Mapping your game

Try thinking of your grappling game like this - you have just arrived in a new city to live, you don't know anything about it, you just know where you live; you have no street directory but you need to find your way around becasue you start work as a taxi driver i a few eeks time - what do you do?
Well - instinctively, you will be drawn to the najor landmarks - you will work out how to find your way to a few well-known locations at first, and gradually begin to build yourself a mental map. Over time, you wil begin to establish convenient relationships between the various locations - relationships that will become incresingly more familiar as time goes by - shortcuts, work-arounds, etc. As more time goes by, you will get to know all the major landmarks and a considerable number of lesser-known ones, and so your mental map begins to fill out.
This is just one of the ways in which are minds work - we are natural explorers and we all have this amazing ability.
So try looking at your grappling game the same way - first of all, begin by identifying the few 'major landmarks' where you feel comfortable (read: positions) , then clarify how you get from one to the other (without getting lost); then do the same with your 'attack plan' - try identifying little 'sets' or 'groups' of attacks from the various 'landmark positions' and strat to build yourself a 'game map'.
I like using this method with beginners, as it works naturally with the way we have evolved as humans - it utilises the way in which our brains process information and try to put things into an organized structure - and so, it works quickly. You may even take the process a step further and try drawing this as a map on a large bit of laminated paper with a white board marker(so you can amend and change as you learn) - or just pick one small part of your game - like your 'guard' for example: Do you know how to go from 1/2 guard to hooks guard, from hooks guard to closed guard - and visa versa - have you got those transitions clearly 'mapped' then once you have the guard you want, are you equally clear on what your initial/preferred attack is going to be - becasue you need to be clear; if you're not clear, then while you are busy 'head-scratching', your opponent is doig stuff, evil stuff, and we don't like that! So map it out - bit by bit - don't be frustrated by the process - because the fun is IN the process - and it takes a long time.
This is a good starting point for beginners though - and will offer good results. Have fun - I will be away for about nine days - of to Mongolia/Siberia - where's that jacket??
Safe training - look after each other.



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