Most of the time we can freeze the video of a BJJ match and clearly identify which ground position the two combatants are in.
However, by its very nature, fighting can be unpredictable and messy. When both fighters are jockeying for position, we call that scrambling. In many major sports, we might call the situation a “broken play”. For a brief instant, the fight is chaos and a scramble ensues to see who can snatch the advantage.
You have likely never been to a BJJ class specifically on how to scramble. So how do you learn how to be a better scrambler?
Here are two tips on how to improve your scrambling.
1) Learn some wrestling techniques.
Even though the rules are different and you are wearing a kimono, learning some fundamental wrestling moves can immensely help your ability to win scrambles.
BJJ students don’t necessarily need to join a wrestling team to learn wrestling. Most BJJ schools will have a few students with a wrestling background who can show you the basics of wrestling ties and controls.
Look into core wrestling techniques like sit outs, switches, and Granby rolls. Your scrambling will immediately jump to the next level.
2) Practice flow rolling.
I’m a big advocate of flow rolling for a number of reasons, and one of them is improving your transitions.
Flow rolling involves the exchange of many different positions. There is much more movement involved than in standard rolling. When there are more positions exchanged, you learn more about the transitions between the positions. You learn where your opponent is likely headed when a static position has been broken.
This knowledge allows you to anticipate where your opponent is going faster so that you can hopefully arrive there in a superior position.
Check out Marcelo Garcia using this type of knowledge to win the scramble from turtle.