BJJ Competition Tactics

There are a lot of different methodologies available to competitors who want to win matches.  A lot of how you compete will wind up being a reflection of your competition tactics.

Perhaps the most successful competitors are the point collectors.  These competitors are not nearly as interested in the finish as they are in obtaining and maintaining a sizable lead over their opponent and essentially stalling once that lead has been established.  The art of fighting without fighting is crucial for these competitors, as they don’t want to get their hard earned points deducted, so you’ll see the, coast but still appear to be trying SOMETHING once they’re satisfied with their point lead.  These competitors are very often criticized for not embodying the true essence of jiu jitsu, which is the finish.

Finishers can be broken up into a few categories:

The scrambler is a competitor who creates scrambles and in the midst of the chaos is able to find a submission.  These people are often very skilled at drilling and are able to make split second decisions that allow them to end the match in spectacular fashion.  Many strong competitors are avid scramblers who are able to create calculated messes and then clean them up in one fell swoop.

orlando sanchez

The grinder is much slower and more intense than the scrambler.  They will wait patiently for the opponent to make a mistake.  These competitors will engage in matches in which they appear to be doing very little and then all of a sudden BAM a submission will occur.  Grinders are often former wrestlers, and can also be point collectors in the absence of an easily panicked opponent.  Grinders often love top side control and closed guard, as they are able to inflict the maximum amount of misery from there.

Garry Tonon

The sniper is a rare submission specialist: these competitors will abruptly set up and execute submission with very little warning or indication.  Expect flying, rolling and spinning submissions from them.  The key difference between the sniper and the scrambler is the lack of forewarning.  The sniper doesn’t need the same amount of connection to their opponent to set up and calculate their submission as other finishers may, a single grip can be enough.  Snipers have amazing highlight reels.

The kind of competition you attend can determine the tactics which you may favor.  If you have a proclivity for submission only, point collection doesn’t really matter, but in points tournaments you need to be wary of the kind of game that your opponent may bring.

What kind of competition style do you favor?  Are you a finisher or a point collector?  Or are you  some sort of hybrid of both?  Competition shows us where we are strongest as well as where we are weakest, so get out there and find out what kind of tactics work best for you!


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