Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Improving Through Positioning

As covered before, improving in Brazilian Jiu jutsu takes dedication and hard work. For beginners, adopting the correct mindset towards body position plays a particularly important role in reaching the next level. The way practitioners conceptualize BJJ changes as time progresses and they amass experience. Anyone watching BJJ rolling can differentiate between experienced and unexperienced practitioners. After creating a solid foundation of the basic positions, most practitioners naturally begin assuming a more advanced mindset to grappling. By actively embracing the mindset towards body position of an experienced practitioner, the overall grappling level can increase exponentially.

Beginner Level practitioners. The human mind naturally attempts to create order from chaos. When confronted with the bewildering array of body positions, holds, and m6723942547_45abf01860_b.jpgovements available to grapples, beginners ignore the vast majority of possibilities and focus and the most basic ones, like mount, side control, back-take, and full guard. Eventually, other positions become normalized and assimilated into the practitioner’s arsenal, like half-guard, quarter-guard, and turtle.  The process continues and the practitioner uses movements and holds to switch between two known positions.  While is still possible to improve, a mindset that only thinks of submissions based on position creates a unilateral and limited range of attacks.

Higher level practitioners. More advanced practitioners use the basic positions as a reliable fallback, but freely adapt their position based on available options. Instead of anchoring themselves to single position and struggling to retain it6723941611_495216f7b3_b.jpg, practitioners flow from one half-formed position to another. The willingness to explore more fluid positions, like the many variations of open guard that require constant adjustments, means the practitioner is capitalizing on the innumerable, undefined body positions that humans are cable of to chase submissions. By conceptualizing BJJ positions in terms of constant movement instead of static holds, the practitioners adaptability increases dramatically. The larger number of positions known to advanced practitioners of course helps orient the grappler and inform his choice of movements.

Knowing mindsets to grappling mature over time allows BJJ practitioners to look for and understand advanced approaches to rolling. With practice, beginners can then integrate concepts like abstract body positions into their own game. Foundation remains important and practitioners must train the basics properly before attempting to embrace higher level positions. When ready, however, adopting the more well-rounded and advanced stance towards body positioning will help practitioners reach new levels in their grappling.

By Johan Vandeleuv


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