Chasing the Finish

In the same way that every logical argument has a conclusion, or scientific & mathematical equations have solutions, submission-based grappling styles have a singular favored outcome: The Finish. 

Submission is the ultimate goal in our martial arts. In realistic application the submission signifies the complete domination of your opponent. In short, submitting your opponent means that you have not only controlled them, but literally have the ability to either kill them or severely maim them should they not submit.  There is nothing more definitive than that. 

This was the original intent that these martial arts were developed with; the goal of controlling an opponent and putting yourself in the position to be able to fatally wound them should there be the need to do so.

At the core of grappling, this remains an imperative: complete control over an opponent Continue reading “Chasing the Finish”

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Offense is the best defense. A note on competing.

“I always try to attack. While I’m on the offensive, my opponent can think of nothing but defending.” Marcelo Garcia

This has to be one of my favorite quotes when it comes to developing strategy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I suppose it also applies to martial arts in general, as well as life.

Nic Gregoriades once described Jiu-jitsu to me as a game of awareness: The more aware I am and the more of my opponent’s awareness I am able to control, the more I will be able to achieve. I can control my opponent’s awareness by removing his options. By attacking and forcing him to defend, I remove his options to attack and force him to become solely concerned with defending. I reduce their awareness and increase their margin for error. 

There is no doubt that sound defense is crucial in developing good Jiu-jitsu, but a strong offense is paramount, especially in a competition context. In competition, points are exclusively awarded for offensive action; be it a sweep to a dominant position, a submission attempt or a guard pass. To develop successful competition Jiu-jitsu, a practitioner will have to concern themselves with developing an attacking mentality and offensive strategy.

This is in no way a criticism of defensive strategy or sound guard work. A sound defense and an understanding of sound counter-attacking opportunities can take a practitioner very far; capitalizing on the mistakes or the openings of an overzealous or aggressive opponent strikes to the core ethos of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu after all. 

Recently I’ve heard criticisms of point based Jiu-jitsu and the rule sets of certain competition. Although justified, we have to understand that the aim of any rule set is to define the parameters under which a sport is contested. As competitors, by entering a competition we are agreeing to compete under these parameters. Don’t like guard pulling? Don’t like the amount of points awarded for specific actions? Then don’t enter a Jiu-jitsu competition.

If executing an successful offense means you pulling guard on your opponent, then be prepared to do so. If it means taking an opponent down, then be prepared to do so. There is no singlular path required to mount an effective offense, that’s the beauty of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If you don’t like guard pulling, then either get better at passing or enter a wrestling tournament. If you don’t like like a specific aspect of the sporting parameters, get better at playing to the rules or simply don’t compete.

A sound offense means being able to utilize strategy and technique to overcome the problems laid out in front of you. This doesn’t just mean fighting your opponent, but it also means fighting within the parameters of a rule set.

Thanks for reading

Oss.

Reverse X Guard Ride to Knee bar

I love X guard, Reverse X too. Not only are there endless opportunities for sweeps, but heaps of rides and reversals depending on the opponent’s response or escape.

Here, I ride Matt’s hip twist as he avoids the sweep into a reverse mount and finish the lay back knee bar.

Enjoy.

Oss.

Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection

Two of the most important things I have learnt in the fields of education and Philosophy are Objectivity and Relativity.

Recently I’ve come to see just how broadly these two ways of thinking apply beyond just these two fields; particularly in my BJJ practice.

*For the sake of this exploration, I would like to work with the following definitions of Objectivity & Relativity.

1. Objectivity refers to concrete or set axioms (statements) of truth that do not shift regardless of which perspective they are examined from.

2. Relativity refers to statements which, depending on the perspective they are approached from, will have a subjective value; being either true or false depending on the conditions of the situation or person.

Let’s continue…

Continue reading “Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection”

Innovation & Pushing your limits.

One of the best feelings in training must certainly be when that one challenging technique you’ve been trying to pull off finally works. For weeks or maybe even months you’ve been trying to put the pieces of a sequence together; finally the stars align and you pull it off, only for it to become a main stay in your arsenal of techniques.

Jiu-jitsu is an art of innovation. Testing new techniques out and adding them to your game is one of the most fun parts of the martial art. Jiu-jitsu teaches us to Innovate.

How do we innovate in our training? The answer is two fold and surprisingly simple: The Consistency and Rigor of our testing leads to innovation.

These are the 2 things you need to know to become a more innovative grappler… Continue reading “Innovation & Pushing your limits.”

Innovation & Pushing your limits.

One of the best feelings in training must certainly be when that one challenging technique you’ve been trying to pull off finally works. For weeks or maybe even months you’ve been trying to put the pieces of a sequence together; finally the stars align and you pull it off, only for it to become a main stay in your arsenal of techniques.

Jiu-jitsu is an art of innovation. Testing new techniques out and adding them to your game is one of the most fun parts of the martial art. Jiu-jitsu teaches us to Innovate.

How do we innovate in our training? The answer is two fold and surprisingly simple: The Consistency and Rigor of our testing leads to innovation.

These are the 2 things you need to know to become a more innovative grappler… Continue reading “Innovation & Pushing your limits.”