Friday, December 28, 2007

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Get a Grip

The innumerable sweeps and reversals from the Guard provide the very foundation for the BJJ strategy of fighting from the bottom position. There are many styles of Guard, including, closed, half-guard, butterfly guard, etc. And each style provides a platform from which to execute an ever-growing armament of sweeps.
Each sweep of course, is different, and each has it’s own key-points that make or break it. But there are several things that are common to most sweeps and among the most important of these is ‘grips’.
Usually, when the fight goes to ‘Guard’, there is a scramble/fight for dominant hand-position. In simplistic terms, the person who achieves the grip[s they need, gets to advance forward in their strategy. Ie: if the person passing the guard gets the grips he/she needs, they advance to the next stage of their strategy – they begin to execute their ‘pass’. But likewise, the same applies to sweeps; if the person ‘playing guard’ gets the grips he/she needs, they in turn can advance in their strategy and begin the execute their sweep. The rule is a simple but profound one – grips first then sweep: grips first then pass. Only one person can win this grip-war; it is akin to a coin toss. One wins – and that person advances with their strategy. So when working a particular sweep it is vitally important to become clear on the grips you need to make the sweep work; and then diligently work (whilst grappling) toward attaining these grips before the opponent gets his ‘passing grips’. Start today – get a grip!
JBW

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