Five Ways To Have Better Strategy For Jiu-Jitsu Competitions

When it comes to competition, skills and athletic abilities are absolutely necessary for success, but one area that low level competitors neglect is strategy.  For me, until I started forming sound strategies, my output was beneath my potential.  I’m not saying I am always successful, but going into competitions with specific strategies has helped me enjoy the successes that I’ve had.  Here are five strategic points that I’ve found help me in every competition I enter.

  1. Be first.  This is such a crucial point.  Always plan on being first.  If you want to pull guard, do so at the first possible moment; if you plan on taking your opponent down do it, before they have a chance to think.  If you plan on being a counter-fighter, don’t wait to counter.  Be first.  If your opponent is able to implement their game plan before you, you’re already behind and already at a disadvantage.  Being first is perhaps the most important strategic advantage a competitor can have, and all great competitors find a way to do it.
  2. Be on the same page as your coach.  Even if it’s a brief conversation before your match, make sure if you have someone there coaching you that they know what your game plan is.  My coach, for example, likes his students to wrestle, but because we communicate in advance he knows I’m a guard puller and he coaches me in that regard.  Sometimes you see competitors out there doing a completely different game plan than their coach is coaching them through. Often these competitors fail.
  3. Assume initial failure.  Game-plans almost always fail.  The key is to know how they are going to fail and have a backup plan.  If, for example, you pull guard and your opponent is able to immediately pass, be prepared to recover your guard before they are able to establish position.  Coming up with a backup plan on the fly results in losing.  Assume your preferred plan is going to fail, and have a secondary and tertiary option to allow you a better chance for success.
  4. Drill simple.  It’s best to drill the moves relevant to your plan when preparing for a tournament.  Keep it simple.  The simpler a plan is the better your chances of succeeding.  My most effective patterns are not complex at all because I find that in the heat of competition it’s hard to keep track of what you’re doing if you’re trying to be fancy.
  5. Understand the rules and use them.  Every competition has its own specific rule set; the better you understand the rules, the better you can use those rules to wreak havoc on your opponents.  Make sure you understand rules when developing strategies and keep those rules in mind when preparing.   This may seem like a minor area, but if it comes down to winning by points or advantages you’re better off having known what you were doing than going in blind.

For those of you out there who have enjoyed success as a result of good strategy, what did you do differently than your opponents?  What makes for a good strategy?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here