Developing a BJJ game is not an easy thing to do. First and foremost, you need to know at least some jiu-jitsu in order to create a successful game. So, dear white belt, with all due respect, come back to this article when you feel the need for it. All you blue belts and beyond, especially competitors, these hints will help you deal with plateaus much quicker than any other approach. Furthermore, you’ll be spared all the frustration that usually accompanies a period of no progress in your game.
Hitting a plateau in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is something everyone is going to go through. I don’t care how talented you are, at some point you’ll experience a standstill in your BJJ game. It is going to scare you the first time, and you’re going to be a bit more comfortable the next. However, you’ll need to go through a bunch of those at every level before you figure out how to solve them. And even then, you might just end up giving them time to go away. While this works, there are also a few more effective strategies.
Hitting a rut with your BJJ game means that all the things you’re good at doing stop working. It usually comes slowly, with a few frustrations here and there with one of your favorite moves. then, it seems to spread to all your other go-to techniques. Despite doing them countless times before, even on the same training partners, now, nothing seems to work. Yeah, your partners are improving, but you’ve also been regular in the gym as well. Doesn’t that mean that you’re improving as well? It is a normal way to think about this situation, as is the frustration that comes along with it. But what, if anything, can you do?
Usual Sticking Points In Your BJJ Game
Everyone’s body and mind are different, meaning everyone’s BJJ game is going to be uniquely tailored to their own needs and capabilities. This is actually part of what makes the gentle Art so fun! The same move works very differently for different people. this is exactly why people tend to favor certain moves while dismissing others.
As you progress through Jiu-Jitsu, one favorite move turns into two, then three, etc. The more complex your BJJ game becomes, the more sticking points it is going to have. First and foremost your submissions are going to stop working. it is not going to be in a blitz, but rather over time. People are going to find ways out or prevent you top choice moves even though you’re doing nothing wrong.
Next up are positions. Losing submissions means you’re going to be focused on either getting another one or more likely, coming back fro a second try of the first one. All this is going to result in tunnel vision, leading to you making lots of little mistakes in your positioning. the result is going to be even more frustrating because now you can’t even get to a position for the sub.
So, what exactly are your options here? First and foremost, you need to understand the reason behind it all. The simple explanation is that you get so comfortable with your moves, that you start missing out on tiny, yet important details. When your opponent’s find that all-important wiggle space, you then replace technique with strength in order to maintain or finish your move. This is never a good idea in grappling, and your BJJ game is going to hit a wall.
One key strategy is switching focus. How do you do that? Well, the basics are easy. If you are a submission hunter than start looking for positions. If you’re a point grappler who thrives in certain positions, look to abandon them and go fro for a finish.
Going deeper, you might even look to wap moves with other moves. For example, give leg locks a rest and revisit chokes or arm locks. Focus on them for a while before returning to your favorite submission. Or, stop hunting for back control every time you slap and bump. Instead, start working on your mount or half guard game for a while. Even if you see back control while rolling, give it a pass and go for something else. It is a great way to refresh your BJJ game.
Flow During Live Rolling
This is a bit of an advanced strategy, better suited for experienced purple belts and above. Flow rolling is not an easy skill to master, which is why it is usually done slowly. Flow rolling ahs the very specific task of making you so comfortable, that you start to understand how Jiu-jitsu actually works.
It takes time, experience and an equally or more experienced partner in order to successfully flow roll. However, you can take the mentality of a flow roll land to apply it to your live rolls when your BJJ game is stuck in rut. Simply abandon all goals during a roll land start flowing. it won’t be nearly as easy as when you’re doing it slowly, but it is going to provide much-needed rest for your body and mind.
Flowing without a particular purpose and exploiting everything in sight is going to do wonders for your BJJ game. It is going to allow you to take a break from your favorite moves and explore new directions. Even better, when you return to your game after a while, new opportunities are going to start popping out.
Take A Break
The final piece of the puzzle is the worst one. It is actually the one that makes the most sense but no grappler alive is going to consider it as their first option. Namely, if you’re really stuck and none of the above options work, you should simply take a rest. Either go somewhere or simply stop coming to the gym for a couple of weeks.
However, you can’t just stop coming. Leave all the YouTube BJJ videos, DVD instructions, and your UFC Fight Pass account as well. Remove BJJ from your life on a temporary, two-three week basis. It is going to get your BJJ game back on track better than anything. It is just very hard to do.
Why not give catch wrestling a try to freshen up your game? Neil Melanson has the perfect DVD set to get you started. His ‘Catch Wrestling Formula” instructional is tailor-made to take your BJJ game to the next level. Check out what this release has to offer!