Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter cascao vital and runs cascao bjj hard knocks out of Las Vegas nv.
Like any routine out there, whether it is a workout or a specific diet, we get into, we often tend to get stuck in a routine longer then we should. Round time length in BJJ class is one of those routines. It’s so easy to just automatically set that timer for 5 minutes and go, but there are so many benefits to varying it up.
A classic 5 minute round is a good base time to work with most of the time. It is about the average for competitions, it allows you to work in with a nice amount of training partners as well as giving you an ample amount of time to set things up.
A 3 minute round forces you to be more aggressive, conserve the energy less while being explosive and instills in you a sense of urgency that is often times needed. This makes sense considering that by the time you hit the ground in an MMA match, you most likely only have 3 minutes or so to secure a strong position, set up a submission and finish the fight.
A 10 or 20 min round time is what some high level competitions use like ADCC or EBI. This length of time not only builds endurance, but allows you to pace, capitalize on your opponents mistakes, recover from your mistakes, as well as giving you an opportunity to develop patience and utilize setups. This is really what a smaller guy needs against the larger opponents. With time, the smaller guy can breakdown his opponents cardio and strength levels and execute an effective attack.
A 1 min round time is best for positional training. Quick, explosive escapes are often times needed. Putting an opponent in bottom mount, or bottom turtle and forcing him to escape in a minute or less really instills quick reaction times and a level of aggression needed in a fight. You can also do this with takedown rounds or self defense training rounds as well.
There is no one perfect round time. They all have their pros and cons. By varying it up, you can benefit from them all. The 5 minute round time is a great go to, but try to mix in the other round times as well. Give it a try and watch how different strategies emerge with each round variation. It will only give you an opportunity to add diversity to your training and grow your game. See you on the mats.
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