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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Technique

How to Actually Roll with Bigger People

I don’t like to criticize other people’s articles.  I know its hard to write and it takes courage to publicly say what you think.  But “Which BJJ Techniques Work and Don’t Work w/ a Small Man Against a Big Man” really got me fired up.  The title assumes gender for no real reason, the size difference is never specified, I don’t agree with the suggested techniques, and the grammar is terrible.

Rather than tell you everything wrong with the BJJEE article – I would like to explore what techniques work for smaller jiu jitsu players from an actual small jiu jitsu player’s point of view (I’m 5’2″, 115lbs).

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Technique

Combinations from the Closed Guard

One of my teammates was preparing for a competition last week (he double medaled!) and he mentioned that he wanted to learn more combination attacks.  He has been working on his closed guard recently, which is my favorite position.

Depending on how you choose to play the closed guard your partner may feel completely trapped or under constant attack (or ideally both).  Currently, I focus on keeping my partner trapped when I using my guard because it is a position I feel safe in with a larger partner.  But I would like to incorporate more combinations so my guard can feel both vicious and suffocating.

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