3 Reasons To Discard A Technique

You might want to throw some of your BJJ in the recycle bin.

Wait a minute! Aren’t BJJ black belts supposed to master every technique from Helio Gracie’s self-defense syllabus all the way to the double reverse berimbolo?

Not so fast! If we look closer we will observe that many high level guys rarely — if ever — use certain positions that aren’t part of their game.

I watched the 2017 ADCC Championships and did not observe 2015 +99 champ Orlando Sanchez invert or attempt the “kiss of the Dragon” even once. But all kidding aside there are valid reasons that you can consider discarding certain positions / techniques in your game.

Here are some of them:

It just doesn’t work for you. 

Not everyone is blessed with the long limbs required for triangle or D’arce choke greatness. Those slim, light guys aren’t likely to be developing a heavy pressure passing game.

Some techniques just never seem to click for some people irrespective of their body type. They just can’t seem to nail the timing or the feel for the move. It is better to get to a level of high proficiency with a few select techniques than a low level with everything.

It hurts you.

I know guys with bad knees that would love to do more De la Riva guard if they didn’t have to take out ice bags the day after. One blue belt developed a painful condition in his cervical spine from doing monkey rolls and trying to invert in his guard.

I’ve seen many spider guard lovers with heavily taped and badly mangled fingers.

I love the uchimata (“inner thigh”) throw but my back doesn’t appreciate it. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it to continue to use a position if it is causing physical pain.

It doesn’t fit into your game.

This is a tough one, and more applicable to more advanced players who have developed their games. You might be pretty good at a certain guard sweep; let’s say a spider guard sweep. The thing is, the rest of your guard game revolves around a sleeve collar grip from which your best techniques and combinations originate.

To execute that spider guard sweep you need to completely change your grips and leave your position of strength with the collar. A better, more efficient way to approach the sweep would be to use one that makes use of that collar grip.

Olympic judo competitors tend to focus their training around a small nucleus of complimentary techniques from the same set of grips. The more options you have from the same grip — without having to change grips — the more difficult it is for your opponent to anticipate how you will attack.

Have you discarded any techniques in your game?


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