what do u take from sparrring


Silver Belt
May 29, 2005
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I know everyone in here grapples, so i want to know what do u take from when u spar; is it an overall learning exp, do u come in w/a particular gameplan on what ur going to do, do u have certain things u want to work on ( takedown def, reversals, clinchwork, etc).
I know when i go on one of my 1st concerns is my ability to def/escape submissions, comtrol my opp on the ground,and ability to reverse if taken down; no matter what else i am trying to dev(i.e. guardwork, transitions, subs, sub setups, takedowns); i make sure i work on/improve those 3 areas.
Another aspect of this question, in boxing alot of guys like to spar w/the better guys so as to see where they are at, do any of u guys make it a point to spar the better guys/higher belts to see how far u have progressed; even in the instance they go easy on u, it is still a good exp to work w/people who are where u want to be.
When i have had the opp to train w/someone a little or alot better i always do, i might get slammed, thrown, choked, etc i still keep coming back for more; i personally feel that even in a completely one sided loss, you still can grow or improve if u don't let ur confidence get shaken... Example: i trained w/a judo blkblt and bjj purple belt for about 2 1/2 weeks, he was a guy who actively competed in tourneys; an he handed me my ass and beat me up. Alot of guys did not want to spar him or wanted him to go easy, an i just soaked it up (for as long as i could take it). An while i ended up w/a slightly seperated shoulder..hyperextended elbow...concussion and bruised ribs; i still felt it made me better and when i actually could train again i was ALOT better. The same guys who were tapping me left and right or throwing me left and right, weren't able to do it or had to really work to do so. I even rolled w/a second degree judo blk belt and a bjj blue belt and tapped him, the guy was really good; but he was nowhere near the level of the guy who spent 2 1/2 weeks whupping me.
So when u spar what do u look to get out of it...
sorry for the lack of spaces..i put them in before i posted; but it did not take...i apologize for anyone having issues reading it. sorry
A GOOD WORKOUT, more fluidity in transitions, more comfort in bad positions, sub defense always get sharpened. work on a steady pace and breathing. i attack to stay busy but at my leve l i want to make my positions tight and my defense hard to get through. when i get this down , ill focus on subs.

position before submission
I'm just starting. But I've been trying to keep busy and always improve my position. At this point, that mostly means passing the guard (my own guard is atrocious at this point and my short legs don't help) and trying to get side control or north/south, and then mount.

That said, I got my first submission last night (my sixth class) . An armbar against a fellow white belt. I've been punching and kicking people for years. But NONE of that felt as good as that armbar did.
I'm still new but been training for around 6 months. The first couple of months I loved it but concerned myself too much with busting armbars from guard and triangles like I see in MMA. Eventually, I realised I can't just pull guard, I need to learn how work the gi, underhooks, overhooks, sweeps, sub defense, passing the guard etc. For now, I'm just concerned with grappling normally, without hoping to bust the sweetest Umaplata or get some guy that annoys me in a reverse armbar. I'm more focused on getting and mainting dominant positions and passing the guard. The short answer is, I just learn from sparring. Simple things, like do certain techniques work for me, can I sweep them in this position etc etc. If I fail, I evaluate it try differently and hope to improve. I have no grappling background so I still have the beauty of clicking each week with another technique or strategy. It's fun too.
You've got to spar the good guys - no-one gives a sh*t if you can tap out white belts.

It sounds like you're taking too much of a beating out there.

Did you do something to annoy the guy you were sparring with or was he just an animal?
For new guys or guys who aren't at my level I don't do many submissions, just lots of positioning, letting them get me in a bad spot (or an area I need work on) then try and work out of it. I also like to roll with the newer guys when trying new stuff out.

With guys who are at my level it's a full on roll where you work on everything. With guys who are better than me it's mostly defensive and trying not to get subbed for as long as possible. It's also a good chance to see what they used on me, then try it on someone else.

I'm with you though, you really need to leave your ego at the door. Rolling with guys who will mop the floor with you really teaches you what it takes. It's not always a "technical" session in that they may be so good you get tapped pretty quick with little resistance, but it still helps lift my game and teaches me more about myself. That being said, the rolls I get the most out of are with higher belts who are doing just enough to keep me working hard, but not going 100% on me. You learn a lot, without being totally focused on just surviving.
I am 140 lbs regularly and have to constantly roll with guys who outweight me by a good 20 to 30 lbs. Its fun and good practice to go against guys bigger and stronger than you, allowing me to concentrate on technique rather than thinking of overpowering for position.
Try to work on subs I don't usually do, or work on takedowns/passing guard or sweeps.
if i get guard pulled on me then i focus on passing and defending subs and sweeps.
if my partner doesn't do anything then i'll pull halfguard, work for sweeps/their back, and failing that get back to full guard and work subs/sweeps from there.
if i end up in top position then i try to maintain control and if they give me a sub then i try take it.

my aim in training is to get something to work that i haven't got to work before and try improve that way. if i get a sub, bonus, if i tap, no big deal. just keep rolling. that didn't come overnight

getting mauled by higher belts is a good way for working out where the holes in my game are. white belts the same level as me are good for trying things out on but they don't always punish mistakes like guys at higher levels can.

for instance, i rolled with a white belt and a blue belt yesterday, and i know i will have improved more from getting owned over and over than i did from having a fairly evenly balanced roll with another white belt.
Basically just gives me specific weaknesses in my game which I use to try to improve
Pretty new to bjj and getting pwnd on a regular basis. Have seen improvement in my game however.
I always try to use the moves I've learnt in the lesson, whether it be a new position/defense/technique of some kind.
I have started to log each move learnt in the lesson for reference.
Recently, I've been working on my positons, passing the guard and improving my guardwork.
It depends on my opponent. Versus a weaker opponent (techniquewise) I tend to have a plan, like trying to get locks from halfguard or letting him get crossbody and I'll escape it. This without him knowing it of course.

Against someone equal I'll just try to get and maintain dominant position and work locks from there.

And finally against stronger opponents I try just to not get smashed. :)