One point of wisdom often doled out to those new to Jiu Jitsu is “Don’t worry about stripes, don’t focus on promotion. Just show up and train.” While I wholeheartedly agree with the intent behind this comment, it’s just not true. Admit it or not, everyone has thought about promotion at some point, stripe or belt, and when or why the have /have not been promoted. Just look around during you next round of “impromptu” promotions (or look in the mirror) you’ll notice some pretty salty looks.
In my opinion, promotions are a sign that you have been consistently training and that you are absorbing and learning techniques. Promotions show dedication and commitment and hopefully require a little character building as well.
Today I had the pleasure of training with a few guys who were up for stripe promotions and I’ll admit, we put them through the wringer. The guys were put in the pressure cooker and forced to demonstrate their proficiency under pressure against all belt levels. I personally like this approach because the people being “tested” recognize everyone is coming at them hard and they have the opportunity to mentally validate their skills. At the end of the day they feel like they earned their stripes or they know they need to step their game up. It’s not only about time and showing up it’s also about demonstrating skill “at combat speed”. Additionally, it quickly becomes apparent when a competition “one trick pony” or “сant take the pressure guy” can’t make it through the session.
Congratulations to all who earned their promotion today. You earned it. Don’t quit now, keep grinding.
If you haven’t heard the news or already seen us in action, we have recently begun to stream interviews via Facebook Live! We absolutely love the ability to interact with our viewers and answer your questions real time. For those who miss the Live Stream we will post the videos here on the website and continue to stream the audio via all of our usual podcast servers. Attached are our first two live stream interviews, the first with Professional Mixed Martial Artists Jesse Stirn and the second with Shogun Fights owner and organizer, John Rallo. These videos can also be found on our Facebook and Youtube pages.
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.
From a Defensive Tactics / Combatives standpoint I have two major problems in both of these set ups which I must address.
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.
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.