Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Whatever You Do…Do NOT Evolve Your Game" by 2nd Degree Black Belt, Kenny Bond

Below is a post from Kenny Bond. Kenny and I have been training together for almost 10 years. He's a Street Sports (Renato Magno) 2nd Degree Black Belt and now one of the chief instructors at Simi Valley Jiu Jitsu. Kenny's technique and instruction are top notch, and his philosophy and insight on the sport are inpiring.

The post below is basically an op-ed piece to my post of last week enitled "Evolve Your Game by Avoiding the Thing You Do Best." It's another way of looking at the development of your jiu jitsu or grappling game.

The post below is also an example of what's to come on this site. I'm very fortunate, honored and stoked that many of my black belt friends/teammates will have a presence on this site and will help provide great material. I'll have much more on that in the very near future. For now, enjoy. And, thanks Kenny. [Note: I've interlineated below only where necessary with brackets.]

Whatever You Do…Do NOT Evolve Your Game.


Kenny Bond

Okay, maybe the title should really be called, “Develop a Personal Jiu Jitsu Game,” but I’m a smart-ass and can’t help being contrary to Francisco’s [note, that's me, DSTRYR, your host] previous post. One of the beautiful qualities of BJJ is that everyone can be creative and personalize their jiu jitsu style to their age, body type, flexibility, size, etc. I agree with Francisco in that we should step out of our comfort zones to round out our game.

But first, we must develop our strengths, our style, our game. In my humble opinion, your first months (and years) of jiu jitsu should be spent learning the basic movements and concepts of the BJJ. Your body should start to adapt to BJJ and once awkward movements will flow from your body without much thought. I call it “Jiu Jitsu Muscle Memory.” Your body will magically flow from side control to mount to the back to guard etc. automatically. Once a solid foundation of basics is developed, I encourage my students to begin developing their personal game. What is a personal BJJ game? It’s a specific move or series of moves that you have refined to a level where you can pull off on almost every opponent, even if they know what's coming.


  • Francisco, blogger extraordinaire, [I almost deleted this] was a triangle guy. That was his game. He pulled guard and triangled everyone (including black belts when he was a purple).
  • When I used to train with Eddie Bravo, he would always pull half guard, sweep, and finish with the twister.
  • Marcelo Garcia arm drags, or pulls guard, sweeps, takes the back, and finishes.
  • Me? I pull guard, sweep or finish with Bondoplata.

Bondoplata in Action

I used to train with a blue belt that was a kimura master. He had 12 different ways to set up kimuras from top, bottom, half guard, side-mounted, etc. If he didn't tap you with his kimura, he would use it as a sweep. His kimura won him tournaments and was instrumental in his promotion to purple belt.

Do you see a pattern here? Successful BJJ players have developed an attack that can be implemented on everyone. You need to chose a move or series of moves that you develop and refine so thoroughly, you can pull it off backwards, forwards, on big guys, on small guys, and threaten higher belts. It doesn’t need to complicated, it just need to be effective and repeatable.

So pick your game, practice it, drill it, test it on lower belts, tweak it, drill it a thousand times, and then drill it thousand more times. Soon your opponents will fall into your web again and again.

1 comment:

  1. Me, I get put into bondoplato and get pictures of it posted all the internet. My game needs work!