Weekly Challenge: Pass on Pulling

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Photo by: BjjPix

Many of the Jiu Jitsu Times Weekly Challenges that we’ve issued thus far have been guard centric, encouraging people who are scared of the guard to play the guard and encouraging those who play specific guards to change up what they do.  Here’s one for everyone out there who enjoys playing guard: for one week at least twice per training session INSIST on playing a top game and work on your passing.

No I don’t mean pull guard and then sweep, I mean either choose a training partner who you know likes to pull, or work on your takedowns/shoves to get your training partner to play his or her guard, and then pass it.

Pulling guard is very often an easier route when dealing with someone who likes to play a top game, and most people like to use gravity to their benefit.  As a result, many guard players I’ve encountered don’t have nearly as solid a passing game as their guard game.  For one week, incorporate opportunities to mix it up into your training repertoire.

Some of your training partners will not like that you are not accepting the bottom.  Some of them may even make snide comments if their egos are too inflated.  The reality is that in the room, generally speaking, one person pulls and the other tries to pass, and that dynamic isn’t often changed.  Just for a week, change it.

If you are really being given a hard time by a specific training partner, either don’t use this exercise with them or communicate with them.  Chances are they’ll welcome the opportunity to practice their guard once they understand what it is that you are doing.

If you’re already a guard passer, this week’s exercise may be irrelevant to you, but don’t worry; there will be plenty of challenges in the future to give you chances to work on things on which you don’t already work.

What do you think of this week’s Weekly Challenge?  I’ve noticed that a lot of people get stuck in a rut of training one specific way or another, and they get really good at that position but if someone else beats them to the punch they may be in trouble.  This is a good way to explore another option.

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Emil Fischer is an active purple belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio (www.strongstyle.com). For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/.

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