All grapplers at one time or another are guilty of one of the greatest sins in jiu jitsu: sloppy or poor technique. It's something I contend with often, even as a black belt, and it's a real detractor from your BJJ goals.
Here are a few types of offenders in the sloppy or weak technique category that I commonly see on the mat (in myself and others):
- The Lazy Grappler: This happens all the time. We get tired or too comfortable, and find ourselves giving up positions and allowing ourselves to be advanced upon. A lot of times this type of bad jiujitsu behavior is borne out of a comfort level one may have in their respective academy. The results: in addition to increased risk of get beaten up and submitted often, a greater chance of injury. Additionally, the Lazy Grappler becomes very reactive and has a hard time imposing his/her game on opponents. Maximum effort, grapplers. Enough Said.
- The "Brasura" Grappler: Most of us hate this guy, and for good reason. He's the one who forces submissions and positions, lacking any finesse and control. Training with the "Brasura" Grappler is painful and annoying, although it does toughen you up. The problem is, we are all guilty, at one time or another, of this type or poor grappling. Sometimes we just can't help ourselves and we want submissions more than just good jiu jitz. Maybe it has some place on the streets or at certain times during competition, but it has no place in the academy and/or among teammates.
- The Wild Grappler (aka The Spaz): I actually kind of like training with these grapplers. Sure, you get all kinds of kneed in the face, but it's like riding a wild bronco or something. All kidding aside, this is a big issue with beginner and intermediate grapplers, and strong, competitive, athletic types. Wild flailing may work from time to time, but it's bad jiu jitz, plain and simple.
- The Creative Grappler: I have a hard time relating to this guy. He is the one who makes things up as the come to him. And, he often times doesn't utilize good jiu jitsu principles. Training with him can be frustrating. Don't be this guy. Unless you're a badass and/or coming out with your own signature DVD series, stick to timed tested legitimate technique.
It's very simple. Be calm, be respectful and think "Perfect Jiu Jitsu." I do this all the time, especially when I feel my technique waning or I see bad patterns emerging in my game (or lack thereof). "Perfect Jiu Jitsu" is a good mantra, because it calls attention to what you are doing and why. It's not about beating a guy in to submission or just rolling around on a mat. It's jiu jitz.
So, go do yourself some perfect jiu jitz and have fun. If that doesn't work, try this: WWRGD.* See you on the mat, grapplers.
*What Would Rickson Gracie Do. Need I say more?