3 Stratigic Mistakes in Competition

If you are a serious Jiu Jitsuka then surely you have watched your fair share of competition matches. I have spent hours each week watching both high level and up and coming athletes trying to find the details that both make and break them. I have noticed that some of the biggest wins come by way of strategic mistake rather than a technical one. Technical mistakes involve doing a move improper while strategic ones involve the choice to use a move at a specific time and other more complex rule issues involved in tournaments. Here are the top strategic mistakes I have seen at the IBJJF circuit.


  1. Miss Timing The Guard Pull- This one is much more common at the lower belts, but can be devastating in the match. By mistimes I mean pulling guard in a way that allows you opponent to be seen as getting the takedown or pulling yourself into a bad position. This awards your opponents at least two points and is not an ideal way to start a point based match.
  2. Unnecessary movement- This encompasses many aspect, but mainly focuses on either changing position for no reason or trying to progress at the risk of your own win. For example switching guards for no reason and giving up grips which can allow your opponent the opportunity to blitz you. Or, pushing the pace near the end of a match when you have a decisive lead, which can lead to giving your opponent the opportunity to win the match.
  3. Illegal Moves/ Not Knowing The Rules- This one is very complex and a lot of competitors still don’t know all the rules given their particular division. For example I saw one Purple Belt use the Estima lock and seriously injure his opponent while going belly down, but this was seen as another move (toe hold) because of the way it pressures the foot and he was dq’d.  Knowing the rules on moves and your own division is very important.

These 3 strategic mistakes can put an end to your day really fast if you don’t pay close attention. What other common mistakes have you seen while watching competitors?


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