Widen Your Focus

I’m a thinker. When I see something or reading something, I like to put it through it’s paces. I really started focusing on this a year after getting my blue belt. Often times, before realizing I did this, I’d watch a technique and go, “Oh, that’s neat!” Then I’d practice it, try it, and if I didn’t like it, I’d discard it. The problem was that I didn’t take the technique and go, “Well, it doesn’t work great for me in this position, but where else could I use this technique? Does it fit in to anywhere else in my game?” Since then, I’ve thought about things more so than I did before, and it’s really the reason I started this blog. It’s a place for me to put down my thoughts. Anyway, I’m going the wrong direction here. I was just giving a little insight as to why I think about stuff so much. Onto the actual topic.

I was reading a popular BJJ forum and came across a thread that really got me thinking. It wasn’t particularly the content of the thread that was interesting, but the thought trail it sent me on. The thread was from a white belt and was pretty much like any other thread you’d see from a beginner. The thread author was having problems with a particular technique or issue. What set me off on my thought trail was the way he actually asked the question. He said that when he was in top side control, his opponent on the bottom was just grabbing his gi and holding him down there. He said the guy on the bottom had insane vise grips, so he couldn’t move. What was his question? How can I strip his grips? 

And this is the issue that many of us, including myself, fall into. Instead of being focused on one option or set on one path, widen your gaze so that you see more. Most of the time, there’s more than one way to do something. A big factor in jiu-jitsu is effectiveness. That’s why you always hear about leverage and timing being important. Yeah, having strength is great, but it can tire you out. What about when you’re tired and all you have is your leverage and timing? What would you have rather trained more, your strength or technique (leverage and timing)? The answer is fairly obvious.

So, it’s not about just a technique to strip the grips. There are more options than just focusing on breaking those grips, and I’ve really been realizing it more and more. Instead of stripping the grips with strength, you could attack the neck, go to knee-on-belly, wristlock, and more. And this doesn’t just apply to this situation. If you’re passing, trying to get a submission, and pretty much anything else. We all, and that includes me, sometimes get to set on one technique and trying to get it.

From now on, widen your gaze. If you’re having issues, step back and realize there’s more than one option. You don’t always have to address the issue head on. And usually, if you don’t address it head on, you end up catching your opponent off guard, which is never a bad thing.


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