Sneaky Techniques

Blue belts often become frustrated because they just can’t finish their opponent. They get so close, but they often fail. This usually leads the blue belt to seeking out more and more submission techniques. He thinks that the “new” and “sneaky” techniques will make him more skilled at submissions. However, what he doesn’t realize is that his inability to finish his opponent is directly related to his inability to positionally dominate him.Roy Harris

The primary focus of novice students should be to develop good positional movement, transitions, and control, along with solid escape mechanics. The paradox is that while students will typically accumulate the largest number of techniques during the first few years, they won’t be terribly successful with them. The issue is one of control: If you do not have control over the major body section attached to the joint you are attacking, your ability to finish will be poor.

The lesson here isn’t that you shouldn’t accumulate techniques, only that you do so with the understanding that they won’t provide much success until your positional game is reasonably good. Technique accumulation is how we develop a game that fits our personality and attributes. But techniques alone without positional control have very low probability of success.

So if you’re feeling frustrated, don’t seek the path of sneaky techniques. Focus on positional escapes, movement, and control. Getting good at those things will lay the foundation to reliably getting the tap.

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