Learning From Watching Matches

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Like most BJJ addicts, I am always looking for a new detail or position that I can add to my jiu-jitsu game. We can learn directly from our instructors – which is probably the easiest and best way to learn jiu-jitsu – and when it comes to instructional BJJ videos, we are spoiled for choice.
There is another excellent way to learn technical jiu-jitsu. Watching matches with your favorite fighters.
I am particularly fascinated by BJJ used in professional MMA. The Gracie brothers Rener and Ryron on do excellent analysis of techniques used in UFC fights called the Gracie Breakdown. If you haven’t seen the videos, it is worth checking out.
More advanced students will benefit from performing their own analyses of positions that occur in an MMA or sports jiu-jitsu matches.
When you see something that catches your interest, you can easily “rewind” the video and slow it down to see what happened.
For example, when Anderson Silva stepped in to fight Daniel Cormier, the match was notable for how little damage Silva absorbed despite spending much of the match underneath one of the most dominant fighters in the world.
How did Silva defend himself so well? I rewatched the fight several times, each time isolating and focusing on different aspects.
1) What leg positions was Silva using? Closed guard. Half guard knee shield. Half guard lockdown. How was Silva using his legs to disrupt Cormier’s balance to prevent strikes?
2) What arm positions was Silva using? A whisper or overbook on the striking arm. Was he using an underhook? Silva always seemed to be fighting for inside control.
3) What was his opponent on top trying to do? Cormier was also pummeling for inside control with the arms and trying to posture up to strike.
So, this was the essential battle: Cornier was on top and looking for inside arm control and posture to strike. Silva was on the bottom and looking to control the distance and tie up the arms of Cormier to prevent strikes.
Rewatching the fight provided many valuable insights on how the best in the world handle specific situations in grappling.
It is all there in HD for curious students of BJJ.
Whose matches do you learn from?

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