The Ironfist Martial Arts Gym Brisbane has a BJJ program running 5 days a week. We have both Gi and No-Gi training programs with qualified blackbelts.
Article by: Finn Coleman
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is one of– if not the most –technical martial arts there is, emphasising a reliance in skill over strength. As white belts begin to learn basic chokes and holds, when it’s time to roll, BJJ beginners will often try to go straight for a submission.
There is a classic saying in BJJ, “position before submission”. While submissions are a key part of BJJ, rushing for them can often come at the expense of finding proper positioning and technique, which will harm rather than help your progression as a BJJ practitioner in the long run.
Here are three handy tips for getting the most out of your rolls.
Patience on the Mat: Don’t rush for submissions each round
It makes sense to go for as many submissions as possible when you are rolling, right? Well, not necessarily.
While the ability to apply submissions is the ultimate endgame of BJJ, rushing straight for subs when you are rolling is not always the best way to go. The beauty of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is its emphasis on sound fundamentals, and the best way to develop a solid understanding of BJJ is to be comfortable working from a variety of positions.
Scrambling for a sub which ends up demanding more brute strength than technique can certainly get the job done, however being able to rely on sound technique, and then turning up the intensity in competition if need be, is a much more effective route to becoming a great roller. The BJJ player must learn how to modulate their tempo.
Sweeps in BJJ: Work on sweeps and gaining dominant positions
Rolling in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about gaining dominant positions on the ground. There are many methods of working your way into a better position. Sweeps are one of the quickest, allowing a guard player to unbalance their opponent and quickly assume a superior position.
A well-timed sweep can completely turn the tide during a roll, getting you out of a bad position and (literally) throwing your opponent off guard. This is also a great advantage in competitions, as you are awarded two points for a successful sweep.
Keeping an eye out for different pathways into strong positions such as mount, knee on belly, side control or back control, instead of forcing your way into them through muscle alone, will pay dividends in your ability to control every aspect of the ground game.
The better you are at working yourself into dominant positions, the easier your submissions will become.
Tip: Drilling sweeps is the best way to learn. Start with your training partner offering limited resistance. Then ask them to offer 20%, 40% and up to 60% resistance. This will force you to work on different ways to set up a sweep.
Rolling in BJJ: Set specific goals for each round and work with your partner
At the end of the day, your rolling partner is just that – your partner. If you want to focus on a specific aspect of your BJJ game, such as working from half guard, let them know. A good training partner will help you work on areas where you may not feel as confident.
Having a specific goal in mind, such as maintaining side control or working on your closed guard, will force you out of reverting to the same tactics again and again.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an intricate martial art which rewards those who are able to think outside the box. Relying on strength and forcing positions and submissions will only get you so far. Keep these tips in mind next time you hit the mats, and you’ll be seeing improvements in no time.
Any questions? Ask away! We are happy to help.
Thinking about bringing a friend in to try out BJJ? If you have a friend interested in giving Jiu Jitsu a go, after they sign up at Ironfist, both of you will get a week’s free training!
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