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Improvements for Jiu Jitsu
I see this all the time. Students in Jiu Jitsu that do very well, but miss key details in how they move and act on the mat. They are usually very good students, do well in rolling and even medal in tournaments. But, because of the small mistakes they make, their Jiu Jitsu is not to the point of where it should be. There are plenty of small things one can do, to vastly improve their personal Jiu Jitsu. These improvements for Jiu Jitsu will truly help you get better on the mats.
Drill movements. This is the most common mistake I see made. People feel like they get to a certain level and they stop drilling key movements for Jiu Jitsu. This is where they can feel as though their skills are perhaps regressing a tad. Shrimping, bridges, and both forward and backward rolls will always be needed on the mats, so you should never stop drilling the movements. You’ll need a shrimp for many escapes. Your bridge will almost always be there for your mount escape. And rolls can you help you when it comes to scrambling. They are movements that your body should feel natural to do. So practice them.
Next, learn to properly break the closed guard. Breaking the closed guard will be something you’ll always know have to do. Everyone becomes so focused on the actual guard passes, that they neglect on how to actually break the guard. Knowing a variety of passes is great, but if you can’t actually break the guard open, then they become worthless. Practice the correct grips on the belt, lapel and pants. Work the movement of getting knees to the centerline a and staying compact. Breaking the guard is the hard part, once you can do that, the pass becomes easier. Rodolfo Vieira, who is a great BJJ black belt is one to study when it comes to guard breaking (and passing) has a thorough DVD set on the subject.
Maintain your posture. This is something to always think about no matter where you are on the mat. Posture is one of the most important things you can use while in a match. If you’re in a stand up battle, clinching and locking up the correct takedown or throw, you need posture to correctly finish it. You also need good posture to avoid getting attacked easily while you are in someone’s guard. Maintaining good posture also means having a strong base, using your hips right and not putting your hands on the mat.
The last thing I can say is to keep an open mind. Too many people fall in love with one aspect of Jiu Jitsu. It can be side control attacks, playing guard, or just attacking with gi chokes. But when you only focus on one aspect, you are hurting your Jiu Jitsu. You have to know the fights of different areas, so that you yourself don’t get hurt in those areas. It is okay if you have one place that you like to go to for your main attacks. But, learn the proper attacks and defensive maneuvers of every situation. That way, you can still be a complete Jiu Jitsu fighter.
A coach of mine always said, in Jiu Jitsu, there are no rules, only warnings. These are my warnings to those who train. These little ideas can make for big improvements in your game. You’ll find yourself doing better if you follow these warnings, and you will feel more success as well.