Wrestling & the Future of BJJ Competition
My son competed in his first grappling tournament recently. He did a great job, got some wins and came away with some medals. It was also quite a learning experience for both of us, which was sort of the point of competing in the first place.
I've competed in BJJ before, but it was a very different experience. I was an adult beginner competing against other adult beginners. What really struck me when watching the kids was that holy ****, these kids can wrestle. My son has never wrestled and he got taken down at will. He still did a nice job but we definitely came away with some things to work on. We've been talking about getting him involved with wrestling anyway. I think he needs to get a season under his belt before competing again.
Anyway, this is probably old news for those of you involved with competition on a regular basis. But it was a surprise for me - not because I didn't understand the value of wrestling, but because the kids he trains with seem to have very little wrestling experience. In contrast, the kids who showed up to compete ALL seemed to have wrestling experience.
I'm curious to hear thoughts from some of the experienced BJJ competitors about the impact of wrestling on submission grappling tournaments. Do you think wrestling is changing / will change the sport? It seems to me that wrestling will pretty much be a prerequisite for BJJ competition in the future if you expect to compete at a high level.
I'm sort of thinking out loud here. What do you guys think? Am I off base? On the money? Other thoughts?
It's kind of a hard question to answer because more and more the specific wrestling things that prove necessary for competition will get taught in BJJ schools (for example single leg finishing/defence is a huge part of no-gi these days even for inveterate guard pullers). There's also some less tangible things like base and hip pressure that for me improved massively with a relatively small amount of freestyle wrestling, but really good pure BJJ guys have them as well, they just don't come as quickly.
The full skill-set of wrestling: the ability to set up shots from the feet and so on; you can definitely win matches at all levels without having any significant amount of it.
That said, your actual kid should definitely wrestle because it makes you more awesome in every way, though he can band-aid the problem with more guard pulling practise specifically for grappling rules.
Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, fortunately his actual ground game seemed to be sharper than most of the kids there. So he got taken down but finished one match with a quick guillotine, scored points with sweeps in others, etc.
I definitely see your point about the takedown and takedown defense skills migrating into BJJ training. My son is training four days a week. Three with the gi and one no-gi. He's about a year into his training. They work some of those wrestling skills in no-gi, but at least for now what he's learned doesn't seem to stand up well against kids who wrestle all the time, which isn't a surprise, I guess.
Yes it will change the sport, but its all part of the evolution. BJJ schools will pick up and teach the techniques the prove the most useful as well as effective defenses and counters to those techniques, and Darwin will gaze down apon this all and smile and stroke his beard while considering why he just didnt write a book on grappling evolution instead of sailing around looking at stupid birds.
Last edited by judojeff; 7/23/2013 11:45am at .
My background in wrestling has always been a huge advantage for me in competition. Mostly because I was usually able to take people down, and use wrestling-style heavy pressure to stay in control. Getting picked up and even halfway slammed is a pretty demoralizing way to start off a match.
About the only disadvantage was/is a tendency to stick my neck out which exposes me to guillotines and a few other chokes.
The point is well taken about BJJ schools evolving. I get that.
I know takedowns are only a piece of the submission grappling puzzle and they don't get you big points in a BJJ match. But with the level of wrestling these kids are going to bring as they get older, I don't think mixing some takedown defense into your training is going to be enough to keep you from starting every match on your back.
I also know that if someone is spending all their time training wrestling, that means they may not be spending as much time training submissions, etc. so it would seem to even out.
But...to me, wrestling seems to be more of a skill that will pass you by if you don't do it when you're young. Whereas there's a ton of opportunity for adults to train and compete in BJJ, there's less of an opportunity for them to wrestle at a competitive level. So, it seems like the wrestlers will have the advantage throughout adulthood because they didn't just "learn some wrestling", they had their skills sharpened in real competition. And the BJJ training will always be readily available.
Again, I'm just shooting the **** here and I don't know if I even really have a point to make. I was just impressed with the kids' wrestling that I saw. I think my son needs it. And I think they're going to be fucking wrecking machines when they get older and the late comers are going to be in for a rude awakening.
I wonder if having regionally popular grappling styles will contribute to different "flavors" of BJJ depending on where you go. For example, wrestling-influenced BJJ in America, judo-influenced BJJ in Japan or Brazil, etc.
I think BJJ classes will start to incorporate a more intense take-down/defense program. Or they should, at least.
I took 2 years of wrestling and I think that was better for me than if I had stayed in wrestling and competed at a collegiate level. I had solid basics when I started submission grappling, but an empty enough cup to make for an easy transition.
I wonder, as BJJ might have to incorporate more and more "stand up defense" so to speak, will it effect the speed with which the "ground game" is learned? In Judo it's always a balancing act to blend the throwing with the ground work that has to be constantly adjusted. It gets pretty frustrating.
Judo was effected that way for sure, although with the rules changes over the years things have evened out a lot.
Originally Posted by Permalost
Falling for Judo since 1980
"You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS
Originally Posted by BKR
Ha! Now that's a funny thought.......potentially watching BJJ "evolve" into Judo. I can just see the heads exploding.
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