I like to ask BJJ guys what they you working on in your jiu-jitsu?
Sometimes I am greeted with a puzzled look and the response, “Everything!” Most BJJ guys with more than five months of training will have a more specific answer like, “I’m working on my escapes these days” or “I’m really working a lot of De la Riva guard lately”.
Great! That is the better answer. Because it indicates that you are actively taking a role in your own learning. You can learn jiu-jitsu by the more passive approach of showing up to class and just drilling what is shown that day.
But to build your own BJJ game, you are going to need to apply a more critical eye to your own development. Jiu-jitsu games can vary widely according to the individual. Each of us has different physical attributes, temperaments, and just seems to prefer certain positions.
Your instructor can help guide you, but really it is up to you to identify what is going to be your BJJ game. Now, you need to explore those positions and spend time drilling those positions into your muscle memory.
Grappling guru John Danaher said that it was very important to have “intentionality” in your training. Every drilling session and every roll should have a position or technique that you are focusing on improving.
Lately I have a few specific things that I have been working on in my jiu-jitsu:
1) Attacking from the right side of my opponents body in side control. I am much sharper on the left side and want to even out the attacks.
2) Williams Guard from the bottom. Trying to get to and control from the position and see how my opponent reacts.
3) Different guard grips from my usual hand in the collar and sleeve grips. What opens up with different grips in the guard?
What are you working on in.your jiu-jitsu?