Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter Cascao Vital. He runs Cascao Evolution BJJ out of Las Vegas nv.
We all know that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gives an opportunity for the smaller, weaker person to win in a fight. But what if you are slow? Age slows us down, so the younger athletic beasts that are coming up through the ranks will almost always have speed on their side. What can you do? The solution is simple, work on your timing. An old concept that I love is that timing always beats speed, and we need it the slower we get or the faster our opponent is.
First we have to understand what timing is.
The definition is pretty simple: The selecting of the best time for doing something in order to achieve the desired or maximum result. Now that we know the definition, we must start applying this knowledge. My favorite example of this is when your opponent mounts you from side control. The classic approach many use is to practice and drill mount escapes once the top position is already established, but to use the timing principal to its fullest the escape has to start before they fully mount. One of the aspects that really make positional escapes difficult is the fact that the opponent has the time to establish the position and use certain techniques to maintain that dominant control. By going early we prevent all of this.
As you are in bottom side control, you notice that they have an arm under your head and they begin to knee slide onto the mount. What most people do not realize is that their arm under your head is their way of getting control of you in side control, but at the same time sacrificing their own post in mount. So as they progress on top, you begin to trap and roll towards that same side they were on. Before their weight was distributed heavy on top of you, they were swept right into bottom guard. To entice the mount I even flatten my legs to make an offer they can’t resist. I just trap their ankle with my foot once their first knee has elevated and cleared the leg. The amount of energy needed is ridiculously low. Had you waited for fully established mount, they would have easily shifted their body weight and established hooks to counter your sweep.
The same concept can be used when your opponent is doing a knee slice guard pass. You can try working really fast leg retention techniques, which are always reactions based on the aggressors intent, or you just simply get on your side and as they begin to pass, establish an under hook. That way their forward movement is actually helping you get to their back faster and easier.
If you already know where someone is wanting to go, instead of scrambling and racing to prevent it, use your techniques, tactics and timing to head him off before he can establish any type of control. You will start to notice that the faster guys will fall into your traps very quickly with little to no speed or energy on your part. This is how higher belts get to be 2-4 moves ahead of the lower belts, their timing always beats that young speed.
Learning the leg attack game is a smart thing to do if you want to pursue the no gi, sub only game. Learning this game will give you an advantage of the standard points seeking fighter. So don’t be a fool, and start picking up leg entanglements and attacks. If you really want to improve this part of your game, then you need to check out Craig Jones new DVD Set “Down Under Leg Attacks.” Craig Jones is quickly becoming one of the biggest superstars in bjj due to his outstanding performance at ADCC 2017 in Finland where he was able to submit Leandro Lo. He recently competed at an EBI and submitted everyone on his way to the finals via inside sankaku heel hook. He almost got the king, Gordon Ryan in an arm lock in the finals but fell short!