Sometimes it’s good to just go and roll, with no plans, no goals and see what happens. You will make faster progress, however, if you have a plan for most, if not all, your sparring sessions.
In the next several installments I am going to talk about different strategies to organize your sparring.
In a previous article (http://www.grapplearts.com/2004/11/mobility-and-position.htm) I discussed the difference between mobility-based and position-based strategies.
Now, suppose you want to work on your mobility game – what can you do to develop and refine this style of grappling?
This means that if you find yourself in mount and you haven’t submitted your opponent in 3 seconds you might dismount and go to side control.
If you are trying a guard pass that isn’t working then you have to switch to another guard pass: no forcing the movement.
If you do submit your opponent, or if he submits you, then go right back to the exercise and continue. Don’t get all caught up in who taps who: this exercise is a training method, and isn’t the competition itself.
This approach to sparring creates a LOT of movement, and gets you accustomed to a faster pace with lots of transitions and scrambling. If you are more skilled than your training partner you can even do it without telling your sparring partner, but for maximum movement chaos get both people in on the drill. If you are both committed to moving to frequently moving to a new position your mobility on the mat will certainly increase!
As a sidenote, an effective movement game does require some cardiovascular conditioning. If you are severely sucking wind after just 20 seconds of scrambling then you had better head off to the jogging track or the exercise bike. If you don’t know much about cardio training then browse through some of our articles and tips on conditioning.
In the next article we’ll take a look at the flipside of mobility sparring: slow motion positional sparring. This develops the complementary ability to lock someone down and crush the will to fight right out of them.
Combine the scrambling with soul-destroying pins and now you’re getting some serious jiu-jitsu happening!