Mobile vs. Controlling BJJ
Sorry, Im new here so this may have already came up. Im a white belt in BJJ but I think Im going to get my blue belt soon (entered 4 tournaments, placed first in 3).
Anyway, I have just come across one of my biggest revelations yet. I have always been a guard guy since the place where I started training is full of big strong guys and I am not very big (5'6 160lbs) so bottom is the place I ended up playing most. I have tried to work side mount and mount but If the guy is big he usually reverses me. Now, I know how to hold them down for the most part but If i attempt to submit them I cant really focus on keeping them down, and I get flipped. My coach who is a pretty small guy ( probably 5'1 120lbs) told me that small guys like us cant put our weight on big guys and we should instead stay light on them and us our speed intead. Well I was sceptical at first but I tried it out and it is proably the best thing that has ever happened to my jiu jitsu game yet. As soon as I started doing it, probably the second day of me trying it, I tapped out 2 blue belts that I beat on very rare occasion, and when I did beat them it was ONLY from the bottom. It got to the point where after getting a sweep my opponent was trying to hold me on top of him instead of trying to create space to escape because he said I was moving too fast for him to control. So now Im trying to perfect my new style of top game.
An example of it is when, instead of taking full mount, I go to knee on belly and I dont really put any weight there either ( basically enough for a ref to give me points in tournament but not enough for my opponent to feel it). When they turn into me, I spin in the north/south direction and I take their back or at least get over/under hooks and one hook.
So, does anybody else play this more mobile style of jiu jitsu instead of a heavy controlling one? And if so, do you have any tips I can use to help me perfect it?
For the last year and a half, I've been focusing on the mobile side of the equation. Specifically, improving my position during transitions. Recently, I've decided to go back to controlling.
Originally Posted by Bossnasty73
I believe you need to strike a balance between the two. What I noticed was that while I focused on mobility, I frequently stopped worrying about getting reversed because often I improved my offensive opportunities despite the reversal. For example, allowing my opponent to roll me back to guard from mount so that my other leg becomes free to complete the triangle.
This became a problem when I rolled with people better than me. When I gave up position, I wasn't able to improve my position during transitions because their skill prevented me from doing so.
Moral of the story? Never neglect your fundamentals. When mobility/agility fails, it's nice to have control fall back on.
I find that it depends just as much on my opponents strengths/weaknesses as it does my own.
i couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by jnp
Bossnasty73 -- i'm roughly the same size as your coach... i also agree that a floating/mobile top game is important, but more important for lighter grapplers on top is knowing _when_ to move and to not just move for the sake of using speed the overwhelm your opponent.
speed will fail you. you'll eventually get tired or your opponent will simply be faster. relying on any attribute isn't a good idea. attributes will fail you. good technique won't.
position and control of that position is everything. if you can maintain position with minimal adjustments (hips!) you'll be better off. if you can't then know when to move and move efficiently.
the trueisms are still true...
1. position (which is also control of that position) before submission.
2. jiu-jitsu is all about the hips.
3. minimal effort maximum effect.
as a smaller, older, less athletic grappler, these three concepts have helped me progress immensely.
that said... speed is an incredible attribute to have. definitely use it. it will screw with a lot of guys. just be sure to also train proper technique (especially when you're dead tired).
Being reversed from mount and falling into triangles and armbars was exactly how I was getting my submissions from "top" which I guess is still technically from bottom until I started to be mobile. I find the best positition to hold when using the mobile style is north/south. No matter which way they turn, you can just turn with them and take the back and if they get to their knees they open up anacondas, guillotines, and peruvian neckties. I opt to take the back by flipping over them.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that this is no-gi we are talking about.
And I completely agree with you, Weakling, on technique coming first. In fact, this is the first time I have every really used a physical attribute to my advantage in BJJ. LoL, thats actually the reason I started doing it, since I was told you dont have to be strong or in good shape to be really good at it.
Last edited by Bossnasty73; 5/28/2008 12:24am at .
Speed will fail you if thats what you are relying on most the time... Knowing how to transition easily/quickly from different top control positions is good, and key to controlling your opponent. Dont be all speedy gonzalez, it will tire you out. Know when and where to put your weight & control down(technique). I roll with some guys who are waayy lighter/smaller than me, but if they know how and when to use what weight they have, its bad news for me. Likewise, there is a 260 pound ox that has no balance or control, and its pretty easy for me to sweep/reverse him or maintain top control.
And what JP said.
That's good because I'm helping out a small group of people with their grappling tonight. One of them goes by the username Antifa on these boards.
Originally Posted by weakling
Small world, huh?
To Bossnasty73, one thing you can do to help out both mobility and control is to (sometimes) stop looking for subs when you're on top. Instead, pick hard to control training partners and focus on controlling them until they start to get away from you. Then switch to mobility to keep control and stay on top. The important thing here is to try to stay in control without reverting to mobility as long as you can.
It sounds like mobility is a natural attribute for you. Natural attributes will only take you so far. Once you get around the high blue-low purple phase, they start to matter a whole lot less. The reason? Your fellow blue/purple training partner's fundamentals get good enough to start negating your attributes. Additionally, many of your training partners will adapt to the specific tactics you use.
Start working on the holes in your game now. The longer you ignore them, the harder they are to fill.
It sounds to me as though the overwhelming opinion of the more seasoned grapplers here is that in the long run you need to develop control, because your speed will eventually not be enough. Being someone else who is quite light (6'2, 167,) I often have the same problem as Bossnasty. Is someone willing to oblige me with some advice on control for lighter grapplers?
I definitely agree with this. I train regularly with one of my good friends who is 6'4" 215 lbs, strong as an ox. I'm about 5'9" 190 lbs. He's so much stronger than me and his escapes are very good so it's very hard for me to control him (I'm a relatively weak and unathletic bastard). It's made the technical aspect of my top game SO much better as far as both control and mobility.
Originally Posted by jnp
I don't know about all this light = mobile stuff. It definitely can but my coach is like 5'3" 155 and he feels like a ton of bricks. I think there is more value in learning control and pressure instead of just shortcutting your game and using your physical attributes.
We are taught to do stuff like pull on the head or arms while doing knee on belly or sticking your fist in the armpit while you transition from side to N-S. Putting all your weight in one spot and using good pressure can help you control people even when you're light.