Imposing my game in BJJ

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by LegLockUnicorn, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. LegLockUnicorn

    LegLockUnicorn White Belt

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    So I'm rolling with my instructor yesterday and he tells me "You're very technical but you don't impose a game on me." So we go back and forth and it comes out that I tend to do OK because I'm an opportunistic fighter rather than someone that comes out with a game plan and bring people into it.

    Let me give an example. From today, if I'm rolling with someone I'll try a couple of things, if those don't work I'll give it up and go to something else basically flow into whatever they give me until at some point of time I'll get "lucky" and get where I want (guard pass, submission, sweep, etc).

    So let's ask the question: what do you guys go into a roll with in your head? Do you say "I want to hit a scissor sweep"? or is it something larger "I want to submit him with an armbar" and work towards that? How do you gameplan?

    Note that this is not for competition--for competition its easier--I hit my standard scissor sweep, omo plata sweep and armbar...fine, its my bread and butter but boring and not good to open up my game, I'm thinking along the lines of rolling in the gym.
     
  2. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    Honestly I think that is a strength and a weakness of some BJJ payers, if that makes sense.

    It is awesome to be able to take advantage of mistakes or create a trap and spring it. But I also think it is valuable to just take control from the start if you can and attempt to dominate while also minimizing your errors which comes through practice.

    I dunno, maybe its the wrassler mentality but I prefer to put pressure on my opponent and have him working from a disadvantge, whether its score wise or position wise as opposed to sort of waiting for something to develop.

    As for your specific question I DO look and see what develops but in the grips I am fighting to take control of the hand psotions. Once I have a dominant hand position I seek the takedown, once I secure a takedown I seek a guard pass and so on and so forth.

    I dont just think of a technique but I think of control situations that can lead to good positions for myself and I am fairly aggressive at trying to get there.
     
  3. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    I do not think anything wrong with what you said.
     
  4. Dane Bramage

    Dane Bramage *licking his fingers and twisting his nipples*

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    I think: "I need to get on top," "I can't let this guy isolate X," "I need space here," "I can't give space here"

    I was like you before, then I realized that life is easier if you try to get what you want during every part of the roll and not just react to what's happening. Sounds stupid, but it took me about 7 months to realize that its the "fighting" aspect of the sport.
     
  5. YeahBee

    YeahBee Samdog Original Nine

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    I don't have a game plan per say, more a style

    i usually start with footsweeps to get stuff moving, move into throws given the opportunity, much more comfortable in sidecontrol, I have been reversed every god damn time I have mounted): I go for safe submissions, don't want to loose position

    if I end up in guard I try to get up, may even give my back, as long as I get up, only have a couple of sweeps I am comfortable with
     
  6. nefti

    nefti Red Belt

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    is doing what you want to do and having multiple setups on how to do it. For example, if you like spider guard, and if you're going up against a person who clearly has better takedowns than you then:

    YOu better know how to pull spider guard without getting taken down in a multiple of ways (at least 2)

    you better know how to GET TO SPIDER GUARD from what ever position you are in.

    that is dictating what you want to do even from the bottom.
     
  7. yovan

    yovan Purple Belt

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    Interesting post.

    I experiment a lot in the gym. However, there are times when I feel I need to impose my will and apply pressure for the tap.

    There are two schools of thought:

    1) Experimenting grows the weaker parts of your game
    2) Pressuring your opponent causes him/her to make a mistake which creates an opening/submission, therefore growing your game

    I go back and forth depending on the day. During competition I seem to fall back to my stronger parts of my game though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  8. xxax

    xxax Orange Belt

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    I have similar problems. My trainer now said i should try to think what i want to do when i start sparring (just for training mind you). So if i'm in guard i should pick a guard i want and decide what i want to do with it (sweep, submit) etc.

    The biggest problem i have is when i'm in sidecontrol i don't know if i should go into a submission or just get to a better position. While i'm thinking about it the guy usually has time to escape.

    So lately when i start sparring (with guys who aren't on my level)i kinda make a plan of what i want, so i'll be for example trying to take the back and then submit from there.

    EDIT: i agree with the guy above. Experiment. I do it a lot. Usually it doesn't work but that's why i'm training. To get better at stuff i'm not good at.
     
  9. lethalazn

    lethalazn Purple Belt

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    For me I just think something vague like "aim for the back mount"

    Do you armdrag? Do you fake some sweep and then sit out? Do you hold the guy down until he exposes his back? Do you gift wrap him and force it out of him?

    That's for the other guy to decide, you on the other hand get to learn how to take the opening your opponent gives to you (learning how to react instead of just thinking about what you want) and yet have a very clear idea of what skill you want to develop at the same time (as opposed to "just doing w/e")
     
  10. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    You're probably doing OK, I mean I don't know a lot of people who can "impose a game" on their instructor. And you're not supposed to always practice what you're good at, you're supposed to work on your weaknesses too. It sounds like you're doing fine.

    I basically just think "I'm going to play guard" or "I'm going to try to pass guard" and that's about as detailed as my gameplan gets.
     
  11. LegLockUnicorn

    LegLockUnicorn White Belt

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    Reassuring, thanks.


    Do you think "I'm going to play guard and just throw up submissions until he makes a mistake and take what he gives me" or do you think "I'm going to work my de la riva sweeps over and over again"?
     
  12. Ergo

    Ergo Orange Belt

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    I tend to focus in a specific position and moves when I'm putting a new component into my game specifically. Been hunting darces recently, so I'll mentally commit to finishing the darce. It can def. create improvement in your game even if you're rolling with guys who aren't as experienced/good.
     
  13. ShowUsYaJits

    ShowUsYaJits Orange Belt

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    Different instructors want to see different things. I'd ask your instructor how he wants you to roll when you roll with him. Find out what will impress him, what intensity, what speed, maybe even what techniques. But from what he says, he wants to see you impose a game on him. If that's the case, force the attack.

    I'm not sure you can really impose your game too well from under a dominant position. Only in the sense of working for the positions necessary to escape. But from guard and above, yes. e.g. in guard, I'll always go for the deep collar grip with the right hand on his right collar. I instantly shoot for it and get it 98% of the time. I'll grab the head to pull him down if I can't get the collar. But usually I can get the collar. I like the collar a lot more than sleeve grips, as I find it a lot easier to maintain the grip on the collar. And if they try and deal with the grips, you can sweep them or at least threaten the sweep and regain a nice collar grip.

    After I get the collar I'll grab the same lapel and not stop working that right hand deep into the collar until it's right in there deep. From there he's constantly worried about the cross choke, or the arm bar, or the scissor or hook sweep. I'll usually threaten the sweep or the armbar to get the opponent to stop worrying about that one half of a cross choke I've got set up. I'd say that's imposing my game, and for some reason I don't see the average person in class even going for the collar grip. I wonder why my collar doesn't get grabbed that often.

    Perhaps it's because when I'm in guard, I'll usually go straight to scrunching his lapels and posturing, or grabbing his right biceps with my left, while grabbing his lapels with my right, then posturing. From there, looking to immediately break open the guard. Looking to suck both arms out at once, so I can either grab under both his legs (if they're up) or grab both his knee pants (if they're down) and do the toreando. Again, it's seizing the initiative and imposing my game.

    So this is for academy rolling... first, it depends on who I'm rolling with. If I'm practicing a new technique I will look for someone I can school, and control the match until I'm in the position I want to try whatever it is from. I'll often forget and try it on someone as good as me or better, but it often won't work.

    If they are near my level, then it depends on how hard they've rolled with me recently. If they've been dicks before rolling at competition intensity while I've been relaxed, I'll bring my A game and give no quarter. Otherwise, I guess it depends. If it's near competition time, I'll be upping my intensity and ask if my opponent will pretend it's a competition. It will be my A game. If competition is far away I'll be in experiment or honing mode, content to just relax and play around. But even when relaxing, I'll always be threatening something, and when they defend against that, there'll usually be some sort of opening to go for.

    Perhaps this is what your instructor means. I think you want to threaten something initially, even if it's not going to work. You want the game to look like this:
    You: initiate a move
    Him: counters
    You: see a weakness, and attack
    Him: counters
    You: see something else, and threaten that
    Him: adjusts
    You: see something else, and attack (and eventually, success)
    ...

    This is imposing your game.

    Often stuff I've seen will leap out at me. If I'm near a position and I can remember recently being taught something or seeing something, I'll try it out. e.g. After watching Roger Gracie last time on SF, I had someone in back control and the bodylock was there and I went for it. Then I got the RNC from that. It was the first time I've ever bodylocked someone. But I certainly wouldn't have gone into that roll thinking "I'll try and copy that recent Roger Gracie match".

    In side control I'll always be looking to mount while threatening a choke or an arm isolation. Usually they forget about blocking the mount and I get the mount. From there, it's using their head as a lever to crunch my knees up to their armpits and get a nice high mount. From there, it's time to imitate Roger Gracie and do the cross choke from mount. No matter where I am, I like to have an idea of what I should do and immediately go to it.

    Does that answer your question? I guess that when I'm experimenting rolling with someone of equal or greater ability, I'm not looking for anything specific as I won't be able to control the direction of the roll necessarily. But as positions change, I'll think "Hey, that looks like I could try X from here" and I'll try it, especially if it's new.
     
  14. headmanbjj

    headmanbjj White Belt

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    When I roll I try to force myself to play to my opponents game. I feel like it helps me step out side of my comfort zone and improve my own game. When I compete I always try to impose my own top controlling game.
     
  15. sfgrappler

    sfgrappler White Belt

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    It depends if you want to be a reactive fighter or a take control guy. But if you look at the top fighters (guys like Roger Gracie) you'll see they all have gameplans they stick with
     
  16. hughes fan

    hughes fan Silver Belt

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    It's really hard to just impose your game and actually is because BJJ is meant to take advantage of people imposing their gameplan (Werdum over Fedor). The reason that people like you to impose your game is basically so that you don't get screwed by the clock if you bide your time too much and just wait it out
     
  17. ijustwannasurf

    ijustwannasurf Brown Belt

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    I keep it simple.
    On top- smash with my hips.
    On bottom- unbalance and elevate them.

    What happens next depends on the situation, but those two things keep me aggressive from every position.
     
  18. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Just depends on what my opponent does. If my opponent's in my closed guard I immediately start trying to get an angle for a submission, if he postures up, I go for the hip bump, if he stands up, I go to spider or de la riva guard and start trying to sweep. I used to try and work specific techniques in rolling, like go for the same sweep every time until I got it down, but lately I've been just going with the flow more. I don't know if that's good or bad, but I got kind of tired of forcing techniques that I want to get in training because I'm trying to develop timing and sensitivity instead.

    I mean I get what your instructor is saying, you need to make your opponent play your game if you want to win, because that's how you stay a step ahead of him. Maybe it's mental though, you know your instructor is going to dominate you, so you're not really trying to control him?
     
  19. LegLockUnicorn

    LegLockUnicorn White Belt

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    Yes it does. That post was gold. Thank you sir.
     
  20. futang17

    futang17 Green Belt

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    my professor give me some goals every week to look for/work on while rolling. for example, this week he told me to work on stuffing 5 passes from half guard. Even if i don't get a stuff we go over why i did and didn't get it. stuff like that refines your game, and gives you something to work on. what this does for me, is make me concentrate on getting in someone's half guard and see if i can stuff their passes.
     

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