Epi 364 We disagree with some popular BJJ ideas

This month we talk about popular ideas in BJJ what at least one of us will disagree with.

We talk about:

  • Leg locks are too dangerous
  • Takedowns are not safe for old guys
  • You need to train 3 times a week to get better
  • You can’t get better without competing
  • Get in shape before you start BJJ
  • Pulling guard is not good BJJ
  • Coaches not rolling or coaches that get tapped out
  • All cops should be purple belts
  • Athletes are great to learn from
  • When I get ____ I will be good at BJJ
  • You can’t teach heart
  • 10,000 hour rule
  • Pressure is a good submission
  • Kicking someone’s butt in BJJ is a good way to vent frustrations


Quote of the week: “When you realize you are no longer made of glass, you lose the desire to demonstrate that fragility in others.” Chris Matakas

Article of the week: https://bjjtribes.com/can-anyone-become-a-bjj-black-belt/

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The best defense is….


The best defense is a good offense. This is an old adage in sports and is true much of the time on the mats. Let’s look at a few examples of when this is definitely true and at least one time when this might not be the best philosophy.

This is true when you are in a dominant position. In fact you might say, launching a good offense in this scenario can keep you from having to play defense at all. Once you’ve secured a dominant position you need to be active, either looking to advance position or secure a submission. If you are idle it will give your opponent a chance to formulate a game plan, get their frames and grips set up, and execute an escape. On the other hand if you are relentlessly attacking they will be unable to do anything more than defend against your offense.

This is also a good plan in scrambles. While it’s true that coming out of a scramble in the most dominant position possible should be your first goal, an offensive grappler who is always looking to win by submission will find many opportunities in the chaos of scrambles. If you are looking, you can find an arm extended or a neck exposed. If you are always looking for the win by submission you will sometimes see an opportunity to start setting up a choke as you are passing guard or taking your opponents back. You will be finishing the submission before they have a chance to even start setting up their escape or defense.

The best defense is a good offense is often not true when you are in an inferior position. There are always exceptions and some people have a degree of success hitting submissions from unconventional positions. But generally speaking when you are in a position such as bottom mount, bottom side control, or your opponent has your back; your priorities should be defending and escaping. Trying anything other than fundamentally sound escapes from these positions often lead to easy counters from your opponent. Maybe the most classic example is trying to choke your opponent from within his closed guard which almost always leads to being armbarred.

In conclusion: it is almost always the best strategy on the mats to be active and relentlessly attacking. But be aware, sometimes you must defend and advance before launching your offense.