Aggressive Defence

I’ve been analysing my Jiu-Jitsu game lately (as I always am) and came to a realisation that I already knew (but was nice to remind myself of anyway). I remembered that my best attacks come from aggressive defence.

I grew up in the USA. I played Baseball when I was little and hated batting. I loved to field. I love the defensive part of the game. However, I was always very aggressive in defence. That translated into my batting as well. I was very concerned about not getting out. When I wasn’t focussed I would just close my eyes and swing away like there was no tomorrow. When I did that, I got out.

When I played Football (the American kind) I always preferred to be on defence. On offence I loved to block more than anything else.

When I played soccer I was usually in the midfield and I was always playing defensively.

When I played ice hockey I was always defensive minded.

Playing  rugby, I prefer to defend.

Playing cricket I prefer fielding to batting.

Now, in Jiu-Jitsu I am at my best when I play defence.

I am naturally defensive.

In BJJ this has some interesting translations.

I am working with a friend, doing some one-on-one sessions. I’m introducing him to the game and am already finding that I’m explaining to him a very defensive game. However, that’s not to say that I never attack. I’m attacking all the time.

One of the amazing things about BJJ is that you can become a very aggressive defender. For example, when I get caught in mount I am very aggressive in my escape plan. I fire them off quickly until one pays off. That’s not to say that I thrash around, growl, and throw my arms out. I’m defensive about my escapes, but I’m aggressive none-the-less.

Elbow escape, upa, snag & drag, back to elbow, snag & drag, elbow, upa… attack, attack, attack. I’m not giving away hooks. I’m not leaving my neck open. I’m not giving up my back. But I’m definitely letting them get comfortable. I’m firing off escape after escape after escape.

It’s the same in side control. Underhook, bridge up, hip out, turn in, underhook again, turn in more, move aggressively with their transitions.

Knee-ride? I bridge hard and quick.

Back control? I scoop down or scoot up quickly. I look to escape well before they have even established.

If they move an inch I try to take 4 and a half miles.

I’m very aggressive in my defence. In fact, I’m attacking.

If my opponent is having to defend against an escape, they can’t submit me.

Next time, I’ll talk about all the submissions that I use off opponent’s escapes. Reason is, because that’s another part of aggressive defence.

Man, this is a fun game.

Shorter Ladders

Jiu-Jitsu is great because we get to spar every time we meet. That means that you get a lot of opportunities to experiment because you get a lot of opportunities to test your new thoughts.

My newest thought was that of making my technical ladders a bit shorter.

The Scissors Sweep is still my go-to sweep against a kneeling opponent. When I’m rolling, and have simply had enough of being on the bottom, I set up the Scissors Sweep. That technique goes something like this.

Closed Guard with the left hand gripping the opponent’s right sleeve and the right hand gripping the opponent’s collar.

Open your guard putting your left leg down by the opponent’s right leg and bringing your right knee across the opponent’s belt line.

Pull your opponent down with your collar grip. Pull up over your head, or across your body with your sleeve grip. Sweep to your right with your left leg an guide the opponent over with your right leg.

Follow your opponent up into the mount.

That’s a longer ladder than I want to have to climb every time I want to sweep. So, I want to shorten the ladder. Here’s how I’ve gone about doing it.

I look for a cross sleeve grip.

The opponent’s posture has to come forward and I have to eliminate the post on the side I want to sweep to. I realised that if I’m able to get a cross grip I can pull my opponent’s arm across his body. If I do it right it also brings him forward. This takes the steps of getting the grips, and breaking the posture and puts them into one step.

I don’t bother with the closed guard.

I usually play a seated guard looking to establish butterfly hooks. However, I also quite like to put my feet on hips and knees when the opponent is kneeling. If I establish a cross sleeve grip I tend to go straight to a hip/knee placement because I’ll look to either arm drag across, or sweep. Instead of having to open my guard, then get my feet in place I simply place my feet very close to where I want them to end up. This effectively cuts the leg placement process in half.

I have also started to bring my right leg, knee first across the opponent’s chest. I create a hook under the opponent’s armpit. This acts as a knee shield (similar to the z-guard) to help keep space, a barrier against around-the-leg passes to my right, and a placement that adds itself very well to the scissors sweep.

So, I develop a guard system around the knee shield with a cross sleeve grip all aimed at the scissors sweep. That systems means that the sweep is always two steps.

Pull my opponent’s arm across and towards my right shoulder as I push on the opponent’s right knee.

Follow over into mount.

Shorter ladder.

My current other options from that guard are:

– Armdrag to back transition

– Triangle if they try to underhook the right leg

– Omoplata if they try to overhook the right leg

– Figure 4 if they pull arm free and post

– Guillotine if they pull the arm free and come forward with the head

I’m also looking to develop a similar system when I can’t get the cross sleeve grip but can get the cross collar grip, which has presented itself as of late.

 

 

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