“Revisiting Old Positions”

I know I have talked about the importance of mastering the basics in previous posts but I just can’t stress how crucial this is to your development in the art. One of the best things that you can do to develop your game is to focus on learning the basic techniques, I mean, REALLY learning them. Strive to pick up every crucial detail, observe closely, feel the subtlety of its execution, the timing, the set up and how to beat your opponent’s counters even when they know what technique is coming!

In my own training, for several years I never really felt that confident with the guillotine choke. I mean I could readily submit people who were trying to shoot in on me and take me down and lower level opponents but never really had much success with really freakishly strong opponents or brown/black belts. Well a few years ago I got the opportunity to spend a week training with Marcelo Garcia and he completely changed my outlook on the position and since then I have been submitting people left, right and centre with it… As a matter of fact it is now one of my highest percentage submissions! And earlier this year I picked up a crucial detail which has sky rocketed my ability to finish Kimura’s against anyone regardless of how strong they are! I got the chance to train with Mario Sperry and he fine tuned another “old” open guard sweep which has become another go to position for me as well as fine tuning my “Relogio choke”!

In the last several weeks I have been having tremendous success with a variation of scissor sweep that my coach Bruno Panno taught me several years ago. Why I didn’t pay more attention to it and work harder to understand and master it earlier amazes me as it has filled a hole in my game quite nicely. Another position that Bruno taught me years ago has been working fantastically for me lately even though I still feel it needs a lot of work. It too has been a missing piece to my guard game!

Why is it that we as students sometimes think we know better or what “WE NEED” to best improve our games? Why is it that even though we know our instructor has tread the path before us, we still believe we know what we need to work on? The lesson here is trust your instructor’s judgement and guidance. If they are good at what they do and care about your progress they will generally be in a better position to assess your learning and development as a student! I sent Bruno a message the other day and his reply was: “Hey Felipe, it happens all the time, give more attention to the basics and I am sure you will have a lot of success in many more positions”. I personally can’t wait for my coach Bruno Panno to return from Brazil as I have a lot of questions about some “old” positions that feel need to be revisited!

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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One Response to ““Revisiting Old Positions””

  1. Allan Says:

    Hey Felipe, Great post. Here’s my 2 cents – you are an excellent teacher, your instructions are clear and concise, divided into simple steps, and you allow for the students to fill in the gaps with their own knowledge. For example when you were explaining the transition from standing to side-hug to throw, you used useful and practical verbs and key points such as “create range”, then stepped back for us to play with those ideas. I found this very useful. Your follow-up points after you observed us playing immediately clicked, and I saw how they clicked with everyone else too.

    Too many videos on youtube explain seemingly simple and apparently fundamental concepts with so many deferring concepts and metaphors that I have to spend some time sorting through and deciphering what the key points were. Though it is probably more fun that way, and does require a great sense of empathy for the teacher’s context and ways of thinking, it definitely takes longer to “get it”, if at all! I know some martial arts practitioners who have taken on the mannerisms and accents of their teachers, even their bad habits. I guess the purpose is to better empathise and understand what the hell the teacher is talking about!?

    Looking forwards to the next class Felipe!


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