Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter Cascao Vital. He runs Cascao Evolution BJJ out of Las Vegas nv.
Everybody starts their BJJ journey for different reasons, and competing is usually one of them. With so much information out there and so many different strategies to choose from, early competitors often get overwhelmed and confused about what to do. Here are some simple and effective ways to modify your training while preparing for a competition.
When rolling in class, get used to starting in a bottom position. This includes bottom guard, half guard, turtle, side control, north south, back, mount and knee on belly. It is important to train our weaknesses, and being caught in somebody’s dominant position in competition can be emotionally and technically overwhelming if you have not prepared for those moments. Start a good portion of your rolls in a bottom position. When you are on bottom, focus on staying safe, then work your techniques to either submit them from bottom or to work your way to a dominant position. Then you play your top game. Constantly earning that top position from bottom will make bad positions your second home where you feel safe and comfortable.
Not only does a shark tank test your cardio, but it creates situations that force you to change tactics mid-roll. Create a round that mimics the round time for your competition and have a fresh partner ready to jump in every minute of that round. The roll does not start neutral every minute; your new partner grabs whatever positon they can at the moment. That includes mounting you, jumping on your back or just crushing you in judo side control. Sometimes by the end it just becomes about survival.
What is worse then a bad position, being caught in a submission
Start your roll in a 75% locked submission, defend it, escape it and roll. This can include them having an arm bar locked on, triangle locked in or even a guillotine squeezed tight. Experiment with any submission you can think of from all positions. If in competition you get caught in a submission, you’re still prepared and ready to execute. If you fail to train this tactic, there is a good chance you will panic, freeze and tap when in deep water.
Every fight starts standing and yet its our least trained position.
Statistics show that the person who scores the takedown in competition wins the match 80% of the time. That’s why an early takedown is crucial. Instead of training pure takedown rounds, which can be dangerous right before a competition, train the hardest part of getting the takedown, the entry. Whoever gets double under hooks to standing side control wins, whoever lifts their opponent’s leg for the single leg takedown wins, whoever hip lifts their opponent for a judo throw wins. Any takedown entry. This allows you to work defense and offense, working through grips, angles and frames without a large risk of injury. The cardio is unreal as well.
The whole point of competition is to create the best version of yourself and test it against the best of the best. Don’t just train with mindless rolling round after round, have a purpose with every roll for a month before the competition. Try these training tactics and watch your level go through the roof. Step on the mat knowing you are ready to roll through your competition. Bleed in training and so you can laugh in battle.
Speaking of competition techniques, once you finish watching Craig Jones’s Triangle Machine you will know exactly what needs to be done to set up and finish the triangle choke in competition, every single time. Craig’s triangle choke series is far and away his A-Game. He submitted over 100 people in competition with his triangle choke alone.
Perhaps most notable was in ADCC this past year against Murilo Santana.
It may have looked easy. But Craig spent a lot of time in the laboratory to make it look easy. He had to develop and sharpen his triangle choke before going into battle on the big stage.