Saturday, March 6, 2010

The importance of wrestling for jiu jitsu

For a long time I looked at wrestling as a separate entity from jiu jitsu. I figured that yes, the takedowns were important and wrestlers did them best, but the rest of wrestling was essentially useless for jiu jitsu as there was a different goal in the end: the pin vs the tap. So while I would train it from time to time, it was always just from the standup.

But lately, I’ve been seeing how being a jiu jitsu guy who looks at wrestling as just a way to take someone down is as limiting as a wrestler learning just enough jiu jitsu to prevent themselves from being submitted.

While the end goal may be different, what lies in the middle is the same, which is control. Both systems should use leverage, handles and misalignment to force an opponent to react to an increasingly bad set of options. And both systems have follow up moves that are specific to the opponent’s reaction. Interestingly, I notice that most wrestling instruction incorporates this more than jiu jitsu tends to.

I look at takedown defense and defending the guard pass and see how similar those two things are. In both cases, for the most part, the object of the person taking someone down or passing the guard is to control the opponent’s hips.

And the goal of the person defending is to prevent their hips from being controlled. Common counters for both are things like
pushing the opponent’s head away from the hips, controlling their wrist and keeping your hips square to them.

Take downs are often set up by disturbing someone’s posture and when they compensate, that’s when the shot is taken. That’s very similar to most sweeps from the guard.

I learned yesterday about the concept of the spiral ride as a way to pin someone. It’s also as great way to take their back, work a twister or an armlock.

The front headlock set ups in wrestling can quickly take the match down in a D’arce,/anaconda/arm in guillotine position.
There are so many opportunities to use wrestling in the standup to enforce your jiu jitsu on the ground beyond just taking someone down.

And even if you may not be able to take someone down, using wrestling concepts from the stand up can allow you to flow into your jiu jitsu attacks much better than just jumping to guard.

I think this will be my main project in my own training this year.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. From the little that I've seen there are aspect of wrestling which has small advantages over bjj. Instead of being ignored, they should definatly be explored, broken down, & incorporated even if done so only at the conceptual level . . . i.e. borrowing concepts & applying them to bjj.

    :-) Looking foward to what you come up w/ next.