Category Archives: Stand Up Game

Breathe man, breathe.

And just when I wrote about being too tired to write about what happens at the gym I have probably one of the best trainings in the last year. 😀

There we only three people in our submission wrestling class; me, my long time friend and a returnee white belt. So we ditched the technique part and just sparred the whole class through. It was just awesome. There was no excessive use of force and everyone was just rolling and trying out new things.

My fails yesterday came in the form of a reminder why you should do nogi / submission wrestling. When you do just BJJ you get too comfortable with using the gi as help to your technique. Then you’re just lost when you don’t have those. It took me a few rounds to remember how to do my techniques without gripping cloth…


There are no stupid questions

This was probably the highlight of my season. No, not probably. This was the highlight of my season.

I spent the last two weeks of the autumn season teaching the hip throw. There are only a few girls in our gym and one of them came to my class for the first time when I start to teach throwing. Well, she learned to technique really well and on the second weeks she did perfect hip throws.

Then after throwing her partner to the floor she turned to me and asked real innocently

Is it wrong that I’m throwing him so high?

I just kinda stared at her for a moment and said: No. And smiled.

Best. Question. Ever.

Keep your shin up

We were doing stand up sparring in my class the other day. I always have some stand up sparring in my class.

The game was just for the takedown. I was sparring with one of our MMA enthusiasts who is a lot smaller than me, so I was trying to do with just the technique. I got him to lean forward and threw my weight under him to get a throw on him.

And smacked my shin real nicely on his shin.

Needless to say I did not get the takedown.

What’s your game plan

A game plan. This is something all of us need. Without it we’re just groping in the dark hoping to find something that will help us on the mat. I usually end the season teaching something I’ve called routing and that I have been doing this season also.

It’s just a string.

So, a route is the way you are going to get from A to B. It’s also a sequence of techniques. Once you have a route you are not just doing a technique, then another technique, then another but you’re stringing them together. First I start by asking someone what’s their best submission. Then where it comes from. That give you the point B. Then point A is what ever position you happen to be in.

For example, for a long time my game plan was to go for an armbar from the knee on stomach. That was my point B. That was (and still is) my favorite target to go for.

So if your best submission comes from the mount then that is where you’re going. And how do you usually get to the mount? Maybe with a sweep from the closed guard? Or maybe from the side mount? How’d you get there? See where this is going? I personally like to back track every route first. There’s no particular reason, but I think it’s easier to comprehend when you start from your goal and work your way backwards. You don’t get that caught up with the different possibilities and loose sight of the you point B.

My game plan?

Here’s my current game plan.

Plan A, starting from stand up: get the grips for a hip throw and throw. Take the side mount, which is natural after the throw. Go for the back mount (yes I’m currently working to better my back mount). RNC or armbar.

Plan B, if I can’t get the hip throw, then a sacrifice throw. Roll it to the mount. Basic lapel choke or armbar.

Plan C, oh you get the picture…

A game plan isn’t that hard to create. You just need to know what you’re good at. If you’re competing then it becomes a wee bit more tricky as you have to take into account what the other guy is good at. But it’s still the same principle. Those game plans I’ve shown up there are the ideal versions. It’s the versions where I’m doing it with a dummy. The amount of the steps I need to take before reaching my goal varies, but my goal doesn’t. If we end up in something different then I just work towards my point B. It’s not rocket science.

So, what’s your game plan?