What did you develop first, top game or bottom game?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by BOrakpo98, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. BOrakpo98

    BOrakpo98 White Belt

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    I've been training for 8 months now. So far I've focused exclusively on survival and developing an offensive closed guard. I guess it makes sense as a white belt for me to build my ground game first because I find myself on the bottom a lot but I'm almost getting to the point where I want to develop a top game.

    Would it be a bad idea to put my guard development on hold and switch to developing a top game?

    I don't want to get to the point where I can do lots of stuff but at a mediocre level. I'd like to be proficient in something before branching out too far, but my lack of having a top game is kind of bothering me.

    So I was curious what did you guys develop first? A top game or a bottom game? And maybe when did you finally decide to focus on the opposite of what you started?
     
  2. mayhem87

    mayhem87 White Belt

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    still a white belt but having a wrestling background has led me to learn top game more then bottom. I usually am the one to shoot or snap down into a front headlock so since i ending up on top usually i just worked what was given to me. now though i am trying to force myself to go bottom at least half the time we roll.
     
  3. Gerbiljiujitsu

    Gerbiljiujitsu Purple Belt

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    dont stress about it. At this point you'll have plenty of time to develop your top game. When your bottom game starts to become threatening you'll include a lot of sweeps and reversals in your game which will lead to you playing top.

    Just keep going to practice :D
     
  4. YellowFury

    YellowFury Blue Belt

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    In bjj I always ended up on the bottom (and still do during midget wrestling). So for the most part I worked on transitioning from side control or half guard to closed guard. now i'm doing sweeps from closed guard during rolling.

    in judo, i end up on top most of the time. I usually work on positional control.

    I train both simultaneously (and started both around the same time) so I usually get to alternate top/bottom focus at least once or twice during the week.
     
  5. Knock Out Ned

    Knock Out Ned el mero mero

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    When I first started BJJ I wanted to be on top all the time. I'm pretty small, so I felt less constricted there. It's where I felt really comfortable. As I progressed, I began to develop my guard. When I got my blue belt a year ago, I realized that I had totally focused on my guard, but my top game was lacking. Now, I force myself to be on top to take me out of my comfort zone. BJJ is weird.
     
  6. ostapbjj

    ostapbjj Orange Belt

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    When you're first starting out I think it really depends on your size relative to your training partners. I've always been one of the smallest, so I naturally developed my guard first.
     
  7. Brian2

    Brian2 Blue Belt

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    I was forced to learn my bottom game first since everybody was kicking my ass! But once I was able to do more I just kind of worked what came to me. I still had a lot of people to roll with that would force me to work my bottom game and had others that I could work on top. I didn't exactly focus on either, just worked what I could and tried to progress my game as a whole.
     
  8. 256

    256 Purple Belt

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    When I first started I ended up on my back alot. I am a smaller guy, around 155 so big guys tend to try to muscle me alot. I developed a game off my back first out of necessity.

    Once I learned how to control my base, pass guards, etc I started developing my top game.
     
  9. NovaUniaoWesty

    NovaUniaoWesty Yellow Belt

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    Bottom for sure. If you don't have guards (particularly half guard) you don't have a ground game period.
     
  10. CyberFreq

    CyberFreq Blue Belt

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    In gi, I'm trying to develop my bottom game more because I come from wrestling, so my top game is much better.

    For nogi, I like top better but I work on bottom a lot more.
     
  11. BOrakpo98

    BOrakpo98 White Belt

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    Thanks man...nice web site BTW...did you design it yourself?
     
  12. iheartthemount

    iheartthemount Blue Belt

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    bottom. you have to work to get top control. maintaining a good guard is a nice place to start because you can concede that position easily.
     
  13. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    the first thing I did well was pass guard, so I spent a lot of time on top. That and I always try to sweep from guard (with some success). That said, when you first start you will learn the bottom game by default because your partners, being better than you, will pass your guard or sweep you.

    Even though I spend a lot of time on top, I still find it hard to finish people. And I'm just now starting to take the back with any regularity.
     
  14. RedAger

    RedAger Amateur Fighter

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    Bottom, I had started my training doing no gi at MMA school(s) that had primarily wrestlers and I had never wrestled until I started MMA.
     
  15. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Fat top. It was just natural.
     
  16. The K1000

    The K1000 Orange Belt

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    Bottom game, I was 17 weak and unathletic I didn't have much of a choice. It developed into an offensive submission focused guard, then a good sweeping guard. Now I play a lot of top game since I sweep a ton.
     
  17. BatBoyJG

    BatBoyJG Brown Belt

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    Depends if you're goal is to win all the tournaments at white and blue stick to you're bottom game. If you want to invest for the long run work you're top game.
     
  18. ProdigyOfZen

    ProdigyOfZen Orange Belt

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    Really? Because I think it was Rickson Gracie who said BJJ is a top game art, you go into the guard when you are in trouble. BJJ was and always will be a top game art.
     
  19. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Yeah I definitely developed my guard game first because my instructor told me I should. It's challenging and takes longer to develop, so I agree with him that the guard should be worked on first in BJJ.
     
  20. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    I play guard against lower belts.

    Against same belt, I play guard if I am the bigger guy.

    Higher belts, I let them choose which one they want to play.

    Hope it helps.
     

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