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.
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