Thursday, November 5, 2009

Game Plan

I came up with a list of attacks I feel comfortable with from each position. I only picked things that I've actually used in grappling. Some of these I have attempted several times, but haven't finished them, so I put a "*" by them.

From Guard
- Arm bar
- Triangle
- Gi choke *
- kimura
- elbow press/armbar thing (lol I don't know the names for a lot of stuff)

From Mount

- Armbar
- Americana
- Gi choke
- Ezekiel
- Arm Triangle

Side Control
- Armbar
- Kimura
- Arm triangle *
- gi choke

Back Mount
- Rear Naked Choke

Half Guard
- gi choke *
- kimura

Turtle (when someone else turtles)
- gi choke

So, I don't have a lot of variety in my moves. Lots of armbars. Lots of gi chokes. I don't usually catch higher belts in kimuras, but I catch white belts in them, so I'm hoping I'll get someone who isn't ready for one.

As you can see, my submissions from back mount, half guard and turtling are really weak. I think what I'll do if I get there is look for submissions but also look more for transitions into other positions I feel more comfortable in.

The other thing that troubles me is that I feel the most confident--by far--when I'm working from guard. The vast majority of my submissions when I grapple both white belts and higher belts are done from guard. The thing that worries me about it is that I've gotten into the bad habit of falling into guard or pulling someone into my guard during a grapple when I could sweep to mount or side control instead. I could give up points that way.

This week I tried to be conscious of not falling unnecessarily into guard and trying to end up either in side control or mount. But I feel like I have to think too much when I get there. That's especially true in side control. People curl up and I sit there like, "Uhhh....what now." I end up either trying to circle and cause them to move so I can catch something or I try to muscle an armbar out of them. Mount is a little better. But I just feel like everything I do from guard is so much more automatic, you know?

Fabio has been pounding into my head that the most important thing is to keep moving and to transition when I've lost something. If I go for a triangle and lose it, transition to the armbar. If I am losing guard and they're trying to pass, let go and take the back or get to a neutral position. Keep moving and wait until you see a submission. Don't try to force everything. Go with the flow.

Sigh...If only I were flow-ier!! :)


Dev said...

"Flow" is one of those things that, from what I can tell, finally shows up at about the purple belt level. Absolutely think about it, and try to work your transitions, but don't get too frustrated if you can't pull off the automatic movements from omoplata to triangle to armbar. Just keep drilling the individual moves - the transitions will come.

Understand that as soon as your opponent grabs your gi, you will revert back to what works for you and protects you during practice. SO: don't overthink your game. It is great to break it out like you did, and I think your conclusions are sound - you come back to armbars and kimuras. As a 1-stripe white belt, that's what you SHOULD be coming back to. Hell, as a blue belt, IMHO, you should still have a solid base there.

If you're comfortable from guard, then play from guard. Do not change Your Game right before a competition. At the same time, remember the point of the match: to win. If you are looking to finish, great, but remember if your opponent has decent defense, then you need points to win. Don't neglect an opportunity to sweep from guard.

You'll do fine! Just remember to have fun.

BJJ Cailín said...

Learning to "flow" is important, but so is being able to maintain the top position once you achieve it.

Noticing that you have a weakness in your game is the first step to becoming a well-rounded BJJer. Focusing on staying in your "weak" positions will propel you forward in your learning curve much faster than relying on your strengths.

Good luck!

Dev said...

To add to Jen's comment, as my Coach says: "If you're on the bottom, get on top. If you're on top, stay on top."

A.D. McClish said...

Yeah, that's one of my biggest weaknesses. For some rediculous reason, I've gotten comfortable on the bottom. In a real street-fight situation, that is the last place I want to be. I will try to be conscious of it during the tournament. I know how to get to a neutral position and how to sweep into a dominant position. The question is, will I have the presence of mind to do it? We'll see! :)