How to Master Any Grappling Technique in 100 Words (Honest!)

I set a challenge for myself while compiling, editing and contributing to the book Mastering BJJ. Inspired by the mini-article World Class Fitness in 100 Words on the Crossfit website I wanted to encapsulate my strategy for refining new techniques.

Being brief was a lot harder than I had anticipated. (I suppose that’s why Mark Twain once wrote “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”). Being concise is a virtue however, and it also makes it easier for people to retain the information, so I thought the effort was well worth it.

Here are 100 words that give you the keys to unlock any grappling technique:

“Learn a technique and study all its aspects including set-ups, grips, body position, timing, balance, counters and recounters. Get help from your instructor, class-mates, the internet and instructional media.

Repetition makes you smooth. Smooth makes you fast.

Isolate the technique in sparring. Start with the smallest, least experienced person in the club. When the technique works consistently, move on and try it on the second smallest or second least experienced person. Repeat.

In grappling, observe problems you encounter with the technique. Then take time to analyze, brainstorm and discuss with coaches and training”

P.S. Related articles on this site include Erik Paulson’s TRIG formula and the piece I wrote on what isolation sparring actually looks like on the mat.

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