Grip With a Purpose
Guard sweeps and their interconnected submissions as well as guard passes were the foundation of my jiu-jitsu. The importance of the collar grip from guard was drilled into my mind for every rep I would do, since day one. When passing the guard, hand placement and gripping was just as important. But what I’ve noticed training today, not many people focus on them as much as they should. My instructor still tells us how to grip, when to grip, and where, but it seems that not many people remember this great detail.
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There are many benefitting factors on a strong collar grip. If it’s strong on the collar bone, you can make your partner posture up when they start to smash you, or even pull them in if they posture up too much. If the grip is deep behind the neck, you can threaten with a deep choke. But when you’re grip is weak and able to be lost if your partner bumps your hand, then there’s no reason for them to defend against it. IBJJF No Gi World Champion, Rodrigo Artilheiro, discusses the importance of grip location and strength to posture up his opponent in his scissor sweep instruction on his latest DVD.
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But when you’re passing someone else’s guard, or changing positions, a strong grip is just as necessary. If you’re controlling your partner while passing or entering other forms of guard, such as Ashi Garami, with a good grip, you will have much higher success rate. John Danaher also makes it a point in his recent DVD to emphasize proper grips. Not just any grips, positive grips. Positive grips mean you are attacking. If you have negative grips, you are probably defending rather than attacking and that could be a detriment to your game plan.
Your mind should always be set to have a positive grip. This means that your grip needs to be for a purpose. Make sure your opponent is concerned with the type of grip you have, then learn to use it to your advantage. Grips go a long way, and you will see a huge improvement in all aspects of your jiu-jitsu once you start using them.
For more from Rodrigo Artilheiro, check out his newest instructional at BJJ Fanatics! In the Lazy Closed Guard series, you will learn all of the secrets of this forgotten position. Get it here at BJJ Fanatics!