Gripping Mindset With Jimmy Pedro
What’s your gripping mindset? Mindset on gripping? What does that even mean? I’m supposed to have a gripping mindset? Who knew?
The ultra successful have a plan, process or system for everything they do. Yes this includes gripping. So what does it mean to have a gripping mindset you may be asking… Great question.
Your gripping mindset determines your approach to gripping. Are you an aggressive gripping constantly fighting for grips that help move your game forward, or are you a passive gripper who typically responds to the opponent’s grips? The majority of grapplers seem to be defensive or passive grippers whereas what you can see is that the best of the best in the world are offensive grippers. Having a strategy going into it helps. As you Jiu Jitsu game develops over time, as will your gripping game. You will start to learn when you need to have a certain grip and when you don’t along with how to swim for a better grip position etc.
If you want to be successful in most martial arts, fighting styles, or self defense in general you must train yourself to be an offensive gripper as described in the video instructional titled Offensive and Defensive Gripping by Jimmy Pedro. Jimmy shows various grips and positions in this video clip but doesn’t dive too much into the details. The bottom line he is trying to express is that gripping first, and with a plan for what you are looking to do with the grip is the best strategy. If you are looking to dive into the grip game in more detail you can check out Grip Like a World Champion 2.0 by Jimmy Pedro.
What is often overlooked when we talk about gripping is the compulsive need people seem to have to break their opponent’s grips. Listen, if you are competing at a high level, then I agree, your opponent is likely gripping you for good reason and you should remove that grip as quickly as possible. On the contrary however, there is a good chance that your opponent is simply gripping you because they know they are supposed to “get grips”, yet they have no idea why or what grip to get, nor do they have any intent whatsoever of using that grip to do anything. Many times, people will get a grip almost as a way of “holding on for the ride”. This is a situation where you may not need to freak out and constantly exert energy to continually break the grips, you may be able to simply execute your takedown completely ignoring the fact that they are holding onto your lapel (or wherever the grip may be).
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What matters most is, again, that you have a plan, why are you gripping? Does it make sense to have this grip? What are you going to use the grip for? Too many times it seems people grip just to grip. It took me a long time to learn when I didn’t need to have a grip and was just wasting my energy and when I really needed a good solid grip. Understand that having a grip when it is not necessary is simply expending energy that doesn’t need to be. Especially in competition, you are using every ounce of energy you have in some cases, you can’t afford to waste it.
Because grip is so important many practitioner put a special focus on training their ability to grip not only grip hard, but also grip for an extended period of time. Grip training should be a part of your strength and conditioning regimen.
One exercise we do often at the academy is Gi coat pull ups. These will smoke your grip and leave you questioning if you are actually strong or not for sure. Starting out laying on the mat, have your training partner stand over you with one foot on each side of you about half way up your torso. They should be standing with a straight back looking forward, or slightly upward at the ceiling, this will keep their spine straight and in the right position for this exercise. Next reach up and grab your training partner’s sleeves with whatever grip you want (we are going to do several grips). Your job now is to do a pull up or row, depending how you want to look at it, either way simply pull until your body comes off the mat and you pull yourself all the way off of the mat. Repeat for sets of 8-15 reps depending on your ability. Repeat this process using all of the possible grips, four fingers in, pistol grip should be your staples for this exercise.
Regardless of which plan you decide on, make sure it aligns with your grappling goals and isn’t putting you in a bad position with overworking certain muscles, or not actually building functional strength. There is no question that implementing a strength and conditioning program from either of these mat monsters will take you to the next level both on and off of the mats.
Grip Like A World Champion 2.0 By Jimmy Pedro will give you a look at what it takes to become a Champ! This 3 part series gives you a look at how Jimmy Pedro has created some of the best Judokas in the U.S. like Travis Stevens and Kayla Harrison! Go on a Judo Journey that covers everything from theory of gripping to defending power grips. Grip Like A World Champion 2.0 is guaranteed to increase your success on the feet!
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