Yesterday we discussed GRIP FIGHTING KNOWLEDGE . That consisted on your understanding the reasons of and for gripfighting and then adopting a grip fighting philosophy which will guide your style, iterations, sequences and game planning process.
There were some good points made in yesterday’s issuance. Make sure you revisit and read to glean as much as you can on this subject.
I am not sure if you are familiar with who Tamerlan Tmenov is but he IS THE STRONGEST Judo player that I have ever been on the mat with. I can recall practicing with him in Spain at a training and actually being afraid for my personal well-being during the randori session. He was so strong that it was unbelievable. When he’d move his arms they felt like two concrete slabs pummeling my chest, back, head and neck.
It really didn’t matter how good my grip fighting was, I was at a lost. Now that being said, there are most certainly people out there who were weaker than Tmenov who were better grip fighters than I and better technicians who gave him some problems….. I was not one of them.
Why am I telling you this?
Because STRENGTH, often times looked at as a negative in judo is a very REAL factor when it comes to being successful and MUST be an area of focus.
Upper body strength, with an emphasis on hand strength, finger strength and forearm strength will make a huge difference in your grip fighting.
If I can grip your gi in the right place because I have the proper knowledge and you cannot remove my hands, you will have severe problems.
If there is one thing that is the difference maker when it comes to judo and brazilian jiujitsu, its your ability to grip fight.
Now inside of that, your ability TO ACTUALLY grip fight AND grip fight well depends on 3 things.
These three things are:
(1) Your gripfighting knowledge
(2) Your gripfighting strength, and;
(3) Your gripfighting endurance
GRIP FIGHTING KNOWLEDGE
Your knowledge on the subject of grip fighting depends on several things. But mainly it will depend on you understanding the reasons of and for gripfighting and then adopting a grip fighting philosophy which will guide your style, iterations, sequences and gameplanning process.
Now most people that I meet and most judo school that I go to wo have good instructors that teach gripping have some great sequences. Some even have good drills, but they do NOT have a system which is guided by a philosophical approach.
I am not talking about catch phrases like “kill the sleeve or “control the power side.” More often than not the folks who learned those phrases do NOT understand where those instructions fit inside of their whole philosophy and WORSE don’t have a guiding philosophy (but really do because whether you design one or not you have and this is what’s dangerous)….. and many of them have produced some good players because their modicum of knowledge, quite honestly, supersedes what the rest of the population have in terms of gripfighting knowledge.
I have literally watched coaches allow students to grip both sided and switch back and forth and while that may seem fine to you is is 100% incorrect.
BEING ABLE TO THROW RIGHT AND LEFT IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED!!
Gripping right and left is discouraged, especially at the beginning stages.
Well, because every time you get outgripped you will “switch sides” instead of learning the depths of the gripping game which will allow you to recover in such situations. You will develop a “bail out mentality instead of being comfortable and not panicking. You will also EXPOSE yourself to be thrown for ippon in a MAJOR way. When you switch in the middle of a gripping sequence you place yourself at a huge risk.
There are some of you reading this that believe me and some of you that don’t.
If you don’t believe me, that’s okay. Just give me an opportunity to help and improve your judo.
And if for some reason you have some bias against me….. well then listen to 1999 World Judo Championand 2x Olympic Bronze Medallist Jimmy Pedro.
Approximately 6 years ago I got a call from a frustrated parent about his son.
He wanted to know if there was a way I could help his son win. He was a smaller gentleman and his son was undersized and was and still IS at the “bottom” of the weight division in terms of size. Meaning, the kid has to keep his weight up in order to compete because he’s too light. (I had to construct a diet plan for his son).
Every time his son competed the car ride back home was quiet and filled with crying and of course frustrated.
The dad mentioned to me, “I don’t care what anyone says, nobody wants to see their son get beaten by another kid. And there’s no better feeling than seeing your kid at the top of the medal stand at the end of the day. Let’s face it – that’s why we go to the god—- tournament!”
During this conversation the father asked me if I could help.
I asked him what caused him to get in contact with me.
I mean, I’d never seen his name come across my lists, my email or on any of my products. I’d never heard of him before this particular contact and he was getting ready to drop a couple thousand dollars (five to be exact) in order to have me train him on how to coach and train his son on how to win (notice I said nothing about judo).
So I asked him what he wanted to do.
He said, “I wanna stop getting my ass kicked! We go to these tournaments and we come back empty-handed!”
So I asked again.
“Jay, tell me EXACTLY what you want to do!”
He said, “I want my kids to be National Champions!”
I replied, “No problem!”
I Know You Want To Know How I Got 2 Out Of His 4 Kids To Become National Champions (the other 2 will be as well but one is 5 years old and the other is barely 2)
I did this because I needed him to understand that winning has much to do with the ability of the “Commander” or “General” getting the soldiers to understand and attend to his directives.
See there are various points of error in coach but 3 of the main ones are the following:
(1) Flawed information from the coach, or;
(2) Flawed receipt by the recipient (whether it is cognitive or otherwise).
(3) Inability to fulfill the command
Simply put, either the coach doesn’t know what in the hell he’s doing or the athlete doesn’t know what in the hell the coach is asking him to do.
Or the athlete understands and just is not able to respond. Case in point, if you are the coach of a Paralympic basketball team, it doesn’t matter how much you yell, scream, explain and/or motivate, your athlete are not going to be able to perform an alley-oop.
Sometimes the limiting factor on your ability to succeed is physiological…. Meaning, level of success you can achieve sometimes is in your athlete’s ability or lack thereof.
Of course there are multiple factors for failure. I just wanted to make sure that “the coach” wasn’t one of them and that Jay understood very clearly what it was going to take to create a house full of National Champions.
I fed them a steady diet of gripfighting skills and drills. Jay’s son can gripfight like nobody’s business now. As a matter of fact, his son went from LOSING ALL THE TIME to winning 95% of the time. When he doesn’t win, he’s super upset because he understand how to win now and knows the mistakes that he’s made. His gripping is superb and it was the major difference in his judo game.
The only thing that we worked on for the first 2 years was grip fighting and newaza. That’s it.
His son has been winning every Brazilian Jiujitsu and grappling tournament that he’s entered and is really enjoying being the smallest one in the division and the smallest one at the top of the medal stand. LOL
Understanding Judo and learning how to appropriately practice and develop a gameplan through sequential and tactical gripping and gripfighting made a huge difference.
I will also have you know that my client Jay, now owns his own dojo and is running I write all the curriculum for his classes and his elite team.
His school is growing and his kids are still winning!