Dividing Your Compeition MatchRead Now
Have you ever broken your matches down by time to where you either need to be or want to be?
So many sports break their matches into segments so that they either know where they should be if they need to fix things or work harder to get back in front.
Whilst the scoreboard does help, it can also hinder and see the athlete make mistakes they wouldn't necessarily make.
Some BJJ athletes wouldn't consider this concept, others may see the use behind it. So let's dig deeper into how you can make the most out of your match time.
Match time is different for all age groups and some belts. In the adult division match length is:
Belt Adults Masters 1 Masters 2+
White 5 5 5
Blue 6 5 5
Purple 7 6 5
Brown 8 6 5
Black 10 6 5
Let's look at what is typically the biggest division in the BJJ competition circuit; Blue belt.
Before we break a match down, there are a considerable number of variables that will change the course of the match. They will be:
Let’s get into it!
A blue belt match is six minutes in length and will only be short if.... a submission occurs.
The athlete’s objective at the start of the match is to attempt to get their opponent to the mat. Confidence is the key here.
But what if the match stays on the feet for a couple of minutes?
Dividing the match into segments will help the athlete with their strategy and hopefully the win.
Let’s do this in two-minute brackets; First two for takedowns, next two to get the dominant position and stabilise, last two consolidation of position and finish by either points or submission.
Whilst this is great in theory, the athlete does need some assistance from the sideline with a coach or teammate watching the clock (and score) and providing regular updates on the time so the athlete can determine where they need to be in the match.
Of course, if our athlete does get the takedown well within the first bracket, they then have MORE time in which to progress in their game plan.
Clearly to win the match by submission is the best outcome.
If the takedown hasn’t progressed the way you wanted and you find you are still on your feet after the two-minute mark, you’ll need to either pull guard or really push the pace to get the match to the ground.
The worst thing about this is that you will be limiting yourself for the remainder of the match, especially if the position is reversed and you find yourself on the bottom.
What if you are now playing defensively?
Ok, not a problem, we have to stick to our defensive strategy.
If you were taken down either, wrestle back up to a dominant position or get your guard.
I will always recommend getting the guard back.
The athlete will still need to break their matches into brackets just as you would on offence. But what the athlete must not do is panic.
If you end up on your back you can not settle in the position and allow your opposition to maintain the position.
You need to move in such a manner that you had an electric shock. If you allow your opponent settle then they will receive points or take your energy from you by their weight.
Next option should always be, ‘can I get my guard back?’ You might be down on points but at least your opposition will only move on your terms.
If you are underneath your opponent, you need to work methodically in your escape, not frantically. Unless your opposition has complete diagonal control, there is always a way to escape.
You will need to be out from under your opponent, or have removed their controls by the fourth minute of the match.
The final two minutes you will need to either obtain points to get in front or finish with a submission.
Again, the athlete needs to take their time and remain composed.
I have been six points down with less than 60 seconds left in the match, equalised the points with 30 seconds to go, only to lose on an advantage which really sucks as all I needed was the submission to win.
But what if I’m trapped in guard?
Yep, you pass and consolidate your position that’s three points! BUT you need to make the pass as clean as possible.
If there is 60 seconds left on the clock you can bet your pay that your opponent is going to either keep you there if they are winning or attempt to seep or submit if they are losing.
Passing the guard this late in the match needs to be done where you MUST maintain your posture and base. If you overcompensate in this department you will lose.
So how can we train this?
Regular attendance in training.
Journal what you are working towards, clearly identifying goals and technique.
Use your specific training (shark tank) to work on such things as perfecting the position, passing, submitting or sweeping. Every time you enter the shark tank you should be working on one of those things.
Implementing a timed strategy in your wrestles.
But Greg, you always tell us not to look at the clock when we are training!
True, but there are other methods for you to use such as a blind timer or another clock that will alarm at planned intervals.
Whilst some athletes may disagree with strategy, what have you got to lose by trying it? What you might find is that it will quiet your mind and get you on the front foot in your matches.
Bribes Vs RewardsRead Now
Bribing Kids vs. Rewarding Kids for Good Behavior: What’s the Difference?
Many parents wonder what the difference is between a bribe and a reward. After all, in both instances, your child is getting something for doing what you want him to do. But when is this helpful in teaching him better behavior, and when is it harmful? parent coach, Erin Schlicher explains.
“I’ll give you an Xbox if you’ll just clean your room!”
This parental plea might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s actually not as far off–base as you might think.
During my nearly two years as a parent coach, I heard many parents describe interactions with their kids in which they promised all manners of enticing treats and activities in exchange for behaving appropriately. Parents end up feeling as though they are desperately bribing their children to comply. Kids can come to expect something extra for simply executing their daily responsibilities, which can in turn lead to a false sense of entitlement.
It’s important to understand that bribery can become an ongoing pattern that ultimately teaches your child to act out to get what they want.
To make things even more confusing, attempting to curtail your child’s unruly actions by offering a bribe might actually seem like it’s working in the moment.
Take the classic example of a parent who is dutifully trying to get her grocery shopping done while her kids are running wild through the store. The parent is frustrated and embarrassed, so she proposes a deal: if the kids will settle down and get through the shopping excursion, they will each be given a candy bar.
Great, it seems to work! But wait…afterward, the parent is left feeling played, and she soon discovers that this tactic leaves her with a sense of powerlessness.
This is because in this scenario, the acting-out child has learned another method of maintaining control. You can even think of this behavior as blackmail—“you better give me a sweet payoff, or I’m going to make you suffer!” Kids will likely continue to use this strategy as long as it is working for them.
Many understandably confused parents have asked me outright, “So what is the difference between giving a bribe for good behavior versus rewarding it?”
I’ll tell you what I’ve told them: Generally, bribery occurs under duress—right smack in the middle of a situation in which your child has seemingly sprouted horns and a tail.
It happens quickly, when all you want is to change your child’s behavior on the spot, so you offer him something that you had no previous intention of offering. It is a form of negotiating—and remember, over–negotiating puts the child in the driver’s seat.
On the other hand, the effective use of rewards is quite different, because you are compensating your child for his good behavior, rather than being manipulated and extorted.
To understand how rewards work, it can be helpful to think in terms of how the work world operates. You do your job and complete the tasks that are required of your position, and your concrete reward is a paycheck. While there are numerous other ways in which work can be satisfying, the paycheck is the tangible form of a reward that you receive.
For your child, motivation to please parents and teachers might apply more during different phases of development than others, but for the most part, children tend to be externally motivated by things they want or enjoy.
Don’t get me wrong, most children want to stay in the good graces of their parents, but if they are given rewards regardless of how they behave, the incentive to practice new skills disappears.
As I’ll explain next, James Lehman recommends that parents come up with a list of rewards with their child ahead of time. That way, when your child behaves in the grocery store, he knows ahead of time what his paycheck will be—and so will you.
Pairing James Lehman’s concept of Strategic Recognition and Affection with tangible rewards (the child’s version of the paycheck) is one of the most effective ways to reinforce appropriate behavior.
This is the use of sincere praise, along with a genuine pat on the back when your child makes progress on something which is difficult for him.
Next, add concrete rewards that are of a currency that your child values to complete the picture. You know what your child likes—maybe it’s video games, television, art supplies, or sleep–overs with friends.
Try making a list of incentives that your child can earn on a daily basis, in addition to “bigger ticket” items that they could achieve over time.
Again, have your child participate in the creation of this list. Helping to keep your child’s “eye on the prize” while serving as his supportive coach during moments when he begins to digress, can create significant results.
Whenever possible, determine most rewards ahead of time, be clear with behavioral expectations and do not forget the crucial teaching component.
It is important to understand that we cannot expect kids to do something differently if they do not know how.
Your child’s behavior can often be linked to the developmental stage he is moving through.
Keeping this in mind is significant because it helps us soften our view.
In other words, it’s not that kids are always deviously acting out—they may just be exercising an undesirable method of accomplishing a developmentally normal task.
As adults, we have made it this far in the world because of what we have learned.
Lend them your skills!
You can guide your children to use more appropriate ways of checking off milestones. This might involve problem–solving conversations, role playing, or planned “field tests” that allow your kids to practice the new skills they are acquiring. Being a coach and teacher are two of the most effective hats you can wear as a parent.
In the end, be kind to yourself—we parents are all still learning too!
Taking a look at what behavior you might be reinforcing and how you are reinforcing it may lead to a change in your approach and yield better results.
Remember that when you resort to bribery to control your child’s behavior, the price that you wind up paying is actually a lot higher than it may seem in the moment. Instead, require that your child earn reasonable rewards by taking care of his responsibilities and making positive strides in improving his behavior.
How to Give Kids Consequences That Work
Screen Time: Using Technology as a Consequence or Reward for Your Child
Click HERE to review the article.
If you train long enough, you’re eventually going to inadvertently injure a teammate.
Injuries are a part of the sport, in jiu-jitsu perhaps more than in others. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and it’s not always easy to deal with them, especially those that can have permanent consequences on someone’s life.
In almost every training session there will be an accidental knee or elbow to the face, or maybe an arm lock applied too quickly resulting in sharp pain in the elbow.
On rare occasions, however, there are severe injuries that may require surgical intervention.
In previous blogs, I referenced an old teammate who had to have extensive knee surgery. But what if you were the teammate that was involved in the training accident?
While the emotional turmoil of knowing you hurt a teammate (or even an opponent) is tame in comparison to, you know, an actual physical injury, it’s normal to privately agonise over the knowledge that you accidentally injured someone.
Seeing a teammate sitting on the side of the mat with an ice pack on their elbow, or knowing that they had to take time off training because of you, can make you feel pretty bad even if you try your hardest to be careful.
Remember, it takes two to cause/create an injury; one person moves in one direction, the partner moves the other and there it is.
This kind of thing may cause you to have doubts and even knock your confidence.
Occasionally freak accidents happen and there’s nothing that can be done to prevent them. The feelings you may experience cause you to avoid places, people, training or even jiu-jitsu altogether.
It’s important to cope and come to terms with what happened to keep being functional.
So what can you do in these situations to make sure both you and the injured party have as little consequence as possible?
Whilst you feel responsible, you have to remember that you and your teammate (or opposition) participate in a combat sport, and you didn't go out to intentionally injure your teammate.
The high five and fist bump is a binding contract that acknowledges that you are going to try to best your partner and that you would acknowledge their efforts by the high five fist bump.
Beyond that it’s important to be kind to yourself. Avoid overly blaming any one thing or yourself. The discomfort you may be going through is just an evidence of your humanity and not a reason for concern.
Keep in mind that this too will pass, for the injured person and for you. As long as you followed rules of training and let go as soon as a tap was in place everything will be fine.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Perhaps not the person who you injured but your coach, counselor or a friend for some advice.
We all make mistakes. Oftentimes, through our actions, somebody gets hurt.
Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. It could’ve happened to anybody.
This in no way makes you a bad person or a bad training partner – again as long as you follow the rules everybody else does there’s an agreement between you and your training partner.
If the person you accidentally hurt is telling you “don’t worry about it,” you should normally heed their advice. However, there are some situations in which you should take a step back and let your shame teach you a lesson:
1. You were ignoring size and experience disparities.
If you’re a brown belt who wins most matches via heel hook these days, you shouldn’t be rolling with month-three white belts as though they are also leg-locking brown belts.
If you’re a 100kg blue belt, you shouldn’t be knee-on-bellying a 60kg teenager like you’re trying to help them fit into a corset.
If you have a significant size, strength, or experience advantage over your teammate and ended up injuring them, you need to ask yourself some tough questions.
This isn’t to say that you’re deliberately hurting people just because you can — it may mean that your bodily awareness needs some work.
Many practitioners don’t realise just how big or strong they are, so submissions may come on quicker when rolling with physically weaker partners, or a sprawl that may or may not work on someone their own size could completely crumple a smaller person.
Even in more advanced athletes, ego can also get in the way when rolling with less experienced partners. For example, you may be rolling with a newbie who overestimates the flexibility of their shoulders.
If you do know better, you need to show it by letting go of the submission when you know the limb is in danger rather than sending your partner to the hospital just to prove that you had it.
Yes, your teammates should reciprocate that trustworthiness by tapping on time, but if they don’t know any better and you do, more responsibility falls on you to keep them safe.
2. You were being reckless or overly aggressive.
One knee to the face in a round is an accident. Two in the same round is a coincidence. But once you get up to three or more, it’s time to ask yourself if you need to chill out.
There are bumps and bangs that can happen even during flow rolling, but if you’re trying out cartwheel passes or diving onto your training partners to gain control, dial down the crazy moves or practice them through solo drills before doing them in live rolling.
Similarly, if you’re slamming your way out of closed guard, cranking hard and fast on submissions, or are otherwise putting your partner’s safety at risk just so you can get a “win,” stop.
You and your teammate have agreed to practicing self-defense scenarios or other situations in which these types of moves may be acceptable and, you should still be doing so with care.
If you’re really doing your best to be a safe grappler, give yourself a break.
If your partner doesn’t tell you about a current injury, or if a body part just moves the wrong way (as body parts sometimes do), that does not make you a bad training partner.
Sometimes you may be applying a technique or transitioning to another position and your teammate thinks they can out maneuver you and move irrationally, this too can cause an injury.
A sincere apology and a post-training check-in are usually all that’s warranted if you hurt your teammate while training.
For injuries that require hospitalization or keep your training partner off the mats for a significant amount of time, consider doing a little something extra.
A former teammate of mine once gave me a “get well” card after accidentally hurting my rib, and even though it wasn’t necessary, it was a sweet gesture that made me a bit less salty about having to take a couple weeks off.
If there’s anything you can do to prevent yourself from hurting your teammates, please do it. At the same time, though accidents happen, and if your teammate doesn’t appear to be holding it over your head, you shouldn’t either.
Some time ago we had an article about dealing with injuries in our sport and how the athlete can use BJJ as a mode of recovery.
What we didn't discuss was how our mental health is affected when we either suffer the injury or if we somehow contributed to the injury.
In the article, I wrote of an example where the athlete had totally ruptured the quadriceps muscles at the knee as well as some significant ligamental damage and I managed to catch up with this athlete at a recent tournament and have a good talk with him.
The injury he sustained was almost 10 years ago. He was studying to become a lawyer and he was a very good blue belt.
As the conversation went on he told me that he had been suffering greatly from depression since the accident. He never finished his law degree and had been working from job to job never committing to anything as his knee had never fully recovered. He even sounded like he had lost his passion for the sport.
He told me that the longer he stayed off the mat the more he didn't want to come back because he didn't feel as though he would be the same person.
The pain he would experience in life came and went, and when it was present it felt like it would take forever to recover from.
He went further telling me that in his darkest he would turn to either alcohol or 'other' substances to try to make him feel better.
He told me that if he had have gotten on the mat as part of a routine regardless of his mobility, maybe things would have been different.
Seeking assistance with mental health is the same as having a coach for sport. Psychologists and psychiatrists are mind coaches and have their place in assisting with your rehabilitation. They are the coach for the mind.
Devising a strategy to get your head (literally) back in the game with these mental coaches will help you so long as you let them.
The stigma of seeing a psyc should not be negative nor should the individual feel ashamed that they are. More often than not telling your closest friends is a good thing as they may see triggers and help the individual get back on their feet quicker.
The worst thing you could do is distance yourself from things that you love (loved) or people that care for you.
Moving forward it is important that the athlete recognises early their symptoms of depression and anxiety and that they seek assistance as soon as possible as this will help the clinicians better support the athletes' rehabilitation and goals to return to sport. Not only this, having support from physiotherapy and the athletes' coach to get the athlete back to training will greatly assist the athlete in keeping the negative mindset away.
Using the tools available will see the athlete get back to it much sooner than they think.
Our blog page is used to give you an opportunity to gain an understanding of the training that is conducted with our Academy.