Defining Self Defense BJJ w/ Mir vs. 10th Planet

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by SummerStriker, May 15, 2014.

  1. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    My specific perspective on SD BJJ is from the standpoint of people training grappling 4 hours a week or less, paired with MMA striking training. In this context, it is really important to have a focused curriculum because if you try to learn full BJJ you will never have time to drill and get good at fundamentals. In a world of 999 BJJ techniques in 13.2 minutes, especially MMA amateurs, hobbyists and people trying to learn to handle themselves on the street need to be able to get some functional skill without having their time stretched too thin.

    I have a good cross section of rolling partners right now, from fighters, better BJJ Blue Belts who are large and stronger to me, educated beginners, noobs, and the occasional purple belt, plus a revolving door of strong bros who come in through the door.

    In my head, I've been becoming more and more aware about how not all BJJ techniques are created equally. More than just "my game" or "my attributes" I've found that there are moves that are just better against more effective opponents.

    For example, the elbow / knee escape from full mount is a class A move. Larger and better blue belts can't stop me from performing the technique. When I get mounted, I can regain half guard, basically at will (which explains why I've been posting so much in the half guard thread).

    Then there are class B moves, moves that seem to work on equals well but are difficult to impossible against superior grapplers, like the situp sweep. Against superior grapplers, sometimes I can use the situp sweep to set up another move, but it is rare that I will actually flip them to full mount.

    Then finally, there are class C moves, like this:



    The move he is teaching here, in my opinion, works for him because of his exceptional strength. From anecdotal experience, this move doesn't work on strong people with good top balance or BJJ blue / purple belts who can maintain their position without releasing the crossface. It works, basically as prescribed against most white belts.

    What makes this move money for self defense is that anytime I've rolled with someone who just walked in through the door, regardless of sparring experience or strength, they will just roll right over. If I let them have mount, take half guard, and use this, I will almost always end up out or on top, because people not trained in grappling but clever enough to wrap your head somehow will not be able to stay up.

    Now, compared that to the jaws of life:



    I really like the jaws of life. I think it is an odd sort of move because if the top guy is very experienced, as soon as you start it, they change what they are doing. They don't gold fish and let you perform the whole thing. Against new people just in the door, if they have some fighting talent, will either fight it to the death, letting you use it, or will immediately pop up and try to strike or something. It is mostly early blue, late whites, who are trying to perform special half guard passes or submissions that will really let you do the whole thing.

    My point being, against the untrained person, the jaws of life, in my experience, lead to a fight. You end up having to sit up with them to defend strikes or fight through desperate, spastic cross face pressure. On the other hand, the superman against the untrained just rolls them right over. Despite not being great against the trained person, this technique is sweet for self defense.

    There is a lot of hostility on the internet towards bad TMA grappling. My experience with bad TMA grappling is that it works just fine against the untrained for self defense. That hostility is still there when BJJ men show a technique that you think might work at a low level but falls apart against well educated opponents.

    If your only art is BJJ, it doesn't really matter. You can learn it all and master anything.

    What about the MMA guy? It seems to me that they need to stick to fundamentals, but what are those fundamentals? Is it the stuff you need to combat opponents of the highest skill level but is often a struggle, or is it stuff like the superman that isn't that great against well trained people but is excellent against weak grapplers? Do you just take your time and try to learn it all anyway, and just not fight until later?

    This is the art in martial arts, because it is hard to know the clearest, most efficient path, so preferences and feelings can take hold. My instinct is to only train the best, most universal moves that function against well trained opponents, and spend time that could be used on weaker techniques, doing something else completely, like hitting pads or sparring.

    What do you think?
     
  2. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Purple Belt

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    You're incorrect about that Frank Mir move. You won't roll a decent grappler, but you'll very often make them release the cross-face to base. So though it's not an "A move" it can very easily be part of an "A" level sequence or combination.

    You need to build your game organically by addressing the problems you are having in live training, not trying to select the most efficient moves as an abstraction.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  3. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Well, I'm a nobody grappler so you could be right, but my experience is that if the top guy is skilled and heavy enough, he doesn't have to release the crossface.
     
  4. Accipiter

    Accipiter White Belt

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    I feel that my perspective is always changing. I think the biggest thing that has changed my outlook is the exceptionally athletic and strong. I now feel that learning it all is what is important with transitions until you find someone's weakness. It is different depending upon their experience, strength, and size.
    Last night after the advanced class and then beginners class, I paired myself with a two new guys that had 30-40 lbs on me, after taking turns submitting them over about 10 minutes starting from bad positions I got stuck in a crossfaced half-guard . I was surprised at how long it took me to escape. Taking the back, electric chair, deep half guard, and attempts to move to closed guard were all stuffed. I finally fininshed with a kimura and went back to the basics after he was effectively smothering me and I needed to get out ASAP. You never know what will work; sometimes you get surprised.
     
  5. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

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    I think you should focus on the moves that work well against skilled opponents. Here is why:

    It's true that it's easier to take certain shortcuts to beat unskilled opponents that don't work on skilled opponents. But there is a major risk to that.

    There are two ways to approach your opponents. One is to just always assume that they are skilled, and don't take any unskilled shortcuts. This reliably defeats skilled and unskilled opponents. Sometimes it takes a little more work than absolutely necessary with the unskilled opponent, but it works reliably.

    The other way is to try to guess your opponent's skill level and take shortcuts if you think you can get away with it. This fails dramatically if you underestimate him and he turns out to be more skilled than you thought. You usually don't get a chance to recover at that point.

    An example would be a "street fight" where the guy wraps his legs around me in the guard. I could just assume that he is unskilled, doing this by chance or because he saw it on the UFC once, stick my hand in between his legs, and rip his guard open with no concern for the triangle. After all, he is unskilled -- he can't do a proper triangle, so it's no threat.

    Or I could just act as if he knew the triangle and not leave myself open to that. It might take a little longer to open the guard that way, but I would not be facing any nasty surprises.

    I do the latter because I don't like to gamble like that. It's too easy to assume a guy sucks and find out a little too late that he knew more than you thought. Just assume everyone is skilled and don't take shortcuts.
     
  6. Dirty Holt

    Dirty Holt Black Belt Professional Fighter

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    What if what you consider B moves were actually drilled and practiced by others into their A moves?

    I think you might be surprised at what people can get good at when they train with focus.
     
  7. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    I hope so. People talk bad about the situp sweep but it is my favorite move. I visited a BJJ gym on vacation last week and used it on a stronger wrestler. It took a long time to complete as his posture slowly broke backwards while I fought his post, but it still worked. I want it to be bread and butter.
     
  8. machomang

    machomang Blue Belt

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    With that superman sweep, if that's all you're going for and it's telegraphed, then yeah, it might not be effective unless you have superior strength, but that's not how bjj works. It's about setting up traps and baiting your opponent and chaining sequences together.

    For instance, you use jaws of life, opponent is resisting, switch immediately to superman, or vice versa. You also have to "sell" and commit to the sweep in order for your opponent to react.

    I used to think the Kimura was a muscle man submission, but now it's my go to. So many setups and it's a very strong control grip.
     
  9. BrainBar

    BrainBar Orange Belt

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    My basic philosophy on all this: I started BJJ at a Relson Gracie affiliate. When Relson would come through town and teach, he'd say "You may know 400 techniques. But I'm so good at only my 40, that you'll never beat me". He meant it as in saying for every new technique you drill, drill a basic one 100X with it. You will ALWAYS end up needing those 40 or so basic techniques and submissions.

    So, I always think back to Relson's advice. Sure, learn all the stuff you want, learn new techniques. But, you will always end up back at the basics, and if you are great at 40 techniques, you'll probably always beat a guy is average at 400 techniques.

    Those old classes he ran, and his affiliate instructor ran, were often boring, tedious and tiring. Armbar drill for 10 minutes each. Shrimps. Sit up sweep 10 minutes each. Side control escape 10 minutes each.

    Every class. Basics, over and over and over, drilled and drilled and drilled. And occasionally a new fancy technique would be shown and taught. Only to be followed by more basic drilling.
     
  10. BrainBar

    BrainBar Orange Belt

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    I agree. I love that sweep. I've often found that when these sweeps fail, its from being too loose and giving the opponent enough room to situate his weight, or, not getting hips high enough. Or of course forgetting to trap the arm.

    Or, as I joke, "The technique wasn't that good until I got good at it, then it started working" haha.
     

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