BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

Operation Be More Assertive

This is building off Josh’s “Operation Be More Assertive“, because that’s what I need right now as well. Any other advice anyone gives me is pretty much useless if I can’t be assertive enough to implement it while training.

My issue is the same as Josh describes — “lazy” jiu-jitsu, in that I’m waiting to react and am not insistent on much; I tend to not fight things that my partner wants beyond a small attempt to “technically” block it; I tend to play what they seem to want to play. And, if by some arrangement of celestial bodies I manage to actually be in the right assertive mindset (and — miraculous! — even to have a round or two there!), then something in class will throw me right out and I can’t regain that mode. And, as Josh says, this hurts me in competitions, too, because I’m waiting for things rather than making them happen. (See my last tournament, particularly the round with Ashley where I waited and waited for a takedown opportunity.)

So, the Big 3 Goals are the same as his:

1. Ignore the opponent. Do not be defensive and reactive, do not wait, do not just “play along” with their game. For me, this also means not considering who my opponent is; I tend to have any assertiveness knocked out of me when sparring another woman, no matter her rank (and we have several women now who do not need any coddling at all [and even the newer girls likely don’t, either], but I’ve programmed myself to ease back when I don’t need to, and that doesn’t help either of us.)

2. Don’t give up sweeps and don’t give up ON sweeps. I abandon sweeps too soon (as soon as there’s “hard enough” resistance) and I let a sweep continue too easily (as soon as I feel I have to offer “hard” resistance). Get a little grit.

3. Take risks for submissions. Pfft, I don’t even usually go for submissions when there’s zero risk, so I need the entry-level step for this one: go for submissions rather than just position & control (and waiting for them to escape).

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