Thursday, May 16, 2013

Operation Be More Assertive is a Go

In the past I have had what I definitely consider to be 'Lazy' jiujitsu. This has been hurting me in competition, and I've now compiled enough competition footage from the last year to see exactly where the biggest issues are and start to address them. The following is my plan for addressing these issues and making my jiujitsu more assertive and dynamic.

1. Ignore my opponent - I have in the past had a tendency to play defensively and wait for my opponent to make a mistake and then pounce on it. This lead to a very reactive game which frequently was very passive. This hurts you against opponents that don't make many mistakes or don't make mistakes that you know how to capitalize on. I have now begun ignoring my opponent and working to implement what I want to happen. 

2. Don't give up sweeps and don't give up ON sweeps - I previously would begin a sweep, and if my opponent blocked it I would just chill and wait to try something else. Instead I am now continuing to fight for the sweep and push harder to end up on top. I also would frequently allow my opponent to complete a sweep if it was pretty close instead of spending effort blocking it. Now instead I am actively working to block all sweeps no matter what stage they are at. So even if I miss my first opportunity to counter I am continuing to push back and work to stay on top. 

3. Take risks for submissions - Another passive point of my game has been being very relaxed about seeking submissions. I would be content to positionally control someone for 5-6 minutes and threaten a few submissions, but not seriously. Now instead I am aggressively seeking submissions, and a wider range of submissions and combining them. 

I began this project last night and immediately was able to see a difference. I secured more sweeps and submissions than I normally do and was able to do much more to control my opponents and force them to play the game I wanted to play, to my advantage.

Of course, I also managed to force a white belt to waiter sweep me, which was not exactly what I intended, but it was fun. All of my rolls felt more fun and dynamic as well. I feel good about this project and my expected results.


  1. Hey, are you taking applications? Because this is exactly what I need to work on, too, but I'm generally flummoxed about how to go about it -- and how to feel as if I'm getting anywhere.

  2. You know I'm always down to help work through problem spots.

    This is a problem I've had since way early in my BJJ career and my first step was to really figure out the totality of the issue because it wasn't just a single technique or position but an entire mental process each time I stepped onto the mats.

    So for me the first step was gathering and reviewing a bunch of my competition footage to see what it was costing me when I was playing that passive game.

    Once I had done that I gathered up the three points I mentioned above as being the largest areas to focus on and gave myself a few simple things to do to work on them.

    I told myself that every time I had someone in guard I would immediately try a scissor sweep. Every time. Then if I failed I would immediately try the collar drag and repeat until one worked or my guard got passed.

    I told myself that when I started to succeed with one of those sweeps I would fight HARD to get it.

    I told myself that when I got on top I would immediately move to mount and then attempt an ezekiel with the intention of transitioning to an armbar.

    I gave myself those single things to work on as triggers so that I wasn't chilling thinking, "Well, I should play with my leg lasso guard... Maybe he'll stand up and I can try some DLR..." I just hit the mat and started firing scissor sweep attempts and went from there.

  3. That info's helpful, because that's exactly what I do, too -- talk to myself about the things I "could work on" and "could try" or try to play along with my partner, rather than actually doing something useful.

    And those original 3 goals are the same areas I've been mulling over for a while. I'll think about my top/submissions and bottom/sweeps, too.

  4. I am guilty of being to passive in my BJJ game as well. I found your post put into words the underlying problems I have been facing. I wrote a blog myself on the subject, and linked to your post

    Life Vs Jiu Jitsu