I went into class last night with every intention of working my triangle. I had a few setups in mind and I wanted to see how they worked out. Unfortunately, I ended up rolling with some bigger guys and had to switch up my plans. Bigger guys are extremely difficult to triangle.
I had an epiphany the other day. I realized that I have been ignoring the obvious when it comes to rolling hard in Jiu-Jitsu. For the longest time, I’ve been working on getting myself stuck in nasty situations and trying to get out. This ended a few weeks ago after I joined a new school. I very early on discovered that I could no longer play that game. The reason being – I couldn’t get out. I had to adapt and come up with something else. I had to actually try.
The guys at this new school really like the grip game. For some reason or another, I’ve always told myself that I imagine myself not wearing a gi, whether or not I’m actually wearing one. I would rely on hooks and sweeps – you know, for self defense. In the real world, I may not always be wearing my gi. Here’s the thing – the school I joined is one where they like to train for competition. From what I’ve gathered so far, they don’t practice self defense and don’t imagine themselves in the real world, walking around the mall, being approached at knifepoint. They work on tournament scenarios, points and the dreaded grips. This is the type of Jiu-Jitsu I like.
In order for me to get up to par with this new school, I’ve had to make some changes in what I do. After I realized that the guys I roll with have tremendous success with working their grips, I began breaking them. If they got one, I’d immediately break it. Like I was telling a student last night, “Don’t just let someone get what they want, you ignore it and move on. That’s how you lose. Fix the problem.” I was basically saying that we should really focus on the immediate threat instead of becoming accustomed to it and pretending it’s not there. If someone pulls guard on you and gets two sleeve grips, break the grips and make sure they don’t get them again. Then, work on breaking and passing guard. I’ve seen it a thousand times where guys are in the midst of having their sleeves taken hold of and completely ignore it. They try to bulldoze through and complete what they had intended. Well, the reason the opponent had taken the grips was to get a sweep. They’ll usually get it.
So a big part of last night was really focusing on not letting anyone get grips on my sleeves or collar.
Also, I began playing a grip game of my own. I went after them like there was no tomorrow and had great success. It’s amazing how you can control someone when they have no use of their arms. I got the grips and started setting up all sorts of open guards. I’m not saying I achieved much of what I was after, but I did have a breakthrough in the grip department. The stuff really works.