Thursday, March 01, 2007

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All roads lead to Rome!


Students often ask me for ideas and tips on how they should go about developing their personal 'game'. And although there are many factors and ideas that can contribute to this process I will outline here, one very, very important one. And that is, the concept I like to call 'All roads lead to Rome!'

Once you have a solid understanding of the basics; a good overall/generalist idea of the fundamentals of BJJ, then it may be time to start working on the development of your personal 'game' or 'grappling plan'. But how to go about this?

Well, a good first step, is to identify your favorite position - and once their your favorite set-up or finish. The for the next three months, try and get to that position from wherever you can. make the fight go there - explore all the possibilities (even the seemingly crazy ones) of how you can have that same situation come up again and again. Be creative. Force the opponent there - coax him there - lure him there - hit the mat with that goal in mind and you will be surprised at how often you can 'make it all happen'. This is how you develop 'potency' with a certain finish - and begin to develop a 'grappling plan'. Your overall game will eventually evolve from a single plan into a collection of plans - as opposed to a collection of 'moves' or techniques. This will turbo-boost your game to another level.

Those with limited experience will often see a good fighter or competitor finish with the same technique again and again, and make the mistake of labeling this approach as too simplistic or even predictable. But if he can consistently get the same result again and again, then it is obviously anything but simplistic.

Take the game of Chess for example - there is one way the game ends (every single time) - one outcome, one objective; but how many ways can this objective be achieved? Far from simplistic - far from predictable! The same goes with our grappling game-plan/ Your objective may be to finish every time with back-choke - but first you have to be able to consistently get the opponents back - from every position. That becomes your goal - your plan - your 'game'. The same end result - yes - but anything but simple - anything but predictable. This is your challenge!

So pick a position - and pick a favorite finish from that position. Stick a pic of that position and finish on your bathroom mirror. Make it your obsession for a month. Make records of how many times you get that position in sparring - and how many times, once having that position, you get the actual finish. Work on it - visualize/daydream about it - take ownership of it as your training goal. Numbers are important - goals are important - I guarantee that this approach will take your grappling to another level.
Train Smart - train safe.
JBW

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