It seems that there are nowadays many people complaining that BJJ has become „too soft“ – with a lot of critics pointing towards the stalling nature of most matches, where competitors aim to win by accumulating points. This sometimes leads to matches without much action, where it seems that competitors are trying to „play it safe“.
If you think that is true, you know what Mahatma Gandhi said: „Be the change you want to see in the world.“ Although he most likely didn’t think it would one day be useful to a group of people choking each other for fun.
So, if you feel that your BJJ could use an upgrade in its aggressive nature and if you want to become known as the guy who is a submission hunter, then follow these tips:
1) Make it a point to hit a submission for an „X“ number of times during rolls
There is no better way of becoming more aggressive other than to practice it daily. And one of the best ways of doing so is when rolling, by setting a goal for yourself to hit a specific submission for an „X“ amount of times.
For example, let’s say that you want to develop your game in the direction of back attacks, plus you feel that the rear naked choke is the king of submissions. You could tell yourself: „During the next month, I will aim to take the back in each roll and I will set out to finish at least five rear naked chokes per training session.“
Through this, you are not only actively teaching yourself to develop aggressiveness for BJJ; but, since you are setting specific goals, you will progress faster as well.
This tip ties neatly into our next one, which states that…
2) …you must let go of the need to make absolutely every submission into a success
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t aim towards performing at your very best, but it does mean that you need to stop thinking of „success“ only in terms of scoring a submission.
This will not only make you enjoy jiu jitsu less, but it will also make you play it safe yourself. A thought will start growing its roots in your mind: „If I miss that submission, I will be countered and back at square one… So I might be better off by not attempting it.“
The key is not to turn your submissions into absolutely surefire ones, it is to improve your game. The success of your technique attempts won’t make you into a submission hunter – but the mental approach you develop will.
Of course, aim to achieve your previously set goals. But try to make a point of valuing heartfelt, honest and aggressively-spirited path and growth more than the goals themselves.
3) Finally, introduce more aggressiveness into your daily life
No, this tip doesn’t say that you should seek unnecessary conflict in your life. Aggressiveness doesn’t imply that you should be violent: to aggress simply means to approach and move towards an objective of some sorts.
So, if you want to be more aggressive in jiu jitsu, aim to develop your aggressive side in other areas of your life as well. If you feel that you are avoiding something in your day to day life, do it without hesitation next time. If you fear doing a specific thing, seek more opportunities to do it.
Simply, how you act on the mats is how you act in life – and vice versa. So do your absolute best both on and off the mats at all times.