10 Things That Will Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

1. Be a fan of the sport.

In the beginning people get hooked on jiu jitsu because it’s fun to do. Unfortunately it does have the potential to be one of the worst spectator sports ever particularly if it’s too early for you to spot the more technical stuff.

A way round this is to head to You Tube and check out the highlight reels of guys like Marcello Garcia, Cobrinha, Rafael Mendes, Jacare and Romulo Barral.

I’d also recommend subscribing to Grapplers Quest’s  you tube channel where the do a great job of uploading the best fights from their events.

Watching fights has a weird osmotic effect with me, if I am doing it a lot my game gets better. You get to see what the best guys are doing on a regular basis more so than by just checking out an instructional video, which is often full of filler.

2. Check out the instructionals

Initially I would look for products that emphasize basic fundamental techniques. Splashing out on a DVD entitled “Inverted Tornado Guard of the Damned” might not be a good investment for the time being.

Stuff by Demain Maia, Saulo Ribiero, Robson Moura, Mike Fowler and Andre Galvao are all great resources. You can check out a lot of there stuff on YouTube.

3. Buy the books.

There are some great books on jiu jitsu on the Market right now. There is something about reading about a technique or a principle that really sticks with me in a way that simply watching doesn’t.

I personally feel that Jiu jitsu university and the Essential Guard have really helped me develop.

4. Think about Jiu Jitsu

I can’t even recall how many times I’ve had a jiu jitsu break through while crimping of a length on the crapper.

If you can’t train, visualizing yourself practicing and applying technique is an undervalued tool for development. Everyone who is successful does this to a certain degree, but by allocating 15mins a day to  visualisation your jiu jitsu will be so much better.

5. Avoid becoming a technique junkie

Despite having recommended a vast array of educational material I must warn against trying to learn everything. In part one we mentioned how vast jiu jitsu is, in the beginning find the stuff that works for you and work on it until you own the technique.

Knowing tonnes of stuff without being able to apply it as as much use as shank made from faecal matter (actually in a previous blog post we discussed the practicality of such a weapon).

Concentrate on a certain number of interrelated techniques for a certain amount of time. I usually go with one tech for 3 weeks but that’s just me.

6. Put the time in.

If you have read Malcolm Gladwells excellent book Outliers you will know that generally talent is overrated.

The guys who put the most time in are the guys who tend to be the best. The more time you train the better you become. Provided that time and training has structure. It’s easy to come in and throw down with one of your friends but how much better have you gotten.

Of course sparring is the proving ground but there should also be time to work on new positions and try to improve weak areas. If you aren’t getting better your getting worse.

7. Set goals

Start out with an outcome goal like “I will get a Blue belt within 6 months” then implement an action plan to achieve this goal.

Include some process Goals like

  • I will train Jiu Jitsu 5 days a week.
  • I will drill technique mechanics 3 times a week
  • I will drill technique in isolation 3 times a week
  • I will watch Saulo Ribierios DVD’s till my eyes bleed

Review your goals regularly and change them up. Having an action plan like this will help ensure you don’t stagnate and continue to improve.

8.  Look After Your Body

Everyone has had those days when there body feels like crap and there movement and jiu jitsu suffers as a result.

Foam rolling stretching and pre training dynamic mobility warm ups can help ensure that the quality of your movement is never an issue.

After Purple belt the number one reason why guys leave the sport is injury. The modalities above can reduce the occurence of injury and prolong your career in jiu jitsu. Look after your body and your Jiu Jitsu will improve, you will feel better as well.

9. Ask Questions.

Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport not a Martial Art. The traditional hierarchy is not an issue here. Your coach should encourage you to ask questions and think for yourself. The knowledge you gain for yourself  is always retained better than the knowledge you have pushed on you.

As a coach it is way more fun to work with guys who are engaged and inquisitive.

10. Check out other gyms

At the Griphouse we have systems in place to help our athletes develop. Your  gym may have a completely different way of doing things. Chances are both places are producing decent guys.

Visiting other gyms gives you the opportunity to see different systems, techniques and train with guys who have different games. All of this is very positive and you might pick up something that will help you improve.


Weird stuff about Brazil

March 27, 2010

Apparently the sewage system in brazil can handle monster chuhascaria fuelled jobbys but can’t handle used bog roll.

The waste product TP goes in the bin. But before that you can power hose the crap out/off yourself with the bad boy below.

Weird yah?

Now we come to a vital stage in jiu jitsu skill acquistion. We need to bridge the gap between being able to demonstarte the mechanics of a technique and being able to utilse that technique against a resisting opponent.

The top guys in your gym probably do this quite naturally. They can see a technique do it a few times then nail people with it.

For those of you just starting out or not as talented
(don’t worry most talented people tend to quit when things get hard. Talent is overrated, hard work will always triumph), we need a little help.

This help comes in the form of isolated drilling. This involves breaking a technique down into it’s constituent parts and applying it against a progressively resisting opponent.

Let’s take an overhook triangle as an example. To utilise this technique we need to achieve our grips, execute the technique and finalise it.

We could begin the game by doing a couple of short rounds of overhook sparring where the guard puller aims to catch an overhook and escape his hips to the side. Once this is achieved the athletes restart.

In our next drill we could have the guard puller with a dominat overhook position. From here he/she must work to bring the leg over their partners shoulder and keep the head down before finalising the triangle.

Finally we could have the guard puller begin with their guard locked over their partners shoulder. This time we will give their partner good posture (the most common defence) and the aim is to break them down correct the hip angle and finish the technique.

All these drills follow the concept of progressive resistance. If you are completely shutting down your partners offence everytime you are being a dick. Ease up a few percent and let them work out the feel of the technique.

Simalarly If they are catching you with ease you need to pick up the pressure a bit.

This pattern can be applied to all techniques is you are creative enough. Many coaches like to throw a vast array of techniques at a class the result is often that they get to see a lot of stuff but can do very little of it.

Training in the manner outlined above will help ensure a steady gradual improvement that can be maintained for the rest of your jiu jitsu life.

I’ll have the final part in this series up by tuesday stay Reading and feel free to leave some comments.

Enjoy UFC111 everybody and watch out for the return of the octagon girl Rachelle Leah.

Welcome back.

Apologise for the lack of berd and amusing videos. I am currently in Rio and am writing this via iPhone.

So now you have your 6 basic positions down along with the postures and objective that go along with those positions.

It goes without saying that drilling with progressive resistance and sparring is the proving ground for how well you have got this down. So make sure you are getting the mat time in.

If guys with more experience are struggling to finish you then you are probably doing things right. If you ever get lost remember find your posture, keep your elbows in and move your hips.

Adding technique

Stage 2 in this program is to start adding techniques. A good rule is to write down the 6 positions and try to add two submissions and two transitions to each position.

Obviously there are exceptions, when being mounted your submission opportunities are somewhat limited and being in someones guard isn’t a great place to launch submissions initially. It’s also a good idea to try and make the techniques link up if at all possible.

Owning a technique

There are many resources for learning individual techniques. First and foremost you have your coach and training partners, but you also have, YouTube, DVD, magazines and websites.

Pick the techniques that you think will work for you and drill the crap out of them. I read somewhere that you need to preform a technique 10 000 times to really master it. That is provided your reps are technically perfect executed with the correct pressure and timing. Best get going then.

Allocate time to repitition and good stuff happens. Admittedly for most people this is the part of jiu jitsu that they hate, but when you view it as a vehicle to improve your ability its not nearly as bad. Also by having a say in the techniques you have decided to devlop, you are helping to keep yourself motivated.

I like to work timed rounds with a partner. Doing a paticular technique for 5minute rounds and then switching with my partner. Although working with 30min rounds is also fun, working through various interrelated techniques.

Get feedback from your coach and training partners unsure you are drilling with timing, pressure and control.

Oh look I’ve found away to add a blog girl. Check out Ana Hickman.