I always set goals in my training. Every year, I ask myself what areas of my game, if concentrated on, would make the biggest difference in my jiu-jitsu.
When I was a brown belt looking forward to that coveted black belt, I wanted to make sure I had certain areas of my BJJ game solid, so I made a plan to work on four of my weakest points.
Here was my plan.
1) Improve my rear mount
I felt that my rear mount control and attacks lagged behind the rest of my game.
So often I would catch a rear mount only to lose the position while trying to choke the opponent.
I dedicated many hours of study to the back position because I felt it should be a “kill position” for a black belt.
2) Work my flow game
I had primarily cultivated a pressure game where I could competently apply weight and pressure from the top.
Yet I was aware that many black belts had a great transitional game and would move quickly from side to side from the top position.
Have you ever seen the video of the Mendes brothers at that tournament in Japan? That was an entirely different level of transitions!
Grappling with my own head instructor Josh Russell was like trying to control an empty kimono jacket! Just when I set my defense, he transitioned to another position.
I needed to do more of that.
3) Fill in some weaknesses
This is the most difficult part of my jiu-jitsu game.
I knew that I was weak in certain positions or submissions. I believed as a black belt that I should have a decent knowledge of many different guard games, even if they were not part of my own game.
I therefore set about experimenting with certain guards that ordinarily I never used to balance my knowledge on the guard position.
4) Revisit the basics
All jiu-jitsu guys should be experimenting with advanced sports positions in their games. It is part of expanding your creativity and understanding the possibilities of the limitless art of jiu-jitsu.
That said, I revisited each of the basic techniques to make sure that I had a deep understanding of why each position worked. I was inspired by the jiu-jitsu of Roger and Kron Gracie, each of whom has a basic but very effective game.
These were my training goals.
What are yours?
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