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  1. 265lbsfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 5:19pm


     Style: BJJ/MT

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Sweeping game vs sub game

    I'm an Ultra HW in BJJ and my bottom game mostly revolves around sweeps.
    I feel a bit embarrassed by the fact that only white belts fall for my subs on a consistent basis but on the other hand my sweeps are pretty handy even vs higher ranked guys.

    But I'm a short and eh, "stout" guy and most subs involving the use of my legs are too slow when I apply them opening me up for the pass.

    I get the occasional omoplata but in 9 out of 10 instances I get the sweep instead of the tap.

    I've had pretty good results at my weight in competitions winning several regional tourneys but I was just wondering if this was an issue for other big guys or even just "stout" guys for their weight?

    From what I've seen in most competitions only the long-limbed ultra HW's are sub-savvy from their backs while the rest usually rely on winning the top position and then work for the tap.

    Am I correct in this observation?

    If correct is this the same for other grappling sports such as sambo, judo, etc?
  2. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 7:50pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Everybody has different aspects of their games that are stronger than other aspects and accepting that you have a problem is the first step to replacing your addiction to booze with evangelical christianity.

    Like you I'm a bigger guy whose bottom game focuses on sweeps. Like you, I don't get a lot of subs off my back against other purples or browns. How to deal with it, well how did we get good at sweeps and subs from the top? By working them a lot on those less skilled than us. So how do we get better at subs off of our backs? Work them a lot against those less skilled as us. When you can start getting subs a little more consistently start using them also against those with whom you're more comparably matched.
  3. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 7:53pm

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     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by 265lbsfist View Post
    I'm an Ultra HW in BJJ and my bottom game mostly revolves around sweeps.
    I feel a bit embarrassed by the fact that only white belts fall for my subs on a consistent basis but on the other hand my sweeps are pretty handy even vs higher ranked guys.

    But I'm a short and eh, "stout" guy and most subs involving the use of my legs are too slow when I apply them opening me up for the pass.

    I get the occasional omoplata but in 9 out of 10 instances I get the sweep instead of the tap.

    I've had pretty good results at my weight in competitions winning several regional tourneys but I was just wondering if this was an issue for other big guys or even just "stout" guys for their weight?

    From what I've seen in most competitions only the long-limbed ultra HW's are sub-savvy from their backs while the rest usually rely on winning the top position and then work for the tap.

    Am I correct in this observation?

    If correct is this the same for other grappling sports such as sambo, judo, etc?
    It depends. If you are a big, strong dude, you usually end up on top while the smaller opponent (depending on the experience level of both) will end up on the bottom.

    The fact is, how well you perform on the top or bottom depends on how much time you have put into those positions. Usually, bigger, stronger guys will spend a lot more time on top in training. When they compete, that is the area they are comfortable so they will naturally work for that position.

    As for your submissions, my guess is that you've found better success with your sweeps so you are going for less and less submissions. As such, you haven't put in the time yet to make them effective. Usually, when you focus your efforts on one part of your game (in this case, sweeps) other parts of your game (in this case submissions) suffer.

    In order for your submissions to get better, you have to work them and risk getting your guard passed. A different approach could be to build up your ability to recover guard. Once you become confident in that ability, you will become more confident in attempting submissions because you are confident you can recover guard again.

    In the end, it all tends to boil down to how much time you've put in. Also, Something I've been reading in Steve Scott's "Throws and Takedowns" book (thanks Mark Tripp) is the fact that you have to "Make your technique work for you."
  4. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 7:56pm

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     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    And what he said, with the caveat that it usually doesn't make a lot of sense to try and develop a weak area primarily against those at or above your own level.

    For instance, if I only ever try triangles or arm bars from the guard against brown belts without first bringing my technique up to an ok level against others I'm going to get passed a hell of a lot and am not using my time best.

    First with guys not as good as you, then with guys as good as you and then on the guys better than you.
  5. Goju - Joe is offline
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    I am a Ninja bitches!! Deal with it

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 8:00pm

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     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't think it's a size thing, I prefer trying to sweep from the bottom than go for subs as well.

    However even in the context of sweeps, I am working more sub attempts lately from the bottom because they make your sweeps better.

    I have gone back to basics with arm bars and triangles.

    My ideal setup is when I threaten a sweep I go for a sub and when I threaten a sub I go for a sweep
  6. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 8:01pm

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     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by UpaLumpa View Post
    And what he said, with the caveat that it usually doesn't make a lot of sense to try and develop a weak area primarily against those at or above your own level.
    Good point, thanks for filling in that one, I didn't mention it in my original post.

    As UpaLumpa said, don't try developing your submissions or any part of your game (yes, even defense) against high level training partners. Just like you can get a false sense of accomplishment by running a submission clinic on a bunch of newbs, you can end up with a false sense of failure by being unable to pull submissions on your more experienced peers.


    It's something we all have to remember from time to time.

    (Upa: What I wrote is pretty much what you said, figured I'd expand on it a bit for those who may not have "gotten it", so to speak.)
  7. UpaLumpa is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 8:12pm

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     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Goju - Joe View Post
    I don't think it's a size thing, I prefer trying to sweep from the bottom than go for subs as well.
    Yes people usually have preferences and they're not always due to body type/size. But they often are too. Guys with short legs relative to their mass are easier to pass than guys with longer legs. This leads to a reinforcement of focusing on sweeps.

    A lot of this is exacerbated because our games are unconsciously shaped really early on and those effects linger even as we may develop technically or change physically (e.g. increasing hip flexibility).

    I know you're not really disagreeing with anything but I think it is an interesting tangent unto itself.
  8. Goju - Joe is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 8:21pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Improv comedy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by UpaLumpa View Post
    Yes people usually have preferences and they're not always due to body type/size. But they often are too. Guys with short legs relative to their mass are easier to pass than guys with longer legs. This leads to a reinforcement of focusing on sweeps.

    A lot of this is exacerbated because our games are unconsciously shaped really early on and those effects linger even as we may develop technically or change physically (e.g. increasing hip flexibility).

    I know you're not really disagreeing with anything but I think it is an interesting tangent unto itself.
    Progression in BJJ is a weird thing. I think you have to choose one or the other at first to get good at so you can feel confident later on trying for the other.

    For example my arm bars still suck but I have got relatively good at using the arm bar attempt to set up the oma palata, and even if I can't nail that as a sub I still use it as a sweep to take the back or go to side control.

    Developing that sweep now has made me more confident to stick with the arm bar attempts lately and work on grips and breaking posture down to try and finish it because I know in rolling if I screw up I have my sweeps to back me up.
  9. Fighting Cephalopod is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 9:43pm

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     Style: ZHOO ZHITSU

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Regardless of actual weight, guys with stubby arms and legs relative to their body size tend to play sweepier games, from the lower levels up to the higher levels. That's no reason not to work your subs if that's what you intend on doing, though. Pick a couple subs you already feel comfortable with (like omoplatas) and start working for subs that chain off of or into them.

    Interestingly my own bottom game has gotten a lot more sweep-focused this year, despite my relative lankiness. Probably because it's become very half-guard-centric for a variety of reasons.
    Undisputed KING OF ASSHOLES.
  10. 265lbsfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 10:25pm


     Style: BJJ/MT

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the insights, guys!

    I think it all might've originated from halfguard being the first guard I "got" and had any real success with.
    Now I try to focus on full guard and its variations so as to develop my game but the subs are woefully inadequate as of yet.

    One of my teachers has my general body type and his inverted armbars and cross chokes are his bread and butter subs from his back and I've been trying to emulate him without too much success yet.

    Persistance is probably the key. Persistance and not relying on my halfguard sweeps to be a crutch for the rest of my game probably.

    As for NOGI another one of my teachers has an awesome halfguard heelhook and calfslicer game which I will try to pick up as best as I can.

    But the standard triangle and armbar I have so little success with that I doubt they merit the effort to include them with any real level of success in my game.
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