Don’t Settle

These past couple of months our whole academy has been focusing on not settling and I’m really seeing benefits. What do I mean by not settling? Often times, at lower levels of BJJ, we’ll accomplish something and settle into it before moving forward. For example, I’m having trouble passing someone’s guard, but I finally get past and settle right into side control. I then think, “Whew, got past his guard!” and I pause there. This is terrible!

What I should be doing is immediately after I pass, I should then be attacking! It’s the best time to attack. Think about it. If I pass your guard and pause, I then give you a chance to “regroup” and mount an escape or reversal attempt. If I immediately go into an attack right after passing your legs, you don’t have a chance to think about escaping, but must rather confront my attack. I’ve been snagging many more submissions while applying this thinking. Even if you’re a white belt who knows one submission from mount, as soon as you pass someones guard, immediately go into mount and go after that submission! And it doesn’t just apply to passing guard! If I sweep, I should immediately go into a pass and then immediately into an attack! It’s really an amazing thought. And even though it seems so simple, I never really consciously applied it to myself until now.

But, on top of that whole development, while driving home the other night I thought about the core people at the academy I attend. And by core I mean the people that always attend and seem to be improving quite a bit. While thinking about them, I realized that they all fall into the rules I’ve put in place for myself when training. Specifically, my two rules for rolling, which are: 1. One roll is not enough. 2. Never turn down a roll.

Several times I’ve seen people roll once and then just leave class. One roll per class isn’t enough though! And I’ve also seen people, and this is extremely often, turn down a roll because, and I quote, “I’m exhausted.” or “I’m to tired.” That is the perfect time to roll! That’s the time that makes you grow in jiu-jitsu! That’s the time that makes you use technique instead of strength! You should never turn down a roll if you’re in good health. Never! Apply these rules to your rolling and I’m sure you’ll see a marked improvement!

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