Theory

Tactics in BJJ: Are you playing checkers instead of chess?

The subject of BJJ and chess is one I have written about before.  I think the subject is worthy of further attention because the metaphor is such an alluring one – but pinching metaphors until they squeal is all too easy.

Recently my coach made a comment about a roll, saying that one person was playing chess while the other was playing checkers.  For the sake of science, discovery, curiosity, and pedantry, I’m going to attempt to unpack all that is contained within this statement.

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Theory

Jiu-Jitsu Spark Notes: Or What You Need to Know to Roll

I’ve already done a post on how to get the most out of rolling, and if you are looking for best practices, this isn’t that.  This post is the information that I believe to be the barest minimum necessary to get someone rolling.

Will they be good?  No.  Will they be as safe as they can be?  No.  But, sometimes you just have to work with sub-optimal conditions.  Maybe you’re at party and some friends want to see what this “jiu-jitsu” thing is about.  Maybe you’re at a college level club and someone without any experience shows up to an open mat.

So, when reality gets in the way of ideal, this is a way to stay safe and have fun.

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Technique

Breaking the Same-side Sleeve Grip from Top of Close Guard

This grip break comes to us courtesy of Derek Kaivani of Buckhead BJJ.  Interestingly it was presented as an end note to a collar and sleeve guard pass that he was teaching in the kids class – why do us grown-ups not get to know this?!

Initial position: Starting from inside of your opponents close guard, they have a same-side grip on one or both of your sleeves.  This can be part of collar & sleeve guard, lasso guard, or spider guards.

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