If you’re like me, you make sure someone’s recording your matches whenever you compete. Sometimes these matches go up on social media. Other times, they get thrown into a dark place never to see the light of day again because your performance was dismal that day (I’m as guilty of this as anyone else). Reviewing your competition footage can be an extremely valuable training tool.
Though it may seem silly, reviewing competition can be one of the best ways to learn from your mistakes. When you compete, things go by very quickly, and it can be difficult to remember precisely what happened. Competition footage can remedy this issue.
When reviewing footage, the first thing you want to do is break the match up into different portions. Start with how the match opens up. How did the match get to the ground? If you pulled guard, how was your grip and foot placement? If you shot for a takedown, how was your shot? How was your opponent’s balance?
Once the match hits the ground, start to look at your body placement. If you’re on top, are you giving the other person too much room? Are you letting them buck you around? Are you wasting energy holding on? If you’re on bottom, are you getting your hips to where they need to be to mount an intelligent attack?
Always be aware of your points. Even when you’re doing submission-only, know where you would be in a points tournament. Even if you hate winning on points, a win is better than a loss. When you watch your competition footage, see if you are holding positions for long enough to get the points that those positions would afford you. If not, work on that in practice.
If you are able to submit your opponent, watch how you take your submissions in a tournament. Sometimes if you get too excited about the prospect of winning, the other guy can get out of your submission attempt. If you allow this to happen, figure out why. Did you loosen up? Was there a technical aspect of your entry that allowed the other person to have the room needed to escape?
Competition footage is a crucial learning tool because even if you will never get an actual redo, it allows you to redo the match on the mat at your gym in a controlled setting. You can take the scenarios in which your opponents beat you and use those scenarios to come up with a training regime to prevent those losses from happening again. Better yet, you can take matches in which you were successful and tighten up areas that could potentially have been better.