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Wim Deputter Reveals The Mirroring Principle

Wim Deputter Reveals The Mirroring Principle



How often do you work on the defensive aspects of your BJJ game? As BJJ players, we know that this part of our game is paramount to our progress and to being successful on the mat but sometimes it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As white belts, we’re forced to take defensive measures constantly. During our earliest experiences with training, we’re presented with all kinds of unfavorable situations that we must dissect and come up with answers for. In many cases the white belt is the survival belt. As we learn to start mounting attacks, often times the focus takes a big shift and we worry less about being defensive, as our attention turns to being more dominant. There’s nothing wrong with learning to attack of course. But as your ability to attack increases, so should your ability to defend.

Great defense might be a bit underrated. It’s fun to be the beast that’s always hunting the submissions, but what happens when someone good passes your guard or takes your back? Does your game fall apart or are you prepared to respond with dynamic defense that’s just as proficient as your offense? This theme becomes even more prevalent as we age. Phenomenal defense can be the great equalizer against all of the young guns that wish to take out the old black belt on the training floor. As athleticism, agility, and power begin to decline, adhering to the principles of survival can be quite the lifesaver.

Wim Deputter has recently put together a body of work for BJJ Fanatics entitled, The Mirroring Principle. The first installment is based on back defense and offensive measures when your back has been taken. With a title that’s a bit shrouded in mystery, this mirroring concept has my curiosity piqued. There may not be a worse position in BJJ than having your back taken. Our bodies are set up perfectly to deal with attacks from the front, but not so much from the rear, especially when there’s someone knowledgeable back there. This makes an entire collection of back attack defensive measures is quite appealing. 

With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Deputter, a revered BJJ instructor and MMA fighter, is ready to share with us these unique principles and ideas pertaining to his mirroring concept. Deputter is a highly skilled instructor specializing in filling in the gaps and linking techniques together. This is one of my favorite ways to learn and I’m more than excited to delve in. In this video, Deputter gives us some ideas pertaining to the mirroring concept and a little bit of insight on what to expect from the series. Take a look at this!



We get some side control advice first, as Deputter offers us some things to think about. He advises us to never place both of our shoulders on the floor when were in the bottom side control position. He also creates extension in his body to establish a straight spine and rigid form, making it difficult for the top player flatten him out. 

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With the frames breached and the pressure coming, Deputter secures an under hook here and also reaches between his partner’s legs, up the backside of the body. As his partner comes forward, he’s forced to travel across the centerline of Deputter’s body, putting him out of balance. As his partner arrives in this over shoot of side control, Deputter offers more momentum in the same direction, keeping his partner stuck. This causes a favorable reaction for Deputter. As his partner posts and begins to regain position, he can now recompose his guard with the space that’s been given during the exchange. 

Switching to the kesa gatame position, Deputter first reveals a stronger method of framing by turning his palms to face him. He also widens his feet to create a larger base, giving himself more stability in the position. With his elbow controlled (as it often will be) Deputter shows an interesting method of controlling the grip. He reaches down with his framing hand and controls the pinky on his partners hand, preventing him from pulling the elbow up and out of play. He then drives up on to his bottom shoulder using a bridge, creating incredibly strong structure under his opponent. He then posts his head on the floor, followed by his hand and begins to rise up from the mat. As his partner begins to pressure in to him, Deputter gives some energy back, getting hip to hip and then makes a very smooth transition back into the half guard. 

There’s a great deal of efficiency and intelligence at work here. Deputter is definitely working smarter not harder. These kinds of concepts always serve us well in defensive situations where energy conservation is key to surviving the attack. I’m interested to see the rest of the series unfold and how these principles translate to other positions. 

The Mirroring Principle: Back Defense & Being Offensive by Wim Deputter
Great innovations and concepts here from an amazing instructor in Wim Deputter! The first installment of The Mirroring Principle is available now at the BJJ Fanatics online store!



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