What Are You Working On?
Where should your focus be to improve your game?
What are you working on to get better? Are you trying to strengthen your weaknesses, or are you trying to perfect your strongest areas? For some time, I set my focus on strengthening my weak areas. I was so apprehensive when someone would advance to side control that I would let them transition further, allowing them to take mount and then escaping from there. It seemed as if no matter what adjustments I would make, my partner would adjust quicker than me.
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I was determined to make that a much more comfortable spot. But this made me realize that I was simply giving up on my guard game, a place I’ve always enjoyed and felt dominant in for a long time. Once I came to that realization, I decided to focus on one aspect of guard at a time. If that’s where I was getting back to anyway, why not just perfect it (or at least try to). I learned a few new sweeps and got better at others, I found ways to adjust my hips to be a little more strategic, and fine-tuned a few submissions. My biggest strength is now getting stronger.
It’s not that my time was wasted trying to get better at escapes, but for me, it was better spent adding to my guard arsenal. This may not be the case for every practitioner. But you have to ask yourself those questions – Is what I’m working on the best for me? Should I work on something else? And be honest to yourself. Tom DeBlass once told me “Nobody should be passing your guard,” and this is what I’ve personally set out to accomplish.
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Whatever it is that you are working on, make sure you’re not giving up on something you’ve worked hard on in the past. There’s plenty of ways and plenty of time to get better. Just make sure you’re focused on the right game.
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