Advice for a young grappler

MMA trainingSome advice an experienced BJJ instructor emailed to me…

I don’t think you are going to like the reality of your responsibilities as a new grappler. You are a beginner level grappler. You really only have one job and everything you do should be based around becoming great at that one single responsibility. Gi or no Gi, you are at that white belt level. Your job is to learn how to stay in the fight longer. To resist getting tapped. The greater you build your resistance to submission the longer you can stay in the fight.

Thats good to build patience for when the submission is available for you, you don’t spend your energy trying to create it. You will begin to feel moves being attempted sooner and sooner. This makes your partner better cause he will have to fake you out setting up one thing then transitioning to another thing. That is his benefit for helping you build submission resistance.

You should build your own dummy. Often they don’t get much use at all. If you build your own for 40-50 bucks and find you are one of the type that can use it consistently month in and month out then you can justify spending more. Some are about 500 bucks. Those that are 500 bucks can be made out of different cheap materials – cushions of a curb side couch, upholstery thread and a upholstery needle set.

You can one up that with making bone structure out of pvc piping and knuckle joints.
When it breaks you will be able to repair it cause you built it rather then sulking cause your expensive training aid is all fucked up.

LEG locks LEG locks LEG locks. Dummies are the safest way to work what nobody should feel safe working. LEG LOCKS. A correct leg lock is instant. You go so far to tap when you feel pain and you can be injured for weeks if not months. I got hurt in June. Its now January the following year and i haven’t returned. I have another consult in march.

The best way to utilize video training is staying relevant to your place in the sport.
White belts should watch video for white belt who want to advance to blue belts.
Blue belts should watch video for blue to purple belts. Purple belts should watch videos for the transition from purple to brown belt.

If you go home and learn some 10th planet manoeuvre and you bring that to practice and injure someone that didn’t tap in time cause you were being funky. Then you really are a fucking ass hole. The ability to anticipate the completion of the technique your opponent is doing keeps you in the fight longer but it also keeps you training longer. If you go in with some move that the class isn’t taught to be exposed to then you hurt someone, you steal from them something you have no right to take. Its your second class. Be a second class guy. Wanna mess with the bull? Take out three of my training mates after you just walked in my club and you are going to find your self unable to practice if i learn what you been doing.

You aren’t there to trick, you aren’t there to win, or be better then the team members. You are there to pay money in exchange for being raised. If you aren’t where they expect you to be how can they lead you? If you are there hurting people then you have an ego issue. Often a new trainee doesn’t want to feel powerless. Doesn’t want to be ranked as the weakest link. Its an ego problem. The best respect in the club comes from being lead from where you are to where they are at. Not by trying to out class the people that paid their dues.

I think you said six years of Muay Thai. That’s great. The patience and submission resistance as it pertains to MMA means resisting until you get your opportunity to get off your back and get into a position where you can strike with him and use six years of Muay Thai.

If you rush into becoming a submission master, you may develop an ability that is supposed to come later. If you have a knack for submitting people then your offense may be your best defense.

The job of a white belt is to defend himself on the ground. Imagine, you are a prodigy and you submit everyone in 10 seconds. For that 10 seconds you are in control and you end the bout. When you get a guy whose better than you because he’s been doing it longer, you will lose. Why? because he can defend your offence but you can’t defend his. A beginners job is to defend. If you don’t grow it then it will be an Achilles heel that will become the reason you lose in the future.

Now the gi. You like moving faster then opponents in no gi. Great. Guys that do both gi and no gi will be faster slicker and tighter than you can become on your own with no gi training.

Imagine you wrap your body in velcro. You have one type your opponent another. You stick and grind to each other. Then you enter a competition or you are in a fight where you don’t have on velcro. Suddenly its like you ran with a parachute and they ran with out one in a race.

No more drag. No more friction resistance. In no gi matches and mma you will be in either tights or just bare skin sweaty. Its like gliding.

PS - Holding a closed guard. The arm bar from the guard. The triangle from the guard. This is all you are going to focus on.

Guard passing, arm bar from the top, Kimura. This is all you are going to work from top position.

Grape vine, once you got someone’s back, “throwing your hooks in” and rear naked chokes. This is all you do from the turtle position.

Thats your job.

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