Overcoming the Fear of Losing Position?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by BJJNotes, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. BJJNotes

    BJJNotes White Belt

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    Anyone else deal with having to overcome the fear of losing position in BJJ? I feel like this is stunting my growth. I'm a blue that's been training a little over three years now and I often find myself in positions where I should be going for a submission or sweep but don't pull the trigger because I don't want to lose position or get my guard passed.

    I actually experience this more from closed guard than anywhere. I don't really have a problem doing things from mount or side control that could give up position but when in closed guard I feel like shooting for triangles/armbars/etc. is going to enable my guard to be passed.
     
  2. jclaudevandamme

    jclaudevandamme Blue Belt

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    Allow people to sweep, pass your guard, mount, take your back, etc purposefully until you become used to being in bad positions.
     
  3. Sportsharpener

    Sportsharpener Yellow Belt

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    Not so much during class but when I'm competing I get like this.

    I've found that having some go-to moves in in half-guard/open guard has helped alleviate this.
     
  4. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    I don't really have this fear...doing nothing is more likely to get your guard passed than attacking. In the gym I couldn't care less if I lose position, either I'll get it back or I'll get submitted. Either is okay. In tournaments it only really crosses my mind standing, where I tend to limit my TD attempts to those that leave me in okay position if I fail. But I'm fairly confident in my ability to scramble...I won't take stupid risks but I'll definitely go for stuff. I actually rather enjoy higher risk BJJ. Rolling back takes and inverted guard are fun.
     
  5. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

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    Within reason, this is a good fear to have. You should always be wary of losing your position.

    Practice your open guard retention, and you won't find yourself clinging to closed guard as much.
     
  6. Jagcorps_esq

    Jagcorps_esq Red Belt

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    I have gotten over this fear with the combination of three things.

    1. I don't shoot submissions when an opponent is comfortable. My point here is that submissions should be set up, just like judo throws, by off-balancing your opponent. You don't literally have to off-balance them (though it's very effective). You can do so through a off-balanced position, getting a higher guard, over-hooking an arm, etc. The submission should come as a result of their reaction or failure to react to your achieving a good position.

    2. I've developed my open guard/half guard game, so that it is a threat rather than a desperate retreat. Against some people, with smashing guard passes, my open guard game is my go to game in order to maintain some distance.

    3. Work your escapes a lot. We start so often in poor positions during our situational sparring, to really give us the chance to get reps in under side control, mount or with someone on our back. As a result, I don't fear being in those positions because I feel fairly confident that I can escape or, at least, make the most of the training opportunity if put there.

    Risk is reward in training. You either incorporate a new and interesting technique into your lexicon or you get the chance to work on escapes and submission defense. Win/win.
     
  7. boogieman4215

    boogieman4215 Orange Belt

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    Good post.

    I had the same fear, but escapes is key. I feel I can go for something and if it fails I am confident I can retain guard or go to one of my favourite positions. Or if they pass guard and go onto mount, side control, back mount etc, it's good training to work on escapes.

    When people escape your submissons or sweeps it will force you to transition to other moves, like him bump sweep to kimura, omoplata to triangle, etc.

    Drilling would help too. After or before class drill a move for 5 min, I know it's not alot but it will add up in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  8. jclaudevandamme

    jclaudevandamme Blue Belt

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    The only way to tackle a weakness is to fight it head on. If you are afraid of spiders, buy one and let it crawl in your skin. If you are afraid of losing positions, just try the sub anyway and lose the position if necessary
     
  9. Kozbot

    Kozbot Purple Belt

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    Number 1: don't suck at BJJ
     
  10. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    Escapes and the confidence that you can regain/keep position. Be able to transition positions with sweeps, turnovers, back-taking, etc. Be able to maintain mount, side control, guard etc. through posture and positioning, rather than squeezing. Feel when your opponent has allowed you to isolate an arm, neck, etc.

    Basically, work on overall grappling/wrestling skills rather than worry about submissions.
     
  11. greedysob

    greedysob Blue Belt

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    This is actually pretty common, but you've already figured out you have the problem, fixing it isn't hard. When you see a technique, just go for it. It's OK to lose in the gym. It's not OK to train and not get better.
     
  12. MaileJiuJitsu

    MaileJiuJitsu Orange Belt

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    No, not during training. Thats the best time to experiment with stuff. If you fail the worse that will happen is that you will tap and start over again. Great! Just another opportunity to try it again.

    During competition or an actual fight, then obviously you will be more cautious about losing position but not during training. If you focus too much on winning during sparring you'll hamper your growth, should be working on ur weaknesses
     
  13. 100%Jiu-Jitsu

    100%Jiu-Jitsu Banned Banned

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    This is a great post by Jagcorps; he really nailed a lot of the points I was going to make. Two other things I'd emphasize:

    1. Having appropriate follow up techniques ready will change your threshold for success with a given move. When attacking from guard, your primary objectives are to compromise your opponent's posture and base. If you try to force a move when your opponent's posture and/or base have not been compromised, there is a very good chance that your guard will be passed.

    In the gi, my favorite initial attacks from closed guard are the arm drag, the flower sweep, and the hip bump. These are low risk attacks that, even if they aren't completely successful, will normally unbalance your opponent and force him to react in ways that create opportunities for you to open up your game.

    2. While it's obviously important to work on your ability to escape bad positions, I find that I get a lot more mileage out of being able to prevent opponents from finishing their passes. The ability to recompose guard during these transitions is what has really given me the confidence to open up my guard attacks. In particular, Marcelo Garcia's "elbow push" and "situp" escapes revolutionized my game. (Check out MGinAction.com, and use the promo code "Sloth" to get 2 weeks free) They are sort of like having a reset button that lets you get back to your guard right when you are about to get passed, which can really embolden you and make you dangerous. Damien Maia's Science of Jiu-Jitsu instructional also has some great information about this kind kind of guard retention.
     
  14. Allan san

    Allan san Green Belt

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    my coach got on my ass about the hesitation. i was afraid of people passing my guard in front of the class. just go for it, man.
     
  15. Title Fight Productions

    Title Fight Productions Steel Belt

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    No, early on I was taught to consistently put myself in bad positions and work out of them. I think this has helped a ton.
     
  16. BJJNotes

    BJJNotes White Belt

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    Thanks for the input guys I really appreciate it.
     
  17. MindRipper

    MindRipper Yellow Belt

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    Kick ass right there! Win or Learn.

    Favorite Bruce Lee Quote:

     

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