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Changes in Ground Training

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  • Changes in Ground Training

    Hi Everyone,
    I just want you all to change something when it comes to working your grappling. The general progression has been to first learn the positioning, then learn how to escape from bad positions, or improve favorable positions, then add submissions. Isolated grappling is added in after a few lessons, building up until the student can grapple freely. After attaining a reasonable level of proficiency, striking is slowly added into the training. I want everyone to change this progression.
    This method does work well, but it is possible for the student to train for a few years without knowing how to deal with striking on the ground. We don't do this standing, so why should we do this on the ground? I want everyone to train in the same progressive manner, but adding the striking from day one. This is the environment that we are training for, so we need to get everyone in there right away. The priority of escapes changes when you add striking, and we want to prioritize those immediately. We also want to keep the training safe, so start by using open palm strikes with good control. Over time you can add a more power, then eventually put on the helmet and punch.
    To become proficient, one must spend a great deal of time practicing. Let's get into the correct environment immediately, so that we maximize the efficiency of our training. Enjoy!

  • #2
    Hi Burton,
    This is a interesting point you bring up. I was taught that students must learn to become comfortable in the grappling environment and understand the principles behind the techniques. Striking is added after the basics are sufficiently understood. The problem comes from students and/or instructor only focusing on sport grappling.
    Do you think that adding the emphasis to strike from the beginning will cause students to have a shallower grasp of the underlying principles?
    My own grappling training had me training BJJ w/ gi for the first 6-8 months. This was to learn the basics and to get us used to grappling. Next, we trained positions and grappling w/o the gi while slowly adding open hands strikes. Part of the training consisted of learning how to throw elbows, headbutts and lowline kicks. As we progressed we would use headgear and gloves and go harder. We had to learn the different strategies and tactics used in "fighting" as opposed to straight grappling.
    I have told many students who had no experience in JJ to train for 6-8 months in the gi class. Then enter the no gi class, after they had aquired an understanding of the basics. I look at it like marksmanship training. First, you must learn the mechanical aspects of operating a weapons system before attempting to fire it. Secondly, learn how to maximize the stability between you and the weapon (position & dryfiring). Next, actually firing the weapon and gaining shooting experience. Once you have a basic grasp of the skills needed ,you move on to advanced skills like move and shoot, moving and timed targets, etc. Am I wrong, or is it a case of different strokes-for different folks?
    It's great having a forum for us to bounce ideas around. See you Thursday night.


    • #3
      I understand your points, as this is exactly how I trained people before. It seems to me that there were two reasons for going without striking. One is the safety issue, and the second was because sport jiu-jitsu is much more popular than vale tudo. Training with a gi is very valuable, but the handles are very different than without the gi.
      Now, let's say we believe that the best way to train is to start without punching to develop an understanding of grappling. That is logical, but if we are practicing techniques that we wouldn't do if striking was added, then we are practicing "bad" habits.
      Look at it this way. Should we have everyone just do wrestling for 6 or 8 months without adding any submissions? No, because people would use escapes that are dangerous when armbars are available. They would get used to pushing someone off the mount, turning their back, etc. Same with training without punching. People will get bad habits that can only be truly pointed out by someone throwing in some shots.
      I think this is the best way to go, and we will do it with the gi on also. Let's try this with all the students for 6 months and then look at the results. If the students are not grappling well, we can always go back.
      Debate is very important in JKDU, and it is great that we can always ask questions. Thanks Shelton!


      • #4
        clinch fighting ?

        Burton, I was wondering....will this also apply to our clinch fighting ? I sometime train in this position without any striking just to work the different positions and possible takedowns. But I can see that it will also make sense to add striking from day one.

        Also, I have an idea for your monthly video. It would REALLY be great if you would devote one entire video on
        groundfighting (and later one on clinch fighting). You could show us the best escapes from the differnet positions and just generally how to apply our groundfighting with strikes. I've mostly been training without strikes (which is great fun !) but I can see that it will actually create bad-habits.

        Take care,


        • #5
          Nice to hear from you Michael!
          Yes, add the strikes in the clinch also. Good idea for the monthly video. I will do the next video on ground-fighting only. Thanks for the suggestion!


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