Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Want to Roll Perfect

I want to roll perfect. I want to train perfect. I want perfect jiu jitsu applied in a perfect manner. All of these things are nearly impossible but its something to strive for. One of the things my training partners and I keep discussing is when to go hard and when to go slow. Maybe that's the wrong question.

I thought about it and in all reality, it's a mistake to good hard against a really good guy. You can go hard and smash white belts and blue belts and make a highlight reel of submissions. You can build a reputation for being one of the best up and coming guys. But when you go hard against someone who is actually good, when someone good or a really good guard player walks in that door, and you go hard, you will just get tapped that much quicker. The harder you go against good guys the faster you get submitted. I know with me when guys go slow and technical it takes me a long time to try and catch them if at all. If a guy goes balls out there is a submission nearly every minute. Once you get into purple and above it becomes the wrong strategy. When do you see black belts at the worlds go balls out and crazy like blue and white belts will?

I look at Roger Gracie and people think he's slow but makes his game work at that speed. I think its more like, he can move faster if he chose to. He has fast twitch muscles. It's that he is moving as fast as he can without making any mistakes. That is the speed he found that he can move in without exposing himself often or at all.

We all can go fast. But BJJ is all about capitalizing on the other person's mistakes, and there is no way to move really fast without making mistakes. It's why guys like Marcello make athletic guys look stupid. Sometimes you even allow gaps and create space because you know your opponent will take the bait and move without thinking, just for the sake of moving. BJJ is not speed checkers.


  1. I just watched an Eddie Bravo vid where he states that all things being equal, once you get to a certain level in bjj, speed makes the difference. I guess you feel differently? I can post the link if you want to see his statements in their full context. I am a newbie to bjj training, so I am just enjoying your blog and insights before I dive all-in to training. :-)

  2. Yes that is correct right? Speed is the key. Whoever can move quicker without making any mistakes wins.

  3. I really appreciate all your insight. Good stuff man!
    As for this post, I totally agree. Excellent technique should come before speed. But once there is technique, speed is the next factor to accomplish. So if say both opponents are equal in technique level, many times it becomes a race to who can close the move/distance/control faster.
    Now if the opponent is lacking in technique, speed is useless. They don't have the know how to finish or even advance.

  4. Yes. Timing is more important in this instance than speed. And timing and speed are two different things. Which people will find out later as they advance.



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