3 Things That Make Your Instructor Facepalm

Creative Commons / Flickr: hobvias sudoneighm

Your instructors take great pride and satisfaction in seeing your improvement. They really do!

That said, there are times the students do things that are so cringe worthy, they are cause for a face palm.

When you are a beginner, you make..well…beginner mistakes. Heck, I bet that Marcelo Garcia tried to escape the mount by bench pressing when he first started!

However, once you’ve been around the mats for the better part of year and boast a few stripes on your belt, you should no longer be pulling the following rookie mistakes.

1) Straight arms pushing to escape the mount

Come on guys, this is first month, drowning man stuff! When you are trying to push off an opponent with a Herculean bench press you are exposing…no…giving an easy arm lock to your opponent.

Do you remember learning the upa – bridge and roll escape from bottom mount? “Do not push with straight arms!” was likely the first instruction the instructor gave.

Related: That Guy You Hate To Roll With

2) Trying to cross choke your opponent inside their closed guard

This noob gaffe demonstrates a lack awareness of positions. One of the fundamental principles of BJJ is that we attack from dominant positions. By attempting to attack from inferior positions our opponents can use their legs to attack us much more efficiently!

Sticking those arms straight out and trying a cross collar choke is like Christmas coming early for the guard player. “Thanks for the arm bar bro!”.

One of my instructors would boom in his thick Brazilian accent when he witnessed something like this “Who show this for you? Me?!? NOOOO!!” The rest of the students would be chuckling in the background thankful they had not earned the attention of the teacher.

3) Sweeping without controlling the arm

This one is more forgivable than the first two transgressions, but is still a rookie error.

An essential element of nearly all sweeps is to control the opponent’s free arm to prevent them from simply posting an arm to stop the sweep.

Your coach sees a colossal effort and much grunting and gritting of teeth as you try to muscle that scissors or flower sweep…while your opponent has merely placed a hand on the mat to thwart your effort. Instead of opening their closed eyes and looking to see exactly what is preventing the unbalancing, they strain even harder!

Remember: all parts of your body have a role to perform the techniques.

Have you ever done anything in class that elicited a face palm from your instructor?


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