Oh, the old Scissor Sweep….. Basic yet effective at all levels of competition from white belt to black belt. Because the Scissor Sweep is such a common Jiu Jitsu technique it also serves as a great example for highlighting the gap between training for competition & “commercial” martial arts scenarios vice training for real world operations.

Consider the common setup for the scissor sweep – collar and sleeve in the gi, wrist and head control no-gi (see photos above). There are examples of no-gi set ups with two on one grips on the controlled arm however this is less common in most Jiu Jitsu programs and  regardless still serves our point.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 7.10.00 PM

From a Defensive Tactics / Combatives standpoint I have two major problems in both of these set ups which I must address.

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Despite the highly effective control set up of both positions described above the hostile / attacker / top guy still has one free arm available to either A) rain down strikes on the bottom guy or B) attempt to take control of the sidearm or taser.

The second problem is more of an issue of weapon awareness, mental preparation or a combat mindset that training for real world operations would emphasize. Follow me here….Most grapplers training for sport or unarmed grappling will consistently set up their attacks / sweeps to their dominate side. Under this set up the dominant leg would be on the top / shin to midline. This particular body position and grip set up exposes your weapon side to your opponents arm that is not being controlled. It’s a tactical mindset and awareness that is simply not considered outside of military / LEO channels.

How do we BRIDGE THE GAP? In a real world situation you must control both arms at the wrist / forearm vice collar and sleeve or wrist and head. The remainder of the details remain the same! Its not a major detail but it IS a significant detail. Control of both arms prevents the bad guy from throwing strikes or attempting to gain control of your side arm. Train to keep your sidearm protected and unexposed to the bad guys at all cost.

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Try this simple adjustment the next time that your drill. Your mindset for the streets must not be the same mindset as for the gym.

Train hard, bridge the gap, and get home safe.

Let me begin by stating that I was wrong. Yes, I made the same mistake that most people make when discussing overtraining vs under / poor recovery and continued to blame my poor Jiu Jitsu performance, lingering soreness, and lack of explosiveness to the former not realizing that few people ever truly over train while the majority of people actual suffer from poor nutrition and lack of sleep or in other words, poor recovery methods.

Many Jiu Jitsu practitioners  in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area are gearing up for the IBJJF DC open. This means hard comp training of two – three training sessions a day of Jiu Jitsu drilling and sparring and possibly weight cutting. Add in a gym workout, a normal 9-5, a family, oh and very little sleep and the result is a lot of mental and psychical stress on the body and what most people will refer to as being overtrained.

Overtraining by definition is a physiological state not an action and is impacted by every single type of stressor vice a sole stressor i.e. training or working out too much. Additionally, overtraining leads to a SUSTAINED decrease in physical and mental performance not one bad day or a couple of shitty rolls. One cannot expect to recover from a state of being truly overtrained by simply sleeping in on Sunday and training light for a week, in actuality recovery can take months.

I’m as guilty as the next guy. I can’t recall how many times I have told someone “If I have a bad night of sleep, I know I am overtraining so I take a day or two off.” Man was I completely off (thanks google for setting me straight). Sure, I was fatigued but I wasn’t overtrained and what I needed was a more holistic approach to correcting my deficiencies and getting back to firing on all cylinders.

Salt baths, ice baths, eucalyptus saunas, foam rolling sessions, cupping, dry needling, etc. have all become the “in things” that people perform for recovery and they are not necessarily wrong for seeking out some of these methods. Doing these activities can and will contribute to your recovery however the two key factors to proper recovery are SLEEP and NUTRITION. As intensity and workload increase, the amount of food and sleep must increase as well. When seeking to correction nutritional issues, it is not simply consuming more food but it is seeking out real food (vice a bar) made from healthy ingredients, ingested at the right times paired with adequate fluid which will aid in digestion. Aim for 8-10 hours of quality sleep (yeah right) a night ditching the electronics and television during the evening and replacing them with a podcast (Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu – plug) or even reading a book (gasp).

I’m not a doctor, coach, therapist, trainer, etc. I’m just a Jiu Jitsu guy throwing some ideas on a computer screen. If this has made you curious to seek out more information I refer you to google. There are plenty of articles and recommendations on things that you can do in order to prevent under-recovery as well as programming that will leave you fully prepared for the your next competition. It’s all just a click away.

Until next time – Keep Grinding

no-gi-me

 

In this episode I travel to Abmar Barbosa’s academy in Vienna, Virginia for a Women’s Only Competition Sparring Session. I was fortunate to sit down with multiple participants to discuss the art of Jiu Jitsu from the woman’s perspective. We talk competition, reasons to start training, and the ways and reasons why female can still excel in a male dominated sport.