6 BJJ Mat Tips to Improve Your Closed Guard Attacks! (Part 2)

June 6, 2011

In Part 1 of the “6 BJJ Mat Tips” article, I covered Mat Tips 1-3 (Don’t allow your opponent to get their grips, Keep your opponents head in front of their hips, and how to get into your opponent’s
“blind spot” by using angled attacks).

In Part 2, I will cover the remaining Mat Tips (#4-6) for improving your closed guard attacks:

Tip #4: Your hands must always make contact with your opponent at all times while in your guard – Far too often during a match, a grappler will establish a control grip on his opponent, then release it due to fatigue or frustration from not knowing what to do from that position. Once you break contact with your opponent and put your hands somewhere that’s not helping you during the match (e.g. behind the back of your head), you make it easier for your opponent to maintain the posture they need to eventually pass your guard.

Tip #5: Break your opponent’s base by “Driving Their Head” – Everyone has heard at one time or another to pull your opponent’s head down to your chest, but the reason why you’re doing it isn’t
always clear. Usually, grapplers pull their opponents forward to break their posture, but once you pull them forward, their immediate reaction will be to sit back up, with no benefit from pulling them down. But what if you steered your opponent’s head by turning it like you’d turn a car steering wheel? You would force them to break their own base while trying to free their head from your grip, making it easier to sweep them on one side while creating space on the other side to escape from underneath them.

Tip #6: Transition from closed to open guard BEFORE your opponent’s breaks your guard AND attack immediately – Most grapplers have heard that you shouldn’t wait until your guard is broken before you move to the next position (which tends to be open guard). Unfortunately, many grapplers transition too slowly from closed to open guard. That immediate closed-to-open guard transition should allow you to stay one step ahead of your opponent, making it easier to counter their attacks since they’re still concentrating on opening your legs to pass your guard.

And there you have the “6 BJJ Mat Tip to Improve Your Closed Guard Attacks.” Make sure that you master these tips and don’t get discouraged if your guard gets passed while trying to perfect
these tactics. With patience and persistence, you’ll have one of the most feared closed guard attacks at your academy.


Ask The Wise Grappler: OG With Multiple Sclerosis Wants to Fight But Coach Won’t Train Him?

February 28, 2011

“I am an older grappler (42 in Feb) and have been training in Jiu-Jitsu for a little more than a year. I live in Virginia near the border of Kentucky. There are no local MMA fights, so I have to travel to Kentucky.

Because of my age, I have to have a physical. That’s not a problem. My problem is that I have Multiple Sclerosis.

My doctor/neurologist cleared me to cage fight, but I have to be cleared by a ringside cage doctor (slight inconvenience). My biggest hurdle is my trainer (who is worried I will get hurt) won’t support me fighting and calls my MS a “crippling disease.” Yes, MS can be a “crippling disease” – but any physical problems I might have would happen before I got in a cage to fight – not while fighting in a cage. My Neuro says I have no greater chance for injury than any other “healthy” fighter.

So, I have three things against me:
1. My age
2. I need a ringside doctor to clear me
3. I have a (great) trainer who is afraid I’ll get hurt and does little to support me.

I need advice. I can’t do anything about my age, I can get medical clearance for a license as a cage fighter, but what can I do to convince my trainer to support me and allow me to be a cage fighter? This is something I want/need to do. This is my journey. I am aware of risks cage fighters take, but I’m willing to risk injury. It’s my choice. Other than leaving my trainer and seeking a new one, do you have any advice you can give me to help me change my trainer’s thinking?

——————

TWG: First, let me give you props for wanting to pursue your goal, especially when others are telling you to give up on what you feel is part of your grappling journey because of your condition.

Now, let me say upfront that I think you’ve got a pretty good trainer that cares about you and is looking out for your best interest by not allowing you to just jump into the ring with more heart than preparation. The fact that he’s worried about you is something you should take into consideration (just like you want him to take how you feel into consideration to train you) and work on a solution to make him feel more comfortable with you fighting.

For starters, you should get him some medical info on MS to read so that he can become familiar with the facts, which would keep him from speculating on your medical condition. Also, check to see if there are other competitive athletes (in similar contact sports) that have overcome the same obstacles and are following their journey. A little education can go a long way to making him feel comfortable to train you.

Next, you should really sit down with him and really express your desire to be a grappling competitor as well as a MMA fighter. I gotta think that your lack of experience (less than a year) isn’t giving him a warm fuzzy feeling and you’re gonna have to convince him that you’re prepared to make the commitment it’s gonna take to be successful in the ring.

After expressing how much you want to do this and you want him to be the one to help you, you may have to create some kind of an agreement with him that you’ll train for a certain time period before fighting that’s to his liking. That way, he can coach you so that he’ll know you’re ready for your fight and more preparation will calm any concerns he may have about you in the cage.

Also, you may also have to get him to agree to train you for just one fight at a local show (where the competition will be a newbie similar to you in skill) to evaluate your future in the ring. Based on your performance, you guys can determine how reasonable a second fight would be for you. If he sees that you’re more than capable of handling yourself well in the ring and the ring doc OKs you to fight, he might be more willing to train you for more fights.

Bottom line: you MUST make your coach feel like he’s not making a mistake by training and cornering you for a fight because he’s gotta live with the outcome of his decision as well. Make him feel assured that you’re serious about being a good fighter, work with him to create a plan to fight just one fight together, and then plan your fighting future based on your performance. And don’t be so quick to “jump ship” because another coach will let you fight when your current one won’t. The new coach may be trying to just throw a guy in the ring for exposure and not be the least bit
concerned about you.

I hope this helps, OG. Keep me posted on how your training is going along and good luck on your MMA journey.

Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)
http://www.TheWiseGrappler.com


OG Earns His BJJ Black Belt at Age 52

February 7, 2011
Last week, I wrote about an OG (Harvey Hensley) that received his BJJ Black Belt at the young age of 52.

I did a quick interview with him after attending a BJJ Seminar that his instructor (and my “younger big bro”) Jared Weiner hosted at his school up in Philly (BJJ United) last December.

If you’ve been “training just to be training” and never thought about earning YOUR black belt, OG Harvey will make you reconsider it with his accomplishment.

Feel free to email, share or post the blog link wherever you think an OG can benefit from it and enjoy!

Dedicated to improving your mat experience!

Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)


The Wise Grappler QoTD (1/31/11)

February 1, 2011

“Success comes from good judgment; good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.” (Unknown)


BJJ Training Lows (Low #1 – Training Progression: Seeing Immediate Gains, Then Slow Improvement)

January 21, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2010

January 1, 2011

Well, it’s the last day of 2010 and I’m sitting here thinking about the past year and all the “highs and lows” that I’ve encountered.

And as I reflect back on the year, I can’t help but to put things into three buckets:  the good, the bad and the ugly.

The “good” bucket consists of all my successes for the year. The things that I tried and everything turned out in my favor.  I guess it should go without saying this is my favorite bucket and the one that made me a happy wise grappler.

The “bad” bucket consisted of all the things I took a chance on and didn’t work out in my favor.  Although I would’ve wished for a happier ending for the items in this bucket, I gained a lot of wisdom and experience that I’ll carry over into 2011.

Finally, the “ugly” bucket consists of the missed opportunities that came my way because I either procrastinated or chose to do something that added little or no value to me  (e.g. making a decision to play “Madden 10” instead of writing an e-newsletter article).  I always knew those things probably took away more value than they added, in spite of the lame excuses I created to justify doing it.

However, with 2010 hours away from being a memory, I can say the benefits from the “good” and “bad” buckets made me a better person in the long run.

As for the “ugly” bucket, I’ll talk about how I’m going to deal with them in the next article.

So, have fun celebrating the New Year and best wishes for 2011! 🙂


Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2010

If you live in the U.S., then you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with
family members and friend that you care most about… or at least
can put up with for a few days!  🙂

Seriously, I wanted to send you a quick note to say from my
family to yours… HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I’m thankful for your support and friendship.  I also hope we’ll
get to share with each other in the future because of our love
for BJJ and the grappling arts.

Enjoy your day!

Dedicated to improving your mat experience!

Paul Greenhill (aka The Wise Grappler)