It’s said that the role of a BJJ white belt is to survive and the last couple of classes I’ve been doing just that, surviving. When I started doing BJJ a few months ago I was really surprised just how ineffective my Judo newaza skills were against all but the very new guys. I was getting tapped a lot, seemingly with ease and this was more than a little demoralising. However I’ve been tapping less lately, in fact last night I didn’t tap at all, but I don’t think that means I’ve suddenly become a grappling god, I think it means I’m slowly eradicating some bad habits that BJJ guys seem to capitalise on even at white belt level.
When I do Judo newaza with lower belts I probably exhibit a number of these bad habits, however these are only capitalised on by the higher belts, usually other black belts and let’s face it you expect to get tapped by black belts so it’s still not obvious whether they are subbing me due to a mistake I made or because of something they did.
So what does this all mean? Well in the short term I need to ensure I don’t get sloppy when I roll with lower grades in Judo. I should use those roles to work on a specific area of weakness but still keep everything tight. In BJJ I need to continue what I am doing, keep turning up and training hard, absorb as much as possible and ask questions when I get tapped by the higher belts.
Some things I need to add to my game are guard passes and opening a closed guard. Also my armbar from mount is poor, I really need to practise that as much as possible even if it means I end up losing a good position, after all its only practice.