Transitional or Positional Control

12 12 2009

Let’s start by talking about control in terms of Jiu Jitsu. There are many different ways to control someone in Jiu Jitsu depending on what position you are in. For the sake of this conversation let’s talk about control when you are on top either in side control, knee on the belly, north and south, mount, or the back. I have noticed that for the most part there are two general types of control when you are on top either positional control or transitional control.

Positional control is when you assert your control over your opponent by not letting them out of whatever dominant position you have them in. I have found that the majority of new whitebelts all the way to entry level blue belts roll mainly with just positional control on their minds. It is very evident by the way they hold their sidecontrol. Most of the time I see them with their body totally rigid with muscles flexed and pulling their opponent to their own body. (sidenote doing this type of sidecontrol connects you totally to the other person) The whole idea behind this type of control is to hold the position for as long as one can. This can be extremely exhausting. Doing positional control like this requires lots of muscle endurance and strength. Can a whitebelt form a decent top game by doing this over and over? Theoritically yes, but I will tell you this; it’s not easy and it takes a lot of strength… A lot of strength!! This however is just one part of positional control and I want to pause here now in my explaination of positional control because to explain further would be to involve transitional control.

Transitional control is where you control your opponent by not keeping him from escaping but by realizing that he is escaping and to transition ahead of him to another dominant position. For example say you are holding your opponent in sidecontrol and you recognize that they are begining to attempt an escape. Instead of fighting with your opponent you transition to knee on the belly before they have fully initiated their escape out of your sidecontrol. This type of control requires a keen mind, sensitivity, fluidity of movement, good angles, and little strength. The idea is to never really try to hold a position but instead to always transition ahead and allow your movement and your body do all the work; not your muscles.

My own personal game started out with the positional control. In the begining that seemed to me, to be the object of the roll. At this time in my Jiu Jitsu journey submissions weren’t really happening a whole lot so I focused more on trying to dominate my opponents positionally. My thinking was that I would have to first learn how to solidify a position before I could ever look for a submission. Hence the age old saying in Jiu Jitsu position before submission. Well eventually through lots of mat time and grueling rolls (because of my style, at the time my rolls were dominated more by my muscles than my movement!) I started to gain success in my positioning and eventually that led to submissions. But Here’s the thing… People stopped wanting to roll with me. My training partners began to avoid me when it was time for live rolling at the gym. This was disturbing and I didn’t understand it. I was told this is how you do it. I was shown techniques and ways to hold positions and then I was told to try my best to do those things in a roll. I finally asked someone in the gym that I trusted to give me a straight answer and I asked him if people at the gym were avoiding rolling with me and he said “yes sir, your a beast and honestly it sucks rolling with you.” I have to be honest with you, hearing this made me feel pretty good. I mean wasn’t this the whole reason I signed up to do this stuff? Become the best at the gym. Answer that natural competitive nature inside of me? The answer is yes but at what cost? I realized that because of the way I rolled people no longer wanted to train with me. This bothered me because if no one trained with me how was I going to continue to progress? At the time I was a proud blue belt. It was in this moment that I figured the way I thought was wrong and also the way I had been taught was wrong. I realized that I put to much importance on rolls that happened in traing. I competed everytime I rolled with someone! Which I now know is not the best way for me personally to develop as a Jiu Jitsu PLAYER! So I decided to try and relax more in my training rolls. I planned to do this by relaxing and relying more on sensitivity and transitions in my rolls rather than strength. Even going so far as allowing people to start their escapes and not try to fight them but instead try to outthink them and then beat them to the punch. For me this was the way my transitional control was born.

Since I chose to begin developing my transitional control I have noticed a couple key things that I would like to share. Transitional control is made up of a balance of two key elements… Stability and Mobility. To be continued…


Side Control Sweep Variation

24 10 2009

With todays post I want to build on the foundation that I started with my last post. Last time we talked about getting our crowbar and our buffer zone and escaping to butterfly guard when your in your opponents side control. Today we will talk about a variation from our side control escape and turn our escape into a sweep.

Let’s start with the same position as last time. Randy has side control and my arms are in the worst position possible.

First step is for me to get my crowbar in just like last time. Randy is very tight with his underhook, in this situation it is very dangerous for me to try and put my buffer zone in. So I decide to stay with the overbook.

Take a closer look

Now I intiate my escape just like last time. I bring my knee up

Then I post with my outside foot and shrimp away from Randy. By doing this I have created space between randy’s knee and my hip

Then just like last post I insert my knee as far as I can placing my shin against randy’s hips.

Now after this I still try to create space by pushing into Randy with my shin but because of his underhook pushing him away is much harder. So rather than struggle with Randy I hook under his leg with my arm

Next I start my sweep by pointing my knee to the ceiling and lift his hips with the arm that I hooked under randy’s leg. By pointing my knee towards the ceiling I am supporting the majority of randy’s weight with my knee so lifting him with my arm becomes extremely easy

Take a closer look

Now I start to roll for my sweep. I drop my overhook pinching my arm tightly to my body to keep Randy from posting with his outside hand.

Now to I finish the sweep by stabilizing my knee on belly position

Now let’s put it all together…

Your Body the Ultimate Teacher

19 08 2009

what is true power? Is power just bulk dependent, or is it more a matter of how fast you can move. what is power in terms of technique? These are all questions that come up when thinking of power for jiu jitsu. I think you can measure the power of ones technique with these 4 categories… (not listed in order of importance)

1. how well does your whole body work together ( athletic ability)
2. overall fitness
3. how many neural pathways do you have developed for this technique (is the movement becoming instictive instead of planned)
4. how efficiently have you learned to perform the technique

i want to talk a little bit about number 4. figuring out what is the most efficient way to do a technique depends a lot on your precise body shape and composition. The more you practice your techniques, the clearer it will be to you which movements are more efficient than the others. This brings up an interesting paradox where it is your body that teaches your mind about how it wants to move naturally. This is why i say that everybody’s jiu jitsu will always be different. We are all made unique and because of that we will all have certain feel to our games that is not quite like anyone elses.
from my experience i have found that a great way to improve your movement and increase the strength of your technique is to roll while completely exhausted. When you are completely exhausted you have to rely on precise and efficient movements not on strength or stamina. It is mentally and emotionally hard for every man or woman to become comfortable with this type of training, but talking from experience i have seen it do wonders in my own game and in others. so let your body be your ultimate teacher…


6 08 2009

         Of all the positions, techniques, and submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the “guard” has created the greatest amounts of variations and terminology.  There are many different types of guards: closed guard, open guard, spider guard, half guard, butterfly guard, de la riva guard, just to name a few. I have had students ask me before which of all the guards is the best, the most dominant. My answer to this is situational as is most everything else in Jiu Jitsu.

            closed guard                 x guard                     spider guard                     DE LA RIVA GUARD     

           First, I believe it is important to recognize that there is no superior method of guard, and that all guards are not equally effective for every situation or environment. Keep in mind some guards work best with a gi, some work best with or without the gi, and whether or not striking is allowed. So my answer to this question is it’s different for everyone. Each of us will have strong positions and weak positions. It is the same with the guard, some guards will be stronger naturally for you and others won’t. Ultimately the type of guard you kill with will depend on many things including: physical attributes, athletic ability, competive environment (mma or bjj), style of your instructor, and your own maturation in Jiu Jitsu.

 half guard           butterfly guard                 open guard                    z guard  

           My advice is to grab a training partner get on the mat and roll, roll, roll, and roll some more. Venture out of your comfortable positions and guards. Expand your horizons, experiment as much as you can.  Such is the evolution of JIU JITSU

Hello world!

28 04 2009

Hello and welcome to OHANA BJJ’s blog site!  This blog site is dedicated to sharing my thoughts and opinions on the fight game and also to explore deeper into victoryphilosophies of how the principles of fighting or rolling pertain to our everyday life.  I have found that fighting is one of the purest things left on this planet…  It is an activity in which no one can disguise themselves.  There is no lying in fighting… period.  It is the most honest and harshest reality out there.  Embrace it with me as i blog about my experiences.

jason yerrington

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