Dominance: Shutting Down Scrambles

Great BJJ players shut down their opponent’s ability to scramble. Two people moving all over a mat space usually means a weak level of control. We can taper such scrambling in several ways:

1) Distance Management – Close as much space as you can anatomically. I want to make myself a part of you. How can you move something that’s attached to you, molding to every movement? Think connection, dead bodyweight, and filling space. The more your opponent struggles, the deeper the control gets.

2) Anticipation– In general, the more attachment and structural domination I have, the less possible avenues of escape for the opponent. Still, unless I’m very deep on a position that involves the head and/or neck, my partner can still move. If I’ve accounted for most if not all scenarios though, I dramatically increase the odds of shutting things down before they start. Invisible Jiu-Jitsu baby!

3) Relaxation– I have to put the quality time and reps to teach my body how to hold a position with no more and no less energy than it requires. The more relaxed I am, the more I’m sensitive the smallest nuance of movement and adjust accordingly. Some muscles groups are rocks and others are water.

4) Patience– Greed kills. Yes, I might get the submission or pass, but what have I done to my BJJ as a whole? Something is there or it’s not. When in doubt go back to square one and re-group. Unless we’re playing the risk card for fun, there’s no need to unnecessarily gas yourself and/or give up the mechanical advantages. Be patient.

This is all I can think of right now. Feel free to chime in if you can think of anything else.

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