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Categorizing your Game for Efficient Progression
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Categorizing your Game for Efficient Progression

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One of the major struggles in life is always how to manage your time.

We have a very precious finite amount of it, and if you're not careful, it can easily be wasted.Unless you go to a large academy where classes are separated by skill level, odds are that when you roll, you do so with every level of student available.On many occasions this can result in an upper belt simply destroying a lower level partner. Which usually leads to nothing being gained by either party. And that precious time on the mat being completely wasted.The upper belt has gained nothing by destroying an opponent who can't properly defend themselves. And the lower belt has learned nothing by being smashed beyond their level of comprehension.

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So how can an upper belt rolling with a lower belt be beneficial for both parties? By categorizing your skills and the skill level of your training partners, and then matching them up.For example. Let's say that I have a really good Kimura from guard. In fact, it's my best submission. Then it's going into my A Game Category.I also have a descent Armbar from Guard, but it's not great. We can put that into my B Game Category.Finally, I understand how to do a Triangle from guard, but have never been able to finish one in a live roll. That'll be in my C Game.

Once you've categorized your skills, you can start using them against opponents of an equal level. A Game against A Level opponents, B Game against B Level and so on.This will allow rolls to be beneficial for both parties involved. Everyone will have an opportunity to improve because nothing used by one partner will be too far beyond the other’s capabilities.As the higher level grappler, killing someone lower than you with your A Game is of no benefit to anyone. But, using your lower level techniques gives them a fighting chance.You'll have the chance to improve one of your worst or not so great techniques. And because it's not one of your best moves, they'll have the chance to defend it before you can finish it.

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Then gradually as your lower level techniques improve, you can increase their rank. So now that you've caught that triangle against a bunch of White Belts, it's time to bump it up to a B Level and try it out on some Blue Belts.Transitioning the techniques through the ranks should give each one a higher probability for success during each roll. Then, tweaking minor details here and there as you progressively work it against better competition will further the improvement. On the opposite end of the spectrum. Using a technique that you aren't good at against a higher level opponent can be difficult to say the least.

In most cases, this will drastically increase the amount of time it takes you to master the move because it's most likely to be instantly shut down. As a result, it will be difficult to make the minor adjustments for improvement that you would if you were using it against an opponent on an equal level. Instead, use your A Game against A level opponents. Really focusing on getting those techniques razor sharp at the highest level. The higher the level of your opponent, the less experimentation and the more refining. Taking this approach anytime you roll will ensure that opportunity to grow is available to all. After all, you're only as good as your team. If your teammates don't progress to a higher level, you won’t either.

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