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Starting from your back...

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by BobSacamano, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. BobSacamano White Belt

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    I am 6 months into BJJ. We shake hands and fight. And I am on my back - and I don't mean I pulled guard. I am either fully mounted or side controlled. Choose your poison...start from our knees - I get muscled to my back, start in their guard - I get swept, start in my guard - they pass immediately, start standing (which is extremely rare) - I get taken down.

    In the big picture this is not all that bad. I have become more efficient with escapes, although my replacing guard with someone in side control still sucks ass. But while driving home last night from class I realized I am not able to train basic stuff thanks to my constant crappy position. I can't get into the habit of grips, etc due to the fact I am always in a defensive posture. I can't recognize opportunities let alone attempt anything while I am escaping a bad position.

    I know alot of this comes with the territory of being a noob etc...and 6 months is nothing but this is just plain insanity. I may be too passive. I am waiting to be acted on.

    Anyone else start out a passive puss? And how did you overcome this?
     
  2. Newcastle Brown Belt

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    When starting, are you being the aggressor or are you just sitting back and letting them be the aggressor? Are you starting from your feet or the ground?
     
  3. tbonejackson White Belt

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    Don't be so hard on yourself. You don't seem much different than a lot of people with the same level of experience. It also seems like you are having to roll with some people that are pretty advanced or at least are very athletic.

    I have been at it for about 1.5 years. Something that I find very helpful in improving is to pick on one specific area to focus on. Work on it like crazy until it isn't such a problem anymore. Then move to another problem area.

    For me, I found myself constantly stuck underneath side control. I accumulated as much information on various side control escapes as I could and practiced them over and over until it wasn't such a huge problem. Now, I can escape side control pretty easily except against some of the most advanced people at my school, in which case it is harder but I am often times still successful.

    Another trick is to take the technique that is being done to you that you have a hard time with and later try that exact technique on someone more advanced. A good deal of the time it won't work on them. When it doesn't work on them, really try to focus on specifically why it didn't work and maybe even ask them for help if they are willing. Perhaps even make a post in these forums asking for advice on that technique similar to how you have requested this general advice. That has worked well for me on several occasions.

    Good luck, I am sure you will get lots of great advice in this thread.

    Tbone
     
  4. FWTG Blue Belt

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    Just keep working your escapes and chain them. Eventually you will get to the point where you can just let people start in side, mount even on your back and its not a problem as you can just escape and reverse the tables (unless they are really good but you should be able to escape any dominant position held by newbies no problem after awhile).
     
  5. STFUjiujitsu Blue Belt

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    I had the same problem, I hated trying to bully people down and especially be bullied down. So I learned to re-establish guard very well for a white belt. So basically it frustrated people. My guard game is getting pretty decent and now I'm working on sweeps to start working on my top game.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is...Learn to escape and get somewhere you want to be. then learn to force your opponent where you want them to be.

    a side note: IT TAKES LOTS OF MAT TIME
     
  6. beeble Green Belt

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    dont worry too much, just keep practicing, everyone has their own style of jiu jitsu, just practice were your comfortable right now, if its bottom game, pull guard and work your subs and sweeps, if you would prefer to play top game, be aggressive and get the takedown, it will take a lot of time to find your style and make it work well in a roll, just keep at it
     
  7. ILGrappler Purple Belt

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    You need to act more like Little Jerry. He fended off a huge dog, and was recognized as the champion he was. You can do the same, as long as they don't bring in a ringer from Ecuador.
     
  8. eclipse Blue Belt

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    takes more than 6 months to get the hang of that stuff

    i only started to get decent at escaping or defending and using guard off my back after a year....

    i was nowhere after 6 months
     
  9. bluemizuno White Belt

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    Man, I started the exact same way - on the knees, on the back in side control. (I actually do judo, not bjj) Everyones base was way better and I couldn't even muscle into position. After about 6 months I decided to drop into guard instead, and started working closed guard and submissions (mostly gi chokes for me), then after about another 6 months, open guard and sweeps and submissions like triangles and armbars and shoulder locks. It takes time for some of us, man. Eventually, I decided to focus on nothing but being on top and controlling position. After a while, I started adding submissions from top. Just keep putting in focused mat time.
     
  10. cheath Blue Belt

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    While everyone is saying "don't worry it takes time" I definitely agree. But one piece of advice I will give that's worked for me, is taking a more active approach to improving your game. Find an advanced belt (or talk to your instructor real quick after class) and tell them your problem. Then just ask them for ONE maybe two take down techniques you can use from your knees when you start. Drill it, write it down, visualize it, and drill it some more. After a couple weeks even though people will catch on, you'll be good at it. Then do the same thing with a new technique. Do that for 3 techniques, and after 3 weeks or so you've got yourself 3 solid simple offensive maneuvers that you can execute well.
     
  11. mikey5time Yellow Belt

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    First year I spent on my back defending.

    Second year I spent on my back submitting.

    Now if I could just figure out that top game :(
     
  12. bluemizuno White Belt

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    yeah, man, I guess I was assuming that EVERYONE took an active approach in getting better and working techniques. But sometimes you need to focus on the things that you suck at, not at getting better at the things that you do fairly well. I made the decision to drop to guard so that I would "own" what was happening - that I was on my back. Then I worked on what I could from there, cause that was a lot easier route for me then saying "I'm taking these guys down first." and then ending up on my back anyway.
     
  13. BobSacamano White Belt

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    Good advice, I am glad I am not the only who feels/felt this way.
     
  14. BruinPride Yellow Belt

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    Hey Bob, as everyone pointed out here, don't worry about it cause you're new.

    Eventually you'll need to work on your open guard. I've been training for almost 4 years now and while I'm confident in my open guard, I still have a long ways to go. IMO, it's one of the toughest things to learn in BJJ. With that said, guard play is all about whose hips are in front of the other's. It sounds simple and obvious but if you keep this in mind you'll develop a good defensive guard that no one can pass. In reality, BJJ is all about hip movement, whether it be from guard, mount, etc.

    So how do you develop a good open guard? Feet on the hips at all times. Never let your opponent control both of your feet. If he has one, that's ok; both, you're getting passed.

    Now let's say he gets control of one. DO NOT stay on your back. Get on your side, facing him. If he's got your right leg and is pushing it down to pass to your right, get your left foot on his hip, get on your RIGHT side and start pushing him away. Sound familiar? Kinda like a hip escape? Same exact thing, only you're not "escaping" you're just retaining your guard.

    Lastly, talk to your instructor. That's what he/she is there for. You can also just drill guard passing instead of live rolling; everytime he passes your guard, start over again. Hope this helps.
     
  15. lethalazn Purple Belt

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    get used to the guard, that is the 50/50 position in BJJ, you rarely practice standing and battling it our on your knees by just pushing is rather pointless.

    once you're familiar with escapes, ask your instructor how to prevent a sidemount/mount from fully developing (easiest time to escape is BEFORE they lock in), how to prevent the guard pass. Then work on having good sweeps.

    even if sweeps aren't your forte, even a "failed" sweep opens the other guy up to be submitted
     
  16. Art Vandelay Latex Salesman

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    Like a dog with a glove on its head.
     
  17. BobSacamano White Belt

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    Yeah I keep telling myself that. Either I live in an area that breeds BJJ prodigies or I am an extremely slow learner. I mean I am watching guys who started the same time (6 months) as me or even a bit later than me, fly by me. Now I know everyone progresses at a different rate and it is all about the journey, and I truly buy into that, I love this sport like nothing I ever did but it seems I am always the "worst" in class. We line up to do warmups, I look down the line and yup, I am the worst there.

    On a side note: I had a good class tonight (for me anyway). A white who is about my level I was able to control most of if not all the fight. A first for me. I even tried knee on belly which is rare cause I am never confident enough to pull it off. (Small victories I know, but for me, I'll take em) Also, a blue I usually have trouble with (and still do) I was able to pass his guard and establish side control on him twice. Of course, getting a sub from there was out of the question and attempting to mount would have gotten me tossed so instead of rotting on him I tried some north south action and eventually he squirmed out, but again, I'll take it. Pathetic, I know but its something.

    But the kick in the ass is on my fourth and last fight I got paired up with a small kid with 3 weeks of class under his belt. And usually it is that last fight, my instructor really watches and motivates and comments on all of us. Now for the most part I had the kid in bad spots most of the time, swept him like there was no tomorrow etc... but when I went to shoot an arm bar from mount my offensive inexperience shined through. I did the whole movement, BUT WITH NO ARM!!!! He pulled it out, lol. I fall on my back, the kid dives on me...and what does my professor see? Me being mounted by a 3 week old kid half my size!!!! Unreal...
     
  18. FLMikeATT Purple Belt

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    How many hours do you train a week? You improve through experience (mat time). The more mat time you rack up, the faster you improve. If you are only going to class 2 times a week, try going 3 and going to open mat for a few hours on Saturday if your school has it.

    If you are going to every class, then it seems to me you just might be a slow learner, which is nothing to be ashamed about. Also, how big are you? Small people usually get their ass kicked for a long time before they learn to use their speed and technique to their advantage. In the first year or so of training, size and weight can make a big difference. You might get muscled around a lot, bench pressed out of side control/mount, and guys might be able to straight muscle out of subs. Is this the case?

    Another good option is trying to roll with the higher belts as often as possible or taking privates from your instructor.

    Just keep at it bro and don't let it get you down.
     
  19. BobSacamano White Belt

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    LOL, I started going 4 times a week about a month ago and open mat on Saturdays. And yes, you are right, that extra mat time has been noticeable in small ways. Don't get swept as much. Don't get tapped as much. Pass guards more frequently. etc...

    Unfortunately I am 5'11" 205 and still get mauled. I feel like a big puss sometimes...
     
  20. WalkenWouldOwn Steel Belt

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    I am kinda the opposite. I always seem to be on top, and even though my passes and top control progressed somewhat quickly, I have the WORST guard in the world.

    I can set up a submission with time.. but if the guy is even decent at passing I absolutely cannot hold guard.. its just not part of my game I have worked on. So when I was on the bottom I was spending a lot of time in side control, and got very good at regaining half-guard. My half guard reversals are decent, and my top game is ok... but I have no guard. I'm still new though
     

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