Monday, August 16, 2010

Fishing and BJJ

When one plays the guard they involve themselves in an act. This act in my opinion is not so much like chess as it is like fishing. In so many ways I get the same sense as I did when I used to sit on a rock with, waiting for a tug on the line, wiggling the bait, waiting, waiting, perfecting technique, and finally when their is a bite being calm and reeling them in.

At first when you pull, you use a lot of strength because you don't know any better. Over time it's not so much about the pull as it is about technique, not just technique but flawless technique. It is also about waiting, not just waiting for the bite but also waiting for the fish to give up. When I play guard I get into this relaxed zone. I feel like I just have to wait here and if fate is on my side I will get a bite. If not then I wait longer, all I can do is when the bite presents itself I act with perfect timing and precision.

Sitting in guard you cast a net with your legs. Your grips are like the pull of the line. Your gi represents the bait. They will always try to get a grab at you. You will just sit there on your back until they get close enough and they will then grab a collar or your pant leg. The thing they don't always realize when this happens is, when they can grab you, you can also grab them. Then it's on. You have them in your net, you have the line. If you are good, and rely on technique wherever they go, however they spaz, with minimal effort but good grip strength they will just carry you and pull you all over the mat until they get tired. Then you will submit a tired opponent. No other strategy beats submitting a tired opponent. How they sit, how they push, how they pull, with your grips and your back on the ground for leverage you can use that to steer them and get them closer and closer to your ultimate goal, which is to catch them. You catch submissions like you catch fish.

It confuses me when I see women who do BJJ rely on top game instead of bottom game. The top takes so much strength, it becomes a bull vs bull match. When you play bottom it's a fisherman vs a giant fish. Let technique prevail.

On top it's nothing like fishing unless of course you feel like the one being fished. My top game isn't nearly as good as my bottom game so I don't get into a relaxed state on top and I burn a lot of energy. But I am perfecting my wait, my weight, my technique. If anything though it does feel like riding a beast. Whether riding a horse, or trying to hog tie a hog. Which just makes the guard that much more fun to play for me. It in a lot of ways is easier for someone who's game doesn't rely on wrestling or strength or being heavy.


  1. You are a very talented individual. Please keep posting. I want to surpass people.

  2. in regards to your comment about women in bjj and the top game - as a female practitioner, i have found that my bottom game gets quashed too easily by larger opponents and my technique hasn't developed far enough to be confident to control and submit larger opponents from there yet. so i rely on developing a stronger top game first. but as is with the nature of the sport, my game will surely evolve as i continue to develop and refine my technique. thanks for the blog, i enjoy reading it :)

  3. Hey took me a while to get to this comment but yes you will always be evolving as long as you are training. Your bottom game may get smashed but the more you tap the more you learn. It's instant feedback, being submitted. An instant result to your scientific experiment. I love the act of tapping, me being tapped or tapping someone. Its always instant data to analyze.



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