Friday, June 18, 2010

The Eternal BJJ Battle

It begins with an attack from above and a retaliation from below. Like any battle or war. You want to create a mismatch by fighting in different planes. In war people fighting from high ground. In battle people fighting on horses and people wielding spears and shields from bottom. It is an eternal conflict and BJJ is a living embodiment of it.

The players, both trying to control position. One is the top player, one is the bottom player, and the struggle begins. What makes the difference? The ability of the top player to pass or not pass. That is what 2 equally skilled players will come down to. Who controls and protects their territory. The object of both players are different. The top player is the invader, he wants to take over your land. The bottom player wants to stop and protect whats yours, and you have home court advantage. You are already in the area that he wants. Your little piece of mat that you are laying on.

So now what? If both players are good it should be the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. Either can prevail.

Goal of the top player: To either go through the middle or go around in some way (either from the outside, underneath, or above). To do this they need to control the middle of your hips or the outside of your hips.

Goal of the bottom player: To stop the top player from passing by blocking all his entrances, or by clinging to them, or pushing them away and averting them.

It will become a game of inches...literally. Whenever they have an inch of cloth they will use it to pull and tug and spin. The top player wants to control the pants of the bottom player until they get a hold of the torso, initially controlling and not allowing the bottom player to create any shields or get his foot in, or controlling the outside and keeping the bottom players arms and legs preoccupied with balance.

The bottom player wants to control the sleeves, collar, distance, and monitor the hips. They can sense where the top player will go by reading his hips with their feet. Just like in boxing you never look at their head but their body, same with this, you don't look at their head, you feel their hips. You also use your legs to create frames and shields and control tension and distance. You control sleeves because they need their arms to pin you in some way, it also works as a handle for the bottom player to move their hips and swivel.

The greatest difference maker has been not how good you are on top, it's how good you are on bottom. It is somewhat easier to pass than it is to defend the pass. If your guard can never be passed, it's only a matter of time before you turn the tables and start to pass on them.


  1. I would rather do some Cardenas Training

  2. Nice post. I put a link on my site



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