Wednesday, 23 May 2012

On the Mat Day 265: Routes

I've been hearing the word "routes" applied to BJJ recently. It describes the transition from one technique to another. For example, if I take one of my favourite positions to be in such as the half-guard with a knee shield (some people call this Z-guard). My opponent used to smash my leg down by inserting his arm between my legs, I then learned to counter this by switching to a lasso spider guard. Then I had another problem where the opponent would just sit back and not offer me any kind of sweep. If the guy was especially big I could do nothing from this point. Then I learnt a route that took me to a sweep by coming up to his side and forcing him down. I had to be quick to do it and I had to have the correct grips. From each position you are in, there can be many permutations to the next move depending on what the opponent is doing. If you can learn each possibility and find an answer for it then you can continue to play your game or at least bring it back to your game. I guess it is like keeping it in a comfort zone for yourself. I am starting to discover that it is a waste of time to pull in as many techniques as possible into my game. Instead, I need to discover techniques that apply to me alone. That fit into my game. Many people make flow charts of their game and that is what I try to visualize.

I have recently signed up to a 40 plus BJJ mail subscription list. It talks about this concept. At 40, to go against young guys, and because I am limited in the amount of time I can train, I need to train efficiently. I need to focus on "routes" that can be incorporated into my style so I am in my comfort zone and hopefully the opponent is not in theirs. It seems interesting and the fact that I just turned 40 made it more prominent in my mind.

I plan to continue working on takedown, escapes and passing but I also want to take time out to record sticking points that I need to fix. Some come to mind right now such as not being able to finish after getting rear mount, being easily swept with butterfly sweep, not transitioning against sliding passes.

Sparring time: 7 x 6 mins = 42 mins


  1. I've been more than pleased with the BJJ after 40 program. So much so, that I picked up the DVD set around two months ago. It's really helped in identifying my "sets", those positions/techniques where the flow from one to the other comes naturally and instinctively. Stephen Whittier is just an awesome coach.

  2. the 40 program is intriguing for sure. It has definately set me on the path of wanting to create my own clearly defined game. Probably a good thing at this point in my career.