Sunday, December 26, 2010

Details, details...

So, Liam had a great comment on my last blog. He basically was saying that it is good to understand the fundamental concepts and details that go into each move--why they work and how--so that you can build a solid foundation of techniques that you can rely on.

That got me thinking about something one of my instructors, Ben, said to me before I got my blue belt. I was worried that I didn't deserve my blue belt because of precisely the reasons Liam mentioned: I don't have the details right. I either forget them or never noticed them in the first place. Ben made me feel better by explaining that I am not supposed to know them at this point. That's why I'm a blue belt and not a purple belt. lol.

Still, at this stage in my BJJ journey, I am starting to want to refine a lot of the basic things I learned as a beginner. There are still a lot of techniques I haven't even seen yet. But I am wanting to make the ones I do know work better.

Over the last few months, one of the main ones that I have focused on is the triangle. This is one submission that I always was good at catching, but not so good at finishing. The same was true with the armbar from guard. Both really basic techniques, but ones that have little details that, if you don't get them right, make it much more difficult to finish the submission.

Here's where having a great team comes into play. I go to Fabio, ask him what is wrong with my stupid triangle. He tells me. Then I go and try to do what he says on a bunch of the guys. Some of them let me try to finish it. Others escape so fast that I can only dream of what finishing might have felt like. lol. Usually, I have to go back to Fabio at least a couple of times to troubleshoot problems I ran into. Then the trial and error process starts again.

The hard part for me is that sometimes my body doesn't do what I picture in my mind! I know what I need to do, but that is only half the battle. The reason why drilling and practicing the moves in a live grapple is so important is because you also have to teach your body how to move. A lot of the stuff BJJ requires your body to do takes time to master.

For me, getting my hips to move the right way was the key detail I was lacking in finishing the armbar and the triangle. Why has been your Achilles heel, lately?

3 comments: said...

It's so hard for me to choose just one. Lately, for me it's been the half guard sweeps.

A.D. McClish said...

Oh man, me too. That is one of the hardest places for me to sweep from.

slideyfoot said...

I'm pretty bad at everything, but my inability to attack from open guard has been emphasised recently. I've been shown plenty of techniques, but never seem to work out how to apply them in sparring.

Normally, I'm used to seeing daylight in the brief windows of air when I'm not stuck under side control, so open guard isn't somewhere I find myself for long periods.

However, I rolled with a brown and then a black belt in the last couple of weeks. They went really light, leaving openings in order to see what I would do.

It turns out I do very, very little. ;)