How can I defend against (insert technique here)?

I hear people talk all the time about stopping specific techniques that they are getting caught in– the “how do I avoid getting armbarred?” or “how can I stop getting triangled?” questions.

These questions are very common and will be asked no matter what club and what country. Later in your BJJ journey, the question stops being asked, sometimes without ever thinking of the answer. The more you train the less you get caught and the less you get caught the less you think about it.

What is the answer?

You learn the technique.

When you learn the setups and the entries you start to sense the attacks being made and you will get caught less. So the offense is the defense, the better you get at the particular technique the less likely it will be pulled off on you without your spider senses tingling.

If I am constantly getting caught with the triangle choke I better be learning from the experience– do you analyze your losses as they happen? Maybe write down your training session and what you tapped to? Ask your partner how they caught you? These are all keys to developing your overall jiu-jitsu, if you want to stop tapping to a move you need to learn the move.

How can we speed this up?

That is where I can give you some direction. First off, I always suggest making a journal of training (I’ll cover that more in future blog posts) and after class, before you get changed, sit on the mat and write out everything about your rolls, what did you catch, what did you tap to. Without knowing exactly what you are doing and what is being done you are left without a baseline to build from, so once you see what you are tapping most from you can assign that to your monthly homework.

Let’s use “triangle” as our example, you find out you are hitting few to zero triangle chokes and are getting caught by them often. So your homework is simple

1) Watch at least one triangle video on YouTube daily and write down the details you notice about the entry, setup, finish

2) Ask a training partner to exchange reps with you before or after class

3) Attempt to play guard vs anyone who you know you are better than and attack triangles

4) Attempt to guard pass vs people you know are better than you

5) Log it all.

If you are comfortable with your training partner you can always ask them to position specific roll with you (reset back to guard) most training partners won’t have a problem with this request as long as you are willing to return the favor if they ask. While getting into the position and understanding how you end up there is important asking to start there cuts out the chance of you spending a whole roll away from the technique you want to refine.

Ask your training partners and instructor for tips and details on the technique you are trying to avoid and write them all down, google your weight class and who has the best technique then watch their matches, how are they playing? Can you see any setups they are using? What are they doing you can use?

Take all of your notes and refine them like you are studying for a college exam, rewrite them neatly and file them with space for updates and amendments.

Your game will evolve, you will evolve!

Kent Peters
YouTuber / HeelHooker / Sushi Fan