Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter cascao vital and runs cascao bjj hard knocks out of Las Vegas nv.
Lets be one hundred percent honest, when somebody is exhausted, they can be defeated pretty easily. When an opponent is zapped of energy and is fighting for breath, they simply cannot implement their own game plan and go on the offensive. Nobody argues that fact, but far too often we forget to attack our opponents cardio and allow an easy effective set up for our offensive finish. Here are three strategies to use that will leave opposition looking for an inhaler.
I have seen it over and over again, keep the match standing for a bit and force your opponent to wrestle and within 2-3 min they are gasping for air. Wrestling taxes your body’s conditioning far more then grappling on the ground. By keeping the match on the feet for an extended amount of time allows you to take advantage of their burned out energy stores when it does go to the ground. To train for this, start your rolls standing, play a bit more on the defensive end and force them to use their energy trying to get you to the ground. It’s far easier to defend takedowns when your not going for any of your own. Use feints while also manipulating their body with grips, pushing, pulling and head control. Once a few minutes have passed and your opponent is confident your not going for a takedown, they are open and ready, that’s when you attack. Once on the ground, they will have little energy reserves left while you will just be getting started.
Another effective energy zapping tactic is pressure. Take side control as an example. So many of us sit on our knees and casually hold side control. The issue is that what ever is on the mat, is off your opponent. By being light on your lower body, you can transfer that pressure onto them and off the mats. The extra weight and pressure forces the opponent to use more energy for attempted escapes and even for a simple breath. By figuring out how to immobilize your opponent and add physical pressure from every top position, you will always win the energy war. My first instructor Julio Fernandez weighted about 140 pounds, but always felt like a mother in law 200.
The other energy zapper is the most obvious. Put on a pace they can’t match. Grind them down. Constant movement is the name of the game. Knee on belly side switching, relentless attacks from the guard, no stalling, no resting, only grinding. The only down side to that is you have to be in better conditioning then them. No way around it. You have to have deep energy stores and a mindset to drag them into deep waters where the average person drowns and you swim like a shark. This isn’t the most economical option, but lets not forget, many fights have been won and lost based on who was in better shape and who could not keep pace.
There are many aspects in a fight that dictate the outcome, speed, strength, technique, size, mentality and yes conditioning. If we attacked our opponents energy levels more often then not, our rate of success would surely rise. You don’t have to do all three of these tactics, nor should you feel limited to these three tactics. Experiment with this concept and make personal adjustments as needed. See you on the mats.
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