1. #1

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    My first grappling tournament

    So, 4 months after I started BJJ & MMA training I entered my first grappling competition. Though I've been training really hard since then (4 gym sessions, 3 BJJ classes & 3 MMA classes per week), I know I'm still at the very low level end of noobness and wasn't expecting any miracles.

    I just wanted to put up a good fight and hopefully not end up submitted soon. Well, things didn't go too well as you can see from the video. (I'm the guy in the red rashguard/white shorts). I do have a hunch of what I did wrong, but obviously comments and feedback from the more experienced guys around here are greatly appreciated :)



    (Oh yeah, I know I'm still crap, so no need to tell me that! hehe)

  2. #2

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    I'm no expert in this, but kudos to you for posting your fight

    Just keep on training and competeing and you will improve in time, then it will be you celebrating a victory

    Oh yes, and learn some judo

  3. #3

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    Well I'm no expert either, but a couple things.

    You should ask some more experienced guys at your gym advice on stand-up grappling. I saw much of myself in you, how you weren't sure what to do in the clinch except to pull the other guy's head down. I've been doing jujutsu since 2009 and it's still only once in a blue moon when I manage to throw someone in sparring.

    When someone gets an RNC on you, you should try to grab the hand they put behind your head, not the one around your neck(yes, I know that sounds crazy). It's easier to grab for one, since the guy isn't pulling on it with all his strength. And it'll take a lot out of the choke if he tries to do it with just one arm, there's a reason it's put there.

    There's my advice, it's not much but it's all I got =P

    I'm glad to see someone so relatively new to grappling entering a competition. I've been doing it for a good while now, and I haven't competed yet once. Mostly because my cardio is still ****.

    Also, mad props for posting the video :) *pushups* Keep it up and show us a win next time! :D

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arskanator View Post
    Well I'm no expert either, but a couple things.

    You should ask some more experienced guys at your gym advice on stand-up grappling. I saw much of myself in you, how you weren't sure what to do in the clinch except to pull the other guy's head down. I've been doing jujutsu since 2009 and it's still only once in a blue moon when I manage to throw someone in sparring.
    Yes you're right that I sorta blanked there once we'd clinched. My pre-game plan (and something I'd practiced in sparring in the preceding weeks) was to shoot for the double leg, and then try to hold onto sidemount, before proceeding to full mount once the opportunity presented itself. I'd also practiced the hip-heist escape in case the guy on top of me sprawled successfully. I know, not much of a gameplan, but my skills are still extremely limited so I thought keeping it basic as possible would be safer.

    Against fellow noobs I find I manage the double leg successfully fairly often, though it's a different matter against more experienced guys.

    Once there, I dunno, I guess it was the nerves of being in my first competition, and the plan went up in smoke.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arskanator View Post
    When someone gets an RNC on you, you should try to grab the hand they put behind your head, not the one around your neck(yes, I know that sounds crazy). It's easier to grab for one, since the guy isn't pulling on it with all his strength. And it'll take a lot out of the choke if he tries to do it with just one arm, there's a reason it's put there.

    There's my advice, it's not much but it's all I got =P
    Yep that's one way we've been taught to try to counter the RNC. While I was still on my knees I pondered trying to roll over and hope the guy hadn't his hooks in deep enough. I hesitated there, and then he managed to pull me down onto our backs.

    I then tried to remove one of his leg hooks and turn into his guard, but the choke was really in deep at that point and it was a real struggle just trying to breathe. I guess I was going on pure adrenalin at that point (and not wanting to appear a ***** by tapping early in front of all those people).

    Quote Originally Posted by Arskanator View Post
    I'm glad to see someone so relatively new to grappling entering a competition. I've been doing it for a good while now, and I haven't competed yet once. Mostly because my cardio is still ****.

    Also, mad props for posting the video :) *pushups* Keep it up and show us a win next time! :D
    Thanks for your kind words and also for your tips mate. I knew entering this comp that it would be an uphill struggle, in my division, there were 2 blue belts from my BJJ club, and also a guy from another club who's actually won an amateur MMA tournament in London a couple of years back, so chances of a medal for me were as slim as a molecule (if that, lol).

    Next comp is scheduled in March, and it promises to be bigger as we should have foreign clubs joining in as well. Hopefully I'll have upped my game a bit by that point :)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarius View Post
    Yes you're right that I sorta blanked there once we'd clinched. My pre-game plan (and something I'd practiced in sparring in the preceding weeks) was to shoot for the double leg, and then try to hold onto sidemount, before proceeding to full mount once the opportunity presented itself.
    Throws and sweeps are good when you can't pull off a double/single leg. If there are any wrestlers or judokas training at your gym, I'm sure they'd teach you a trick or two if asked.

  6. #6
    Kintanon's Avatar
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    Aight, so, initially you clenched up with him and looked like you were working for a thai style clinch behind the head. That's not a viable strategy for a grappling only competition. With your hands tied up on the back of his head you can't defend against his underhooks, and as you learned he can pretty much just grab you and sling you around.

    If you DO decide to clinch that way then you need to be using a wrestling style snapdown as quickly as possible to take advantage of the position before it gets countered. So when that clinch you more or less want to throw your hips backwards and yank down hard to try to get him to faceplant onto the mat so that you can then move to his back. Specifically, at the 27 second mark you should have locked your hands together and just dropped your hips right to the floor. YOu would have pancaked him and then been able to take top position.

    However, I don't recommend that. You have a fencing background, and if your knee can handle it then you would be well served to practice the double leg takedown and make it your primary movement. Your body will still remember how to lunge and that same movement will translate well into a good penetration step for your double.

    But aside from that, you want to keep your hands lower, don't allow your opponent those underhooks. Your footwork was fine, but you could stand keeping your hips a little lower to, again, help prevent your opponent getting those underhooks.

    After the initial takedown when he starts to climb onto your back staying up on your knees like that isn't the best defense. Check out this video starting at about the 2:15 mark and you'll see what you should have done.

    Overall you looked like a pretty average new grappler. You did well to get out there and give it a try and you'll continue improving if you stick with it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arskanator View Post
    Throws and sweeps are good when you can't pull off a double/single leg. If there are any wrestlers or judokas training at your gym, I'm sure they'd teach you a trick or two if asked.
    Yes there are a few judokas at both my BJJ and at the MMA clubs I train with, and we do practice throws (I'm just still not very good at them). They're an aspect I realize I need to work on for March's competition.

    As regards sweeps, my sweeps from full guard are still rather iffy (at best), while I'm a bit more successful from half guard during sparring (against fellow noobs).

    Cheers and thanks for the tips mate :)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kintanon View Post
    Aight, so, initially you clenched up with him and looked like you were working for a thai style clinch behind the head. That's not a viable strategy for a grappling only competition. With your hands tied up on the back of his head you can't defend against his underhooks, and as you learned he can pretty much just grab you and sling you around.

    If you DO decide to clinch that way then you need to be using a wrestling style snapdown as quickly as possible to take advantage of the position before it gets countered. So when that clinch you more or less want to throw your hips backwards and yank down hard to try to get him to faceplant onto the mat so that you can then move to his back. Specifically, at the 27 second mark you should have locked your hands together and just dropped your hips right to the floor. YOu would have pancaked him and then been able to take top position.

    However, I don't recommend that. You have a fencing background, and if your knee can handle it then you would be well served to practice the double leg takedown and make it your primary movement. Your body will still remember how to lunge and that same movement will translate well into a good penetration step for your double.

    But aside from that, you want to keep your hands lower, don't allow your opponent those underhooks. Your footwork was fine, but you could stand keeping your hips a little lower to, again, help prevent your opponent getting those underhooks.

    After the initial takedown when he starts to climb onto your back staying up on your knees like that isn't the best defense. Check out this video starting at about the 2:15 mark and you'll see what you should have done.

    Overall you looked like a pretty average new grappler. You did well to get out there and give it a try and you'll continue improving if you stick with it.
    Thanks for the feedback and the video Kintanon. Re-watching my fight yes I realize I went more for an MMA/MT type clinch instead of a wrestling pummelling style clinch. The intent at the 27 mark was in fact to try to push my weight down on him and force him to the floor (it's worked in sparring for me at times, but admittedly against lighter guys than me, and this particular opponent was about 5 kgs heavier).

    Footwork wise, there are similarities between fencing and grappling footwork, and it is the aspect I've found least difficulty in adapting to so far. The shoot for the double leg is also a movement that I seem to have taken well to as well during training and I'd intended to use that in the tournament. My left knee still seems able to deal with it (it's the knee I'd injured back in my fencing days). My MMA coach agrees with you that I need to stay lower (something he points out to me often during sparring as well).

    A quick question about the RNC please. At the point where my opponent initially took my back and I was still on my knees, is it a viable defensive tactic to try a forward roll ,so that if his hooks aren't as yet secure, he might be thrown off as we're rolling forward? (If this is a stupid question my apologies, still an ignorant noob here, hehe)

    Thanks again for your tips and advice, it's greatly appreciated :)

  9. #9
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    You don't necessarily want to forward roll completely. You an use that same motion in order to throw your opponent off of you.

    It's more the motion you use to finish a shoulder throw (specifically Drop seio nage) than a forward roll, but they are similar.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kintanon View Post
    You don't necessarily want to forward roll completely. You an use that same motion in order to throw your opponent off of you.

    It's more the motion you use to finish a shoulder throw (specifically Drop seio nage) than a forward roll, but they are similar.

    Thanks for the advice mate. Will try to put it in practice next time I'm in that position. Cheers :)

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