When the pressure is on

When the pressure is on: How many moves do you REALLY know? We all think we have a good idea of the size of our skill set. In truth however, the only time you find out is when you play under pressure. ONLY THE MOVES YOU WILL USE WITHOUT HESITATION IN THE BIGGEST MATCH OF YOUR LIFE ARE YOUR TRULY KNOWN BY YOU - everything else can be considered only as moves you are familiar with, but not truly known. Your job is to slowly build upon that small set in two ways. First, refining still further the moves already there. Second, adding a few new ones every year to a level where you would pull the trigger with them without hesitation in a high pressure match against your toughest rivals with everything on the line. In championship training this is the acid test to see how big your skill set really is.

Take some heat off your submissions and see what happens

Take some heat off your submissions and see what happens: In a competitive setting you want to make sure all your submissions take effect as quickly and completely as possible so as to ensure a decisive and convincing end to the match. In the gym however, I often encourage my students to leave a little slack in their submissions so that their training partner can employ an escape - you then must counter that escape and work back into either a reapplication of the original submission or a switch to a new one. As you gain in skill and confidence you can extend this process further and further until you can work with elaborate chains of submission attacks upon even multiple escape attempts. Just as a cat plays with a mouse in order to practice its hunting skills - it’s a good thing periodically to play with your opponent whilst locked into a submission. Don’t worry if he escapes occasionally - that’s all part of the fun. Training in this way will prepare you for elite opponents who have very well developed escape skills and it is unlikely the first submission attempt will get the breakthrough. In this situations the skill of flowing from one submission attack to another on an artfully defending opponent will be of great value to you. Here, talented junior Damien Anderson releases just enough pressure on a juji gatame arm bar to be able to maintain the threat, determine the direction of his opponent’s movement and set up subsequent attacks - great training.