JiuJitsuMania Hail Mary Sweep

This is what we call a Hail Mary sweep. Tom Deters and Marcelo Cohen show an effective sweep for when an opponent is locked down and holding on when in your full guard. Typically think about using this one when your opponent is ahead in a tournament and they are stalling for time. It takes advantage of leg strength, technique and the element of surprise.


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Technique Series Training: The Fastest Way To Get More Submissions

The journey to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be compared to learning a foreign language: first you learn the techniques (words), then you learn to string techniques together (make a sentence), and then you learn to roll, and blend all the techniques together (to form paragraphs and tell a story).

There is no question that the vast majority of time on the mat should be invested in mastering the details and nuances of all the various individual techniques: submissions, sweeps, escapes etc. Once you get your Blue belt, the fastest learning – the ability to transfer and use these techniques in a fight – may be achieved by drilling not only the individual techniques, but techniques inSeries. That is, smoothly stringing one technique into another in a sequence that makes sense. For instance, transitioning from an armbar in guard to a balance sweep or transitioning from a  triangle to an armbar to an Omoplata.

The most challenging opponents to fight – and the ones that are winning the most championships – are those who take the initiative, and keep the initiative, by constantly moving and or attacking. One submission may be easily defended against, as is often the second, but the third or fourth attempt in a row becomes much more difficult to defend. That level of technique proficiency is certainly not achieved overnight – it comes from hours and hours of perfect practice. Master the individual technique and continue to drill it from White Belt to Black Belt, but then drill two techniques – from every position – in sequence. When you have mastered that, and hit that sequence in you sparring consistently, then add a third technique….and eventually a fourth. Just as we speak in sentences, we fight in series or groups of techniques. The more proficient we are with our “vocabulary of techniques” the longer, the better and the more effective our “sentences” become.

The sequence may include pure multiple submissions, a submission followed by a sweep to set up a submission from a another position, or a series of moves or escapes that transition you into a better position (for example going from side control, to technical mount, to full mount or taking the back.  The point is that you want your techniques to flow smoothly together in drills so that they can be executed instantly while sparring when you recognize the opportunity.  This is the creative beauty of BJJ – to arrange the techniques into your own style (or language).

Work with your training partner, ask you Professor, go to open mat times and develop a sequence of techniques that you can master…one technique at a time, one series at a time.
While BJJ is getting more complicated by many of the “new” techniques, the basic techniques executed perfectly and in series will win you multiple World Championships. Just ask Roger Gracie. Never has it been more true: “Do not fear the man who does 1000 techniques. Rather fear the man who does one technique 1000 times.”


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Tournament BJJ: 3 Way To Take Your Training Beyond “The Comfort Zone”

Technique drills and rolling is a critical part of BJJ training, yet the mental aspect may be the most significant part of the game – and the most difficult to master. We’ve all seen it. Guys who are “great” in the gym and can roll forever, but never perform well in tournaments. Why? They have conditioned themselves so that they can only perform well “within their comfort zone.”

So which comfort zone are we talking about? Their mental comfort zone. It’s easier for people to push themselves out of their comfort zone physically than it is mentally. Physical workouts can be tough, but once you add mental stress and a healthy dose of adrenalin performance can decrease in the blink of an eye. Mental stress steals our gas and, most importantly, our ability to think and access the many techniques we have trained. Instead, we succumb to frenetic internal dialogue that is all negative.

So how do you condition you mind to deal with the stress of performing under pressure? By artificially inducing that stress and pressure in training. Here are a few ways to add this stress and take your tournament preparation to the next level:


1)      Always Pick a Higher Belt: When it comes time to pair up and roll, always seek out more experienced guys with higher belts. Most guys choose their same old buddies that they feel “comfortable” with (mentally). Don’t. Every notice how you gas quicker when rolling with a Black Belt as compared to a White Belt? That’s the point – habitually expose yourself to that type of stress and fighting in a tournament will seem easy. That requires that you leave your ego at the door and are willing to get tapped out. How else are you going to learn?


2)       Hold Practice Tournaments: Encourage your school to hold in-house tournaments. Invite all students, friends and families so the place is crazy and loud and you can’t hear yourself think. That will feel just like a NAGA or other major Tournament. Or better yet, ask you Professor to get paired up with another competitive local school and have a tournament for pride and local bragging rights. Get used to the pressure by living it and discover/address your problems here rather than when a Gold Medal is on the line.


3)      Deal With Blind Pairings: Ask your Professor to blindly pair you up with anyone he chooses after class, with everyone watching, for a match. This should be done without warning, maybe after a tough training session so that you get a taste of that adrenaline rush and can observe your immediate self-dialogue. Is it confident? Is if fearful with doubt? Listen to what the radio station in your head is saying – a bunch of negative static or something positive and encouraging. Get used to the stress and you will deal with it better and it won’t be so unnerving and rob you of your mind and your physical capabilities!

Like all things in life, growth seldom occurs without some pain, or discomfort or effort. The journey we know as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires that we lean into these tougher times to make us stronger, better and smarter on the mat. Only you can realize the potential that you have inside. Make it happen!


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