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Old 09-20-2007, 03:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Sometimes It Seems Harder To Grapple Newcomers

Do any of you guys ever have this problem? I learned BJJ by grappling with two guys who have been doing BJJ/Catch wrestling for about 15+ years, and another guy who went to Royce Gracie's school. Needless to say they were all very good, calm, composed, and every mistake I made they would jump all over me with submissions I had never seen before. However, grappling with them was always a great learning experience, and I had a lot of times where I pulled off some awesome techniques (one time I nearly caught my trainer in a gogoplata, much to his surprise)

So here I am at tonight's BJJ class at my college (a local BJJ teacher runs the club) and I'm sparring with a guy who has only three BJJ classes to my knowledge. Since I had about 4-5 months of BJJ experience with some really good grapplers, I felt pretty confident that I'd be able to handle myself in sparring.

However, our first round he comes out wildly and gets the takedown on me, which I expect because I have horrible takedowns and mediocre takedown defense. What then suprised me was that working with him in my guard proved to be very difficult and unpredictable because he had very little form, and was basically just thrashing around all over the mats. He managed to pass my guard after stacking me, and then after struggling in side control I was able to escape, but right into a guillotine! Since he only had been taught the standing version he stood me up (lol), and he thought I tapped out so he stopped. I didn't really tap, but I made no big deal of it because he actually had me pretty deep in the choke and I was tired of standing up.

In our last round he did the same wild wrestling style that once again threw me off guard and put me into bad positions. He even managed to mount me for a moment, which was a little embarrassing. Somewhere in the madness he locked another guillotine, which I managed to escape, and I ended up on his back with a rear naked choke sunk before the teacher called the round to an end.

So although I did not get dominated per say, I did get put into some dangerous positions by a newcomer, even after I had rolled with grapplers much better than him. What do you guys do with people that just wildly put all their energy into it? It was hard to stay calm and keep my head straight grappling with a madman like that.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup, this is a common thing. When people don't have a good amount of knowledge of the game, they tend to rely on strength, athleticism, and/or explosiveness instead of technique. A good way to prevent this is by doing Gi bjj, but also just learning to keep calm, keep them close, and let them gas. If they're passing your guard right away then I think you just need work on your guard. Also, learn some good sweeps and learn to play a good half guard game.
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Old 09-20-2007, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^ lol. I've actually grappled a fat guy that was pretty good, it sucked!

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Yup, this is a common thing. When people don't have a good amount of knowledge of the game, they tend to rely on strength, athleticism, and/or explosiveness instead of technique. A good way to prevent this is by doing Gi bjj, but also just learning to keep calm, keep them close, and let them gas. If they're passing your guard right away then I think you just need work on your guard. Also, learn some good sweeps and learn to play a good half guard game.
Yes well I agree my guard and sweeps need work, and yeah I did end up in half guard for some of the time. It just has a much different feel when you grapple a newcomer as opposed to someome who has a lot of experience.

*On a little side note my original BJJ/Catch wrestling "trainer" went to Bj Penn's gym over the summer and sparred with Bj himself. He said it was like rolling with a noodle, he couldn't figure Bj out.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Rickson Gracie always said that the best BJJ training he got was working with white belts, because they were spontanious, but I do have alot of guys layngaying when they get uncomfortable.

Personally, I'm okay with a slow opponent, especially if he doesn't know how to control his weight. Then I try and break down posture and work rubber guard, look for something that I want to practice, like an omo or a gogo.

My suggestion with this type of wild opponent is to focus on controlling your motion. I'm not used to a BJJ type of competition, where there's the serious points issue, but even in MMA, you don't want to give up mount, where he can land punches. So if you focus on taking it slow and practice controlling him and working from a position where you are comfortable like guard it will be alot better for your fundamentals.

If I'm working with an opponent who's new, sometimes I find it's a good practice to pick out the submission you want to land beforehand, so that you try to set it up from live positions. It also gets you thinking about how you want to respond to attacks, like wild takedowns where you might want to pull guard, go straight into a sweep or sprawl and try to take his back.

Hope that was a little bit helpful. Keep up the training, sounds like you've got a good team around you.
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Old 09-22-2007, 01:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I dont want to insult you but if he is passing your guard that easy and doesnt know any passes, then you really need to work your guard. Although I do agree with you its easier when someone who knows what they are doing who is calm and controlled. When Ive just messed around with friends its pretty hard to control them cause they are so weird. Also since they dont have any training they have no concept of sidecontrol, guard, mount etc. SO they therefor have less of a tendency to go into these positions which makes it weird.
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Old 09-22-2007, 01:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I hate when I'm wrestling my friends and they do such unorthodox stuff that they mount me (they're around 50 pounds heavier) so I'm stuck Lol. Pretty embarassing cause' they're always like "Haha, I could beat any BJJ guy."
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by A-5best
I dont want to insult you but if he is passing your guard that easy and doesnt know any passes, then you really need to work your guard. Although I do agree with you its easier when someone who knows what they are doing who is calm and controlled. When Ive just messed around with friends its pretty hard to control them cause they are so weird. Also since they dont have any training they have no concept of sidecontrol, guard, mount etc. SO they therefor have less of a tendency to go into these positions which makes it weird.
I didn't say he easily passed my guard, I just said it was very troublesome controlling him in my guard. He only passed my guard once in the first round, and he does know 1 escape which he used; the stack + can opener.

I figure when he gets more experienced and composed, it will be easier for me to beat him, unless he turns out to be a prodigy or something.
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Old 09-22-2007, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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BJJ is based on using other people effort against them. If anything its easier to tap someone whos wild. You just have to set a trap for them, and let them agressively flail right into it.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I had this experience, on the other side. I was the new guy who entered class and was looking to spar. The only submissions I knew were the ones I'd seen on TV and in grappling instructionals which I enjoy watching. I also wrestle alot with my brothers and friends. By the end of the night, everyone thought I was a freaking liar for saying I hadn't had a grappling class because the only guys I hadn't tapped were the instructors and hotshots. Basically, it was alot of explosions, strength, and essentially bulldogging it. I was tapping a lot of guys, and I have good cardio so I was able to last, but my muscles were burning. I knew I was doing something wrong because I see BJJ guys go for hours, and I knew there was nobody who could go that hard for more than 20 minutes.

At the end of the night, I was flying high until I sparred an instructor. He essentially saw what was happening, was impressed, but wanted to help me out. When we sparred, I got whooped. He actually choked me out with a leg triangle and caught me in a choke with my lapel. I was impressed, but he said if a guy is in good shape, is aggressive, and has a knack for wrestling, he can give alot of people fits. Since then I've tried to focus alot more techinque into my game while trying to hold on to that explosiveness. (I'm not sure, but I think that may be the difference when they refer to Japanese having explosive submissions as opposed to the more calculated Brazilian submissions.) Learning more technique is helping me use less energy while neutralizing my opponent, but I'm trying to hold on to that wild recklessness newbs have because I think there's something to it. Just watch guys like Clay Guida or Tyson Griffin give BJJ masters hell. =)
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm fairly new myself (I'm something like 10 weeks into it), but when I roll with new guys and they start in my guard, I just sit there letting them fight like hell to pass. One of the most important things I've learned so far is how to relax. I'm sure I was a total spaz when I first started.

After about a minute of that I'll look for them to make a mistake, lean too far to one side, or leave an arm on my chest and sweep or submit them. Then I'll usually tell them why I caught them (i.e. you're leaving your elbows inside, posture up more, etc...).

If they seem cool with it, I'll also let them start in mount and work on getting them back into guard.

Unless I'm looking to lock in something new, I've been trying to avoid rolling with new guys because it isn't teaching me anything any more. Yeah, it's kind of fun to submit someone 5 times in 5 minutes, but it doesn't really accomplish anything except making me feel like I'm better than I really am.
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