old School

Half Guard Top:
Pass via baseball slide pass
Or Prybar
Or basic walk your foot up and pop their knee off and drive to mount.
I will occasionally go ahead and work the baseball bat choke setup and then start the baseball slide pass. Makes it very difficult for them to figure out what to defend.

Side Control Top:
Baseball Bat Choke
Transition to KoB
Arm Triangle
Far side underhook -> N/S Kimura
I REALLY like to just pop to KoB and back from here to force my opponent to work as much as possible on the bottom. Having a good transition game from Side control to KoB to N/S is necessary to avoid being reguarded constantly.

Side Control Bottom:
Ghost Escape
Shrimp to guard
Trap far arm, then sneakily execute inverted triangle and sweep to top.
Sneakily shrimp bottom knee in, then kick top leg over to secure ARMBAR FROM BOTTOM OF SIDE CONTROL!! (has worked exactly twice, but is awesome)

Back Mount:
Bow and Arrow choke
Use bow and arrow grip as control to set up single collar choke from Tech Mount if I can't get the leg.

Back Mounted:
Get shoulders to mat, then bring knee up to intercept mount attempt and regain butterfly guard
Get both of opponents arms on the same side of my head and turn into them to guard.

This is just about where I live on top. It makes transitions so easy...
Baseball bat choke
Far side armbar
Single collar choke setup
Transition to N/S
Transition to Mount
Rolling toe hold (Rarely, but sometimes!)

I also am always looking to maintain a cross collar grip whenever I'm transitioning so that any movement my opponent makes to get UP frees space for me to wrap up a loop choke.

And now I've given up all of my secrets!


  1. i like what youre doing from the guard..

    retard sweep???? do i wanna know lol

  2. The Retard sweep is a super basic sweep. You just get an overhook on the same side as the leg you have trapped, base your other foot as close to your butt as possible and with that arm and leg trapped you upa and roll just like a mount escape. It rarely gets you the sweep, but it pretty much ALWAYS gets you space to reguard.

  3. Dammit I still need to do this.... :)

  4. I'm surprised I haven't gotten any criticism of mine so far honestly... Must be my habit of emphasizing the positive. My only real problem areas are from half guard bottom against really big athletic people that can kimura and darce choke me from there. And I know how to stop that, I just sometimes get overpowered.