How to develop a game (Love Kroyler)

Kroyler’s Pro-Tip

So,Paul and Kip have asked me to write up on how to build/develop a game in Jiu-Jitsu.

This is a very complex and difficult topic. This is because there are several factors that are outside of the realm of control as we are all individuals. So, this list is at best a rough outline of ideas and suggestions on how to develop a game.

Things you should keep in mind:

1. Trust your instructor.

a. You are going to their academy to learn from them. So, let them teach and instruct and inspire you.

b. Trusting doesn’t mean not taking a role in your own education but simply trusting your main source of education.

c. Which is why researching your instructor’s education and their hierarchy is important.

2. Be real with yourself.

a. If you only train once a week you must understand that it will take you a much longer time to develop and come into your own game than someone that trains every day.

b. With this comes the need for patience. Be patient with your development.

3. Rely on teammates.

a. They have already studied some of the things you may want to add to your future game. Ask them for help.

b. Be a good training partner so that in turn they will be a good training partner to you while you are developing your game.

4. Master or try to master the basics and the basics concepts.

a. These are things such as balance, base, posture, the concept of biting, framing, angles, pressure, weight,

Now ideas on how to develop your game:

How to find out the core of your game. This is essentially theposition that is center of your system. The foundation your jiu-jitsu house will be built on so to speak. So how do I know what that is? Should it be closed guard? Back control? Side mount? The next few points should help narrow that down.

1. Assessing preferences

Ask yourself are you a top or bottom person? Meaning do you feel most at ease when fighting from top or from the bottom? Keyword here is fighting not winning. Simply where do you feel most at ease.

1.1 If the answer is while on top:

1.1.1 Where are you most comfortable on top?

1.1.2 Mount?

1.1.3 Back?

1.1.4 North and South?

1.1.5 Side Mount?

1.1.6 KOB?

1.1.7 Half Guard?

1.1.8 Turtle?

1.1.9 Passing guard?

Once you narrow it down to one, like the one position you’retruly most at ease. Not the position you wish you were good at.

2. Break down the properties, pros and cons of that position, example:

Top Half-Guard (example)

2.1 Properties (very superficial list as I am simply giving an overview, there are other properties):

2.1.1 Good control vs the ability to apply weight

2.1.2 Low submission risk

2.1.3 High level of stability

2.1.4 Low risk – High reward

2.1.5 Energy efficient

2.2 Pros (again not an extensive list):

2.2.1 Makes good use of basic fundamental submissionsa couple as an example

2.2.1.1 Kimura

2.2.1.2 Americana

2.2.2 Very easy to achieve early on in your Jiu-Jitsu journey

2.2.3 Low maintenance

2.2.4 Built on basic principles you should have already learned.

2.2.5 Etc. etc.

2.3 Cons (not an extensive list):

2.3.1 The same basic principles you are using to attack will be used against you

2.3.2 If the opponent was a Half-Guard specialist, they can turn the tables on you very quickly

2.3.3 A slippery opponent could make Half-Guard unstable.

2.4 Statistics, study them:

2.4.1 What body part is exposed for submissions attempts most of the time? (Half-Guard)

2.4.1.1 The far arm

2.4.1.2 The neck

2.4.2 What body part is not as exposed for submission attempts?

2.4.2.1 The legs

2.4.2.2 The inner arms

2.4.3 Which of your body parts are most exposed to being attacked by the opponent?

2.4.3.1 Your outside arm is usually exposed to kimuras

2.4.3.2 Your neck

2.4.4 What are the most important things that are necessary for the majority of escapes/reversals for the opponent?

2.4.4.1 The far arm becoming an under-hook

2.4.4.2 The inner arm blocking the cross-face

2.4.4.3 Opponent being on their side instead of flat

2.4.4.4 Framing

Once you have done those things you can start strategizing…

3. Strategizing:

3.1 If my opponent wants to escape what is he likely to do?

3.1.1 Using an under-hook to escape (see 2.3.4.1 above)

How can we prevent this with what we discussed above?

3.1.1.1 We have identified the following weaknesses

3.1.1.1.1 The far arm (which they’ll be using for the under-hook) is exposed to submissions

3.1.1.1.2 The neck exposed for submissions

3.1.1.2 Which of these will work to prevent the opponent’s far arm from becoming an under-hook

3.1.1.2.1 We know that the farm arm is exposed for attacks, therefore if we are attacking that arm it will prevent the arm from becoming an under-hook

3.1.1.2.1.1 How can we attack it?

3.1.1.2.1.1.1 Kimuras

3.1.1.2.1.1.2 Americanas

3.1.1.2.1.1.3 Straight arm bars

3.1.1.2.2 We know that if we under-hook their far arm they can’t under-hook ours if we don’t give them space.

3.1.1.3 What can I do to slow down my opponent from getting the under-hook?

3.1.1.3.1 Cross face

3.1.1.3.1.1 If I cross face them I can slow down their ability to create height and room to escape, this buys me time

3.1.1.3.1.1.1 I can re-pummel to get my own under-hook back

3.1.1.3.1.1.2 I can look to attack that far arm

3.1.1.3.1.1.3 Allows me to start countering the point of no return, that is when their under-hook is so powerful I can’t stop it.

3.1.1.3.1.1.3.1 What becomes exposed?

3.1.1.3.1.1.3.2 We identified the neck above

3.1.1.3.1.1.3.3 How can we attack it?

3.1.1.3.1.1.3.3.1 Guillotine

3.1.1.3.1.1.3.3.2 Darce

3.1.1.3.2 Keeping them flat

3.1.1.3.2.1 Keeping them flat keeps their under-hook weak and keeps the opponent with very limited overall range of motion. How do I do that? Control the hips keep their hips flat and pinned to the mat. This will buy me time.

3.1.1.3.2.1.1 I can re-pummel to get my own under-hook back

3.1.1.3.2.1.2 I can look to attack that far arm

3.1.1.3.2.1.3 Allows me to start countering the point of no return, that is when their under-hook is so powerful I can’t stop it.

3.1.1.3.2.1.3.1 What becomes exposed?

3.1.1.3.2.1.3.1.1 We identified the neck above

3.1.1.3.2.1.3.2 How can we attack it?

3.1.1.3.2.1.3.2.1 Guillotine

3.1.1.3.2.1.3.2.2 Darce

3.1.1.3.3 Preventing frames from occurring

3.1.1.3.3.1 Eliminating space between the opponent and I will prevent their ability to get on their side, to create strong frames that would create space for the far arm to become an under-hook.

3.1.2 The opponent will use their inner arm to block your cross face so that they can get on their side and fight for the under-hook. See 2.3.4.2 above.

How can we prevent this with what we discussed above?

3.1.2.1 We have already identified that if they are flat they have limited range of motion

3.1.2.1.1 If they are flat, then just re-pummel the cross-face arm

3.1.2.2 We have discussed that if we already have an under-hook then blocking the cross-face is largely just a band aid. As their purpose for blocking the cross face was to ultimately get to their side to frame to fight for an under-hook.

3.1.2.2.1 Then it becomes just a matter of re-pummeling the cross-face arm

3.1.2.3 If we attack the far arm they cannot afford to block/frame against your cross face. Because if they do you’ll have 2 arms attacking their one far arm.

3.1.3 Opponent is on their side instead of flat

How do I address this? (refer above for details)

3.1.3.1 Control their hip

3.1.3.2 Cross face

3.1.3.3 Under-hook

3.1.3.4 Attack the farm arm

3.1.4 Opponent frames out

How do I address this?

3.1.4.1 Collapse the frames

3.1.4.1.1 You should have learned in a basic course about how frames are only structurally strong in one direction so if we added weight and pressure in any other direction the frame will collapse

3.1.4.2 Prevent framing

3.1.4.2.1 Close the distance so that frames can’tbe created

3.1.4.2.1.1 Cross-face

3.1.4.2.1.2 Flatten your opponent

3.1.4.2.1.3 Under-hook them

So, if my opponent cannot escape, what is left for him to do?

3.2 If my opponent attacks me? What are the likely attacks?

3.2.1 Attacking the far arm

3.2.1.1 Kimuras

3.2.1.1.1 How do we prevent kimuras?

3.2.1.1.1.1 What is necessary for a kimura to occur?

3.2.1.1.1.1.1 An elbow must be flared

3.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 Keep your own elbow tight to your body, no flared elbow no kimura

3.2.1.1.1.1.2 A kimura grip must be achieved

3.2.1.1.1.1.2.1 If the elbow gets flared and the opponent starts to isolate it, start flattening, and re-pummeling the cross-face (targeted) arm.

3.2.1.1.1.1.3 Attacker must be on his side

3.2.1.1.1.1.3.1 Keep the opponent flat equals no effective kimura attacks

3.2.2 Attacking your neck

3.2.2.1 Cross chokes

3.2.2.1.1 How do we prevent it?

3.2.2.1.1.1 What is necessary for a cross choke to occur?

3.2.2.1.1.1.1 Both hands need to be in the collars

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.1 If the opponent uses their far arm for the first grip on your collar

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 Flatten the opponent

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.1.2 Under-hook

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.2 If the opponent uses the near arm for the first grip on your collar

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.2.1 Cross face

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.2.2 Flatten the opponent

3.2.2.1.1.1.1.3 Or break the first grip and move on

If my opponent can’t attack me or escape, then the only thing left is attacking them

3.3 Attacking

3.3.1 Far arm

3.3.1.1 Kimura

Kimura is the staple of joint attacks in half guard. Should always strive for them in half

3.3.1.1.1 Isolate the farm arm and attack it (I am not going to break down a kimura)

3.3.1.1.1.1 If the opponent straightens the arm out, then switch to straight arm bar

3.3.1.2 Straight arm bar

3.3.1.2.1 I am not breaking this down

3.3.1.2.1.1 If the opponent pulls their fist to their head to avoid the straight arm bar switch to Americana

3.3.1.2.1.2 If the opponent pulls their fist to their hips switch back to kimura

3.3.1.3 Americana

3.3.1.3.1 I am not breaking this down

3.3.1.3.1.1 If the opponent extends the arm to avoid the Americana switch back to the straight arm

3.3.2 Neck

3.3.2.1 Darce

The only choke example we mentioned was the Darce, so it is the only I will discuss

3.3.2.1.1 Anytime your opponent starts to beat your under-hook and control as mentioned before Darce them.

If attacking is too difficult then consider passing

3.4 Passing

3.4.1 If you have followed everything we have laid out on this plan, then you should have total control of the position pass however you know how to pass.

4 Continue to Research

4.1 As you develop a map for your game (see 1 through 3) you will find yourself encountering things you didn’t think of on your original map

4.1.1 In this example outlined in 1 through 3

4.1.1.1 We didn’t cover dealing with knee shields, z-guards, half-butterflies, deep-half, tornado-guard

4.1.1.2 We didn’t cover the opponent attacking our legs or our inner arms

4.1.1.3 We didn’t cover attacking the opponent’s legs and inner arms

4.1.1.4 We didn’t talk about choking the opponent in an offensive manner only in defensive manner

4.1.1.5 We didn’t talk about the opponent retreatingto closed guard

4.1.1.6 We didn’t discuss passes

4.1.1.7 We didn’t discuss going to the negative side

4.1.1.8 We didn’t discuss the opponent attacking different kinds of chokes on us

4.1.1.9 Different grips

4.1.1.10 The lockdown

4.1.1.11 This is not an extensive list

4.2 You then must take each new issue/finding that is disturbing your map for your game and develop a map on how to beat that particular issue. Then you must tie that new map to your old one. Effectively growing your overall map of your position.

5 Completing your research

5.1 Impossible this process never ends

5.2 Once you have a thorough solid road map for a position you must start taking all the principles you learned (discussed and identified in section 2) and start applying to entirely new positions not just techniques.

5.2.1 So, you take everything you learned about frames, angles etc. from half guard top and start applying to as an example top side mount.

5.3 Start leaving your comfort zone

5.3.1 Start finding ways to go back to your map for your desired position (half guard in this example)

5.3.1.1 Furthermore, start finding ways to back and forth your entire desired map without thought. This way you can create a cyclical position where you can recycle all move and waste nothing.

5.3.1.2 Create a map for how to get back to your desired position.

5.3.2 Start creating a new map for a new position after knowing all the paths back to your desired position, in this example half guard.

6 Rinse and Repeat

6.1 Do steps 1 through 5 for every new position you are developing

This will create a comfort in all the positions in jiu-jitsu if you are diligent, disciplined and focused. This process takes time. A lot of time. Give yourself time. Don’t be in a rush.

This process usually happens very organically, we find something we like to do or a position we like to be in, or a technique that just works for us. Then we spend time doing only that. We become good at it. We learn the ins and outs. However,it is imperative to branch out at this point or you become stagnant.

This process is the development of a “game”. That is why no 2 peoples game is the same early on in their bjj career (white to brown). Because we are all cycling through different positions at different times, troubleshooting and developing different things at different stages. By the time you get to be a black belt generally speaking the map is very similar with small differences that are emphasized on what we like to do based on our body type, personality, athletic attributes.

I did not do justice on this pro tip. I apologize. I wish these motherfuckers would have gotten me back on this show to discuss this in person as I told them we should.

Also, this is not an extensive map for half guard. Please don’t think that. This is just a very superficial brief over-simplified example of how to develop a road map for your game.

Kip Dice