Mastering Jiu Jitsu One Step At ATime

In my blog The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I talked about new BJJ situations I have been getting in and how that shows growth in my opinion.  I gave a specific example of not knowing what to do with a arm bar that the guy is holding on to.  I said that I wouldn’t let that happen again or that I would learn from the situation.  I went home and drilled with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy on what I would do next time it occurred.  Last night in class it paid off.  I was rolling with another blue belt.  I had him in mount and transitioned to a side mount that I had seen Saulo Ribeiro use.  I faked a cross choke and took the arm.  He managed to get a hold of his arm and then my study and muscle memory training kicked in.  Without thought I threaded my leg through and put him in a triangle choke.  He tapped out shortly after I synched it down tight.  Oh baby! That felt good!  It can be so frustrating to be so close and yet blow it.  It was very satisfying to have identified, analyzed,  trained, and succeeded at improving my Jiu Jitsu.  The next step I think is to know a hand full of techniques I can use against a locked arms like that, not just the transition to the triangle choke.

How To Use the Submission Master Grappling Dummy To Increase Muscle Memory

I’ve had my Submission Master Grappling Dummy now for about 1 month.  I’ve been using him in a daily drill routine that I formulated.  I have to say I really like my Submission Master and last night it paid off.  I’d been work on the Triangle Choke, Arm Bar from Guard, Triangle Choke to Arm Bar, and Arm Bar from Mount.  I got 3 of the 4 last night in class.  What I really liked about my drilling with the Submission Master was that it gave me the physical feedback that helped reinforce my muscle memory.  The more repetitions I did the easier it seemed to notice my chances for a submission and connect on them.  For example I was having a hard time getting the transition from a failed Triangle Choke to a Arm Bar.  I kept putting the wrong leg under the guys chin.  After doing reps on the Submission Master for a week I instinctively transitioned from the Triangle to the Arm Bar.  I’ve also noticed that working with the Submission Master has helped me realize how I need to lift my hips up toward the head as I work for submissions like the ones I’ve talked about.  I know I keep blogging about it but with good reason.  I’m seeing success and want to share what I’ve found out.

We all know that the more reps you put in the better you muscle memory.  We also all can’t spend every waking moment at the gym or dojo.  Using the Submission Master has become a good way for me to satisfy my BJJ addiction.

Take a few minute and enter my contest to name my dummy and a chance to win a free Sprawl rash guard.  See my post: Name My Submission Master Grappling Dummy Contest.

Name My Submission Master Grappling Dummy Contest

sprawl-rash-guard I am giving away a new long sleeve Sprawl Rash Guard shirt (Retail Price: $38.50) for the best original name for my Submission Master grappling dummy.  So far the names submitted by my family are:

Dummy (by my 3 year old)

Grap (by my 6 year old)

Grawp (by my wife) Hagrid’s giant brother.

Thud (by me)  Its the sound he makes each time he falls over.

Submit your name in a comment to this post.  A name will be chosen in time for the Sprawl Rash Guard to be shipped to you before Christmas.

Have you seen a Submission Master Grappling Dummy before?  If not here is a picture of mine:Submission Master 1 I’ve only had it for about 3 days now and I must say over all I’m liking it.  I’ve started a morning and evening drill routine with the Submission Master.  I used my post entitled Improving Muscle Memory with a Solo Daily Drill routine to help me outline what I want to do and accomplish.  For starters it has already improved my Triangle Choke.  I always hate seeing the guy I’m trying to practice on go beet red.  You want to work at your Triangle Choke to get better but you know how uncomfortable it is for the guy you are doing it on.  With the Submission Master I can work at it and try new things out over and over without the live partner.

Improve Muscle Memory with a Solo Daily Drill Routine – Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

A big part of Jiu-Jitsu is muscle memory.  If you play basketball you shoot hoops over and over to improve your shot.  Its no different with Jiu-Jitsu.  It is just a little harder given you don’t always have a partner.  So what can you do to improve muscle memory?  Most of the books in, My Bookshelf, have drills in them.  You can find drill routines on YouTube.com

Here are some I like on YouTube:

When it comes down to it you need a routine tailored for your own needs that you can do anytime. 

Here is a example:

  1. Basic Warm up.
  2. Basic Survival Techniques from Jiu-Jitsu University
    1. Solo Side Control Guard Recovery Drill x 20
    2. Solo Mount Survival Drill x 20
    3. Solo Mount Elbow Escape Drill x 20
    4. Solo Knee-On-Belly Prevention Drill x 20
    5. . . .
  3. Escapes
  4. Submissions

You get the idea?  I love Saulo Ribeiro’s book, Jiu-Jitsu University.  It has some really good solo drills.  I would recommend you get it and see what I mean.

Start to build your drill routine by identifying where you want to improve.  I personally know I want to be strongest in my survival and escapes.  After that comes sweeps and submissions.

Some considerations you might want to take into account as you build varied drill routines.

  1. How much space to I have to work with?
  2. How long can I take on a routine?
  3. How often should I do my drills?
  4. How will I know I am progressing and need to change my drills?
  5. Are my drills effective or am I just making a fool of myself?

These are the questions I am asking myself as I build my drills.  I have already begun to notice changes in my game.  The techniques I’ve been drilling at are becoming automatic.  I do them without thought.  This has forced my opponents to change tactics and now I have a whole new set of techniques I need to better understand so that I can survive or escape.  This means I need to create new drill centered around them or include the techniques I need to improve on in my present routine.

Please share with me your drills that have helped you improve your Jiu-Jitsu.

Ginastica Natural – Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga

How do I improve my muscle memory, stamina, and strength for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?  I’m not a little guy at 214 lb but that puts me in the lower end of the heavy weight division.  I end up with the 275 lb guys.  I need a way to speed up my learning while increasing my body strength.  I hate doing what I call mindless aerobics or movement for movements sake.  I want something from it even if it means peddling a stationary bike that produces electricity.  Because I don’t always have some one to do BJJ with I have started looking into Ginastica.  Here is a video of it on YouTube: Ginastica Natural in Action.  It combines Jiu-Jitsu moves with Yoga and claims to help in the three categories I want to improve.  I just ordered it from BudoVideos.com.  I will let you know how it works out for me.  I am hoping it will help me also reach my goal weight of 200 lb (10 more pounds then what I weighted in High School).