Training: Short Rounds For Concentrated Work

Training that requires a high level of concentration, detail, and /or repetition is the mental equivalent of high intensity exercise.

As such, my recommendation is doing shorter rounds, increasing or decreasing duration based on diminishing returns. That is, if your focus starts to slip, back off next time. If it’s too easy, make it more challenging.

In general, push for slight discomfort, keeping in mind that severe discomfort over time will decrease enjoyment and lead to burnout. Make things sustainable, understanding there is a process involved. Slower is faster, especially in the long-term.

Taking blogging for example, I used to only blog several times a week, as that many ideas was a stretch for me at the time. Now I could probably do three posts a day if I wanted. The broader point is this was akin to building a mental muscle over time (compare that mindset to the practitioner who’s constantly on the lookout for the ‘better shortcuts’ lol).


Domination: Safe & Effective Aligned Body Geography

In mount, rear-mount, and closed guard I actually want the type of pressure I generally avoid when passing. So, why are these geographies different?

The common denominator is I have degrees of influence (depending on specific geographies within the position, i.e. low mount with hooks, high mount, s-mount) based on my legs being around both sides of my training partners body. If I’m fortunate enough to find myself there, it doesn’t matter if my partner traps my arms, gets an underhook, etcetera, because the primary management mechanisms are my legs.

Conversely, the arms/hands are there to attack. Roger Gracie using three different geographies interchangeably @ 2:57-4:02 (low mount to control, high mount to strike, and a finish from back mount top when his opponent rolls):

Design: Margin Of Error

When problem solving and breaking down a scenario I want solutions that allow the WIDEST margins of error.

To explain further, the reason why I don’t like a lot of body-to-body oriented pressure passes and/or positions that require a lot of commitment is, if your mess up in the slightest you get more tangled up, unbalanced, and in worst cases, submitted.

Instead, I want positions where I can relax, assess, and disengage if needed.

Lesson: Evaluate level of risk and invest time in positions accordingly.

Update On Dominance (Spinal Isolation)

Was a bit off on this post:

The update four months later is I’m not looking to twist the spine as most of time it isn’t necessary.

If you DO happen to twist your legs I might help you along with that, but in principle I’m not looking to achieve a pre-set objective from the outside in. Instead, you’re going to present me with landing points and submission opportunity which may or may not involve the following:

Domination: Weight Distribution

In the first installment of the Budo Jake ‘This Week In BJJ’ Rickson interview, Rickson discusses weight distribution, and directing your weight at the precise points to maximize leverage.

My interpretation of the preceding idea is a completely different conceptually than say applying pressure via cross-face, as you’re loose instead of locked into a position.

Metaphorically, the general idea instead is to create the constantly moving and shifting pressure of the ocean on a surfer. That is, there’s pressure in moments, but it’s not committed pressure.

To those who disagree with this idea I argue that the more you try to create force by gathering some one with your arms, the more you’re open to counter-offense. Instead I suggest letting the body do the work while arms cherry-pick.

Interview: Rickson On ‘This Week In BJJ’

Nice interview by Budo Jake (I would have been nervous and tight too!).

Except for part two there is very little overlap with the Joe Rogan interview. The discussion of invisible BJJ principles was especially enlightening.

Also, while I have talked a little about our root and connection to the ground, the concept of weight distribution expands on this principle taking it further:

Training: Drilling To The Finish

Putting into practice the Rickson idea below of positional dominance serving the submission, we aim to drill to finish.

Granted, depending on our goals, in some sessions we might drill one movement to get the body mechanics down, but eventually we want to weed it into larger contexts with submission(s) involved.

Accordingly, the macro-objective here is building our subconscious finishing muscle.

Rickson’s Interview Lessons Part 1: Domination

Going to write a series of blog posts on lessons gleaned from Rickson interviews (edited: originally limited this to the Joe Rogan interview, but Rickson has been doing a ton of interviews to promote his federation). Enjoy!:

Based on Rickson’s sambo story approximately 24 minutes into the Joe Rogan interview, his take on effectivess and tournament rules is he didn’t care about points and competed to see if he could finish his opponent.

Therefore, managing dominant positions is done with the intent of a submission in mind. Everything is about funneling the opponent toward the finish.

Structurally, my take is the preceding process happens one of two ways:

Less technical grapplers are submitted by means of capitalizing on their breakdowns in fundamentals, while more sound practitioners lose ground inch by inch until forced with no other option but to submit.

The above is a drastic over-simplification that neglects mind games that lull opponents into apathy, over-confidence, and/or impatience but that’s for another day. =)


Interview: Rickson On ‘Joe Rogan Experience’

Rickson is somewhat reclusive so never expected a one hour interview let alone three! I came up in the same era as Eddie, so hearing Rickson’s first hand account of stories I’ve heard about for years was surreal. Being out of the loop myself I’m probably late to the party, but wanted to post this anyway as its personal relevance is up there with my first exposure to Royce in UFC 2.