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Developing Your Own Transitions

Developing Your Own Transitions

Put Your Own, Unique Twist On Your BJJ Game...

The most visually pleasing aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not any particular technique or position, it is the transition between those. Submissions, sweeps, and passes are all easy to learn when treated as a unique entity, learning how to transition between those is the difficult part that separates the best from the rest. We all know the same techniques in Jiu Jitsu, the only thing that separates you from someone like Marcelo Garcia is smooth transitioning, effective timing, and experience.

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This difference is most apparent when examining the effective disparity between a moderately experienced student, like a blue belt, and a black belt. I can easily recall being demolished physically and morally by my instructors during live sessions even though they were using techniques that I knew very well. Their transitions, however, were beyond comprehension to me at that time.


Although most grapplers are aware of the value of developing transitions, they only use those that they learn from others. The era of Youtube Jiu Jitsu is limiting the creative element of students who are barely capable of absorbing all the eloquent transitions that are available online. More importantly, however, is that this content is available for anyone, and that by the time you add the technique to your game, your training partners will have seen it too.


In the last year, I have not been able to view much video content as I used to due to time constraints. Consequentially, however, my creativity in Jiu Jitsu has improved dramatically. This is analogous to how most fans of art are not artists themselves (yes, this sounds pretentious). The ability to develop transitions on my own has benefited me in a great way when I roll. It has also improved my teaching content in a way that allows students to learn stuff that is not available elsewhere.

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Although there is value in using other grappler’s transitions, I highly recommend every jiujitero to create their own. Not only is it a fun exercise in one’s understanding of the sport, it will set you on a higher level on the mats and improve your instructional capability.

One of the foremost experts on the incorporation of strikes into your grappling is high-level MMA Coach Neil Melanson.  Check out his Advanced Guard Systems which can be beneficial strictly from a BJJ perspective, but also when strikes and real world self defense become the priority.  You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!

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