World Champion and 5X Pan Am champion Vicente Jr (VJ) is one of my best friends, business partner, and also my BJJ Professor. I started training under him as a Purple belt but, (I might as well have been a white belt) I was not very good and most of what I did know was wrong. Once I stared training under him, he started to fix my bad habits and teach me the proper way to train, learn, teach and compete. I’m very lucky to have a professor that is as good as he is, but I’m even more lucky to have him as friend and mentor.
This was a drill we did last week in our Conquest competition team training. It show the correct way to get from a closed guard to spider guard and ends with a nice triangle choke.
1.Just do it!!! The biggest thing holding people back from competing is the feeling of not being “ready”. The truth is the sooner you start competing the better competing is. With your first tournament, there is less of an expectation to win and less pressure to perform. Pick a tournament, register, and hold yourself accountable to show up and compete on that day. The skill difference between you and the other competitors can become vastly different the longer you wait. For example,the novice white belt division is typically 6 months (or less in some cases) of training where the blue belt can be anyone training from 1 year up to 4 years. I have also found that the students who compete sooner progress faster. I believe this in part due to those students gaining confidence more quickly and being in situations that allow them to develop their game. When you decide to compete you typically start developing a game or style. Which brings us to tip number two….
2. “If you don’t know where you are going you might not get there”. What does this mean to the person getting ready for their first tournament? It means develop a game plan and set a goal. Obviously, the main goal of competing is to test yourself and win; however, that is too broad of a goal for this scenario. You need to develop a game plan that will guide you to win. For example, if Steve is very good at from closed guard, his game plan should be centered around that and not takedowns. You should be able to pinpoint your strongest position and have an avenue to always be able to get back to that position. This is best done in training; decide on your strategy and how you would like each of your tournament matches to go and force that game plan in every roll during class. This builds precision in your techniques, confidence in your ability to execute the techniques, and provides opportunities to learn how to adapt when the technique fails.
3.Learn to listen. There is a great saying… “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk.” The ability to listen to your coach during a match is essential and can be the difference between winning and losing. Your coach has an outside view of the match and can help remind you of techniques you may have forgotten in the heat of the moment. The best way to train your listening skills is to have mock tournament matches during class or open mat during the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Doing this will help you recognize your instructors voice under pressure, while your adrenaline is pumping.
4.Learn the rules. Many competitors, both novice and experienced, now a days get to a tournament and do not understand or even take the time to read the rules for that particular tournament. By taking the time to read and understand the rules you can prevent any chance of getting disqualified and even plan a strategy around the rules (to your advantage). For example, if the tournament you are entering has a time limit you can use a strategy that secures points quickly while you go for submissions or wait until time runs out. If it is a submission only-no time limit match, your game plan will be based on being able to submit quickly or build your endurance to last a long match.
5.Train Train Train! If you have picked a tournament and made the commitment to compete, the best thing you can do is train. Show up to as many classes as your schedule allows. The time spent on the mats leading up to a competition is invaluable when it comes to preparing for any tournament. Listen, learn, drill, and roll as much as you can to prepare for the competition. Train with a goal in mind, do not just train and roll like you normal would in class. Have your game plan in mind and roll every time looking to execute your game.
If you know me, then you know, I love the closed guard. To me the closed guard is a position that, I feel, everyone needs to master. (or at least try to) In BJJ your guard is your home, and you need to control who comes in and who gets out.
This is a slick armbar setup that I use all the time and it almost always works! It will take some drilling to get the timing down, but it is worth it.
Leave a comment below and please share with your hommies!
I was going through some old files and found the first Best BJJ Drills videos that Kail (when he was still a brown belt) and I shot. We thought we need to do voice overs and slow motion. LOL I don’t like these at all! The content is great they are just overproduced.
We have learn a lot over the past year. Now we just let the camera roll no edits and however they end up, we put them out. What do you think? Do you like the raw videos we do now, or these oldies but goodies.
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I wrote a post back in December talking about the over consumption of information. Here’s a link to that post “Thanks, But Too Much Information”. Everyone loves buying the new DVD sets showing 5 hours of techniques; the problem is, you won’t ever be able to consume all that information. Even if you’re one of those photographic memory, genius types, you may consume it, but you’ll never really learn it that way.
How many times have you bought one of these sets for hundreds of dollars? If you even watch the whole dvd, which you probably won’t, you’ll only remember a handful of techniques, and be able to apply even less when you’re rolling. That’s right, you just spent all that money to learn two or three techniques. These big box sets don’t teach you Jiu Jitsu, they just bombard you with techniques so you feel you got your money’s worth. So if your goal is to see as many moves as possible without ever really learning the concepts, keep buying these mega set’s.
I have found the best way to learn BJJ is through repetition and concepts. You need to work one or two ideas until you can do them in your sleep. Whenever I have had a problem or see a student having a problem, I teach and follow these 5 steps so I’m always training BJJ, even outside of class.
After almost every training session, I try to sit and think about the things that worked and the things that didn’t work. I use reflection as a tool to keep track of my good and bad days. When I say reflect, I don’t mean think about it for 5 – 10 minutes, I mean run each match back through your head and actually write down what went well and what you need work on. Keeping all of this information in one book or training journal is the key. It will allow you to watch for any patterns, and address them immediately when they’re found.
Now, when I say research I don’t mean go watch 2 hrs of Youtube videos. Research, to me, is thinking about a position, breaking down each step, and identifying the missing link. You should also ask instructors, fellow students, or even me (shoot me an email with a quick question or video and I’ll try to help firstname.lastname@example.org) where you are messing up. Depending on your school, and how cool your instructor is, this can be an easy way, or a painful way to get answers to your questions. You need to intelligently assess the situation, and constantly re-evaluate your efforts.
Now that we’ve identified the problem with the technique, we need to address the solution. How will I insert a movement or mindset in order to stop a particular submission or make a technique work better? Questions and answers is the process. BJJ teaches you there’s an intelligent solution for every problem. Sometimes that solution is tapping out, sometimes it’s turning a failing submission into a sweep, and sometimes it is following this 5 step process.
Asking questions and getting answers is always the best way to overcome any issue you are having in Jiu Jitsu. Anytime I’m trying to learn something new, or correct a mistake, I follow this exact system. Once I get to step 4 I review steps 1-3 and try to find any concepts that will help me understand BJJ from a higher level. A simple conceptual example is if I’m going to sweep someone I need to control an arm and a leg on one side, their base. If I can remember that, I don’t need to memorize and exact sweep. I can sweep from various positions by applying the larger concept of controlling my opponent’s base on one side.
The last step of the system is drilling. If you want to improve you have to put the work in outside of class. We have done the mental preparation, reflected on the problem, broke down how to fix it, and have looked for any overall concepts. Now we need to drill until the techniques become second nature. We want to work this one position with 2-3 variations for a few weeks, or longer. Remember, Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Basically here’s my philosophy toward learning BJJ outside of the school. Take it slow and work one idea at a time. Don’t overload your brain with hundreds of ideas that you will never understand or even remember. Learning from a system, with concepts, will always beat learning from over consumption.
“Never lose their back!” is something you will hear a lot at my academy. The back is one of the hardest positions to get to in BJJ, so when you get there don’t ever lose that position. It doesn’t matter if you are in a street fight, BJJ match, or an MMA fight. When you make it to your opponents back you have them beat. It’s the safest place to be and you should be able to ride the position until you get the submission. ( not always but 9 out of 10 times)
I have put together a back control and transition video that shows some of my favorite and most successful BJJ back take ideas. Before you watch the video make sure to get on the email list (located on the side bar) where I will be sending out some of my best chokes from the back ( ONLY IF YOUR ON MY LIST ) Once you sign up for the list you will also get my to try my 14 day “Never Get Smashed In Side-Control Again” program FREE.
The snow is falling here on the east coast, so I had to cancel classes tonight at my academy. I shot this video last week, but I was out of town all weekend teaching a seminar in Pennsylvania with my instructor Professor Vicente Junior (VJ). I had a lot of you, ask for a quick follow up video, talking about the grip fighting ideas from my last post, “Are you losing the BJJ grip fight? Most of you aren’t even playing the game.” In this grip fighting video, VJ and I will show you how to start your attacks, and how to react when someone grips you first. One idea I want you to get from this, is a mindset of trying to never let someone grip you first, or have a better grip then you. If you are behind on the grips when you start, its very hard if not impossible, to catch up. What you need to do is, stop your attack and break their grips, then start your attack again with your grips in the correct places. Check out the video below and leave me a comment.
As most Black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I roll with my students everyday. This enables me to see and feel the way my students are rolling. One thing I always hear from my white and blue belts is, “I always feel like I ‘m fighting a loosing battle, constantly defending and always a step behind.” The answer I’m sure you hear a lot is, “You are only a [insert belt color) keep working and you will get more tools.” Another one might be “that’s the way it will be until some new people come in for you to work on” or something like that. By watching and rolling in 30+ matches a week, I have noticed a very bad habit that most white and blue belts do. They always lose the beginning of the grip fight. Most of the time its not even a fight, it’s the higher belt taking what ever grips they want, while the newer student does’t try to stop them, or even, try to get a grip of their own. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte. All the higher belts know your are making this fundamental mistake. The thing is it makes rolling with you that much easier.
Before you engage (ie: take down, getting on top, or pulling guard) you must win the grip fight FIRST! If you are starting standing, or on your knees, your grips or preventing their grips is your first mission. The grips are the most important part, not only your grips, but your opponents grips. As your match is starting if you don’t have the grips that you need (your go to grip) don’t allow your opponent to have whatever grips they want. What I see all the time is, one person gets their grips of choice, and the other person just lets them push them over on their back or pull them into closed guard. This is the biggest mistake you can make. As someone starts to control you, you need to focus all your energy and concentration on either breaking that grip, or using that grip to your advantage. The main reason is that any grip can give your opponent a higher level of control. Even if it’s a little control at that moment, they could use that one grip to get a large amount of control by hip movement and/or re-gripping. You can think of it as them peeking through your half opened window: you don’t want them to open the window and climb through it; I would rather have you slam that window on their fingers, so they don’t even want to grip again.
Soon you will start to know what grips are very dangerous and what grips you can let them have. This will come with time and feeling. I tell people to think of grips as an electric shock; don’t let your opponent SHOCK YOU, you do the shocking! They laugh, but they remember it. You must use grips to help your movements, but also keep in mind above all else grips are control, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, the correct grip in the right hands they can end a fight quick.
There is a saying in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) “A Black Belt, is only a white belt that never quit”. Now that you have decided on a school and you have started on your road to Black Belt nothing will help you more then commitment. If you have gone though the steps laid out in step 1 of finding a BJJ school. You have found a great school with some great coaches or professors. Their goal will be to get you to Black Belt. This will take a lot of time and hard work from you and from them. Not only will you need to commit a set amount of time you will need to commit to learn.
First take an honest assessment of your life and your time. If your married with kids and have a full time job you will not be able to commit 5 days a week to Jiu Jitsu and thats okay. What you need to do is Commit to, 1 or 2 days a week and don’t miss class. If you commit to 2 classes per week MAKE THEM. No excuses I’m tired (we are all tired) I’m hungry (eat quick and get to class) , I’m not feeling well (go to class and i bet you feel better after) I will make it up next week (NO you won’t). I have heard every excuse in the book. The only thing that is, is your mind trying to quite. It’s trying to tell your body we don’t need this, lets eat some ice cream and watch a movie. There is another saying you will hear in BJJ and i’m not sure who said it. Your mind will quit way before your body ever will. This is a quote to live by.
Now that we have committed going to class and we are keeping our commitment. we need to commit to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Going to class a couple times a week is great, but to be able to progress fast you will need to commit to learning the concepts of BJJ. This will be a skill you need to work on to see the key parts yourself. We will help you start finding the key movements and positions that are in many if not all the bjj techniques. We here at bestBJJdrills.com we can show you hundreds of drills that we use to teach the movements and the techniques. Drilling will be the fast way to progress in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but again that will take commitment. Any time you can get some free mat time, drill, don’t waist your time rolling when you don’t have the basics down.
I will promise you if you have gone over our steps to find the right school. When you show your new team that you are committed to them by showing up and training hard. Your new team and your new instructors will be committed to you.
Who the hell is Lance Trippett and what do the guys at “ Best BJJ Drills ” have to do with training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, winning tournaments, and basically dominating all aspects of BJJ?
My home away from home. BJJ Conquest
My name is Lance Trippett I’m a BJJ Black Belt and like you I live to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). I love the thrill of tapping someone out, sweet new drills, the feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest during a tough match and the taste of a McDonalds Oreo McFlurry (I know they are so bad, but they taste so good) after a hard weight cut and tournament.
You may have heard about me before, which is kind of weird for me since I am just a regular guy who loves to train Jiu Jitsu. I have a family and a job and really just want to train everyday at my academy BJJ Conquest where I live in Millersville Maryland. I want to train as much as I can and have as much fun doing it as possible.
Even though I started Best BJJ Drills to help spread the word about what real Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is about and what it can do for you. I never thought my little business would turn into something where I have some of the top competitors training at my facility approaching me to train them.
In fact, since I started to train world class BJJ competitors and writing this blog, I’ve had BJJ enthusiast everywhere I go, tell me that they have heard about me and my programs.
I guess the only thing that really separates me from every other regular Jiu Jitus trainer out there is that I have a passion for drills and just happen to have a talent for writing about how to apply it to our unique sport. I know from experience how drilling can help you retain information, promote muscle memory and basically dominate all the positions in your academy.
Ever since I was training for my first MMA fight back in 2000 while living in Aspen, Co. I have been hooked on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Even though I was more of a striker when I was fighting, I found that drilling basic and advanced BJJ techniques could keep me safe even when the fights went to the ground. I ultimately stop fighting MMA with an undefeated (3-0) pro record to just focus on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
A few months after starting to train I realized I wanted to be the best I could; not to compete but simply to have as much fun as possible. I also started to experiment with different strength training strategies to help me on the mat. Since I had striking background I was well aware that drilling was the key to maximizing your potential in any sport and I knew that my new sport was no different. However, when I looked for drills I quickly realized that no one had really developed a true drilling training system for BJJ practitioner,
Sure, there were some programs and books out there but they were all heavily based on learning techniques and some drill training. I knew that this was not the best way to train for the unique physical demands and constant variables that you get while rolling. So I started to come up with my own programs.
As my drilling programs got more refined I realized that I had gone from average to pretty good. I could tap people who were stronger and knew more techniques then me. The difference was the drills.
Having fun on your mat is what it’s all about, and my mission is to help my BJJ family grow and learn how to drill to be the best your able to be.
Feeling like you are being held back by your body or always being the one tapped in your group is more frustrating than fun and I wanted to share my program and experience with others in the bjj family. I knew that I had something unique and valuable to share so in 2013 I Started BestBJJDrills .com
Now, this is the point where I also need to explain something that may sound a bit funny coming from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt – I do not like to spend hours in the gym drilling In fact, I would much rather be hanging out with my Team
The Vicente Junior Family
But, I also know that the drilling helps me roll longer, faster and harder.
Whenever I slack a bit on my drilling I inevitably feel it when I roll– my positions start to suffer and my transitions start to slow, and I generally don’t have the same energy and drive to roll as much as I usually do.
So, I design my programs to deliver max results in minimal time, all while keeping things as fun and engaging as possible. My programs are written by a real BJJ Black Belt for real BJJ students that want to learn to drill like a champion. While still being able to roll as much as you want.
Because my approach is completely different than most people have been exposed to I have also become a bit infamous for taking on some “sacred cows” that I thought were holding Jiu Jitsu back with things like all you need to do is roll. Or show up to class and you will be proficient at BJJ. All of these have been shot down by me in the last few years; often with a lot of “haters” screaming about how “crazy” I am!
But I don’t care because I don’t do this to be accepted by the “mainstream” Jiu Jitsu industry – I do this to help free you from the garbage they have been feeding you for years and years. You can be much better than you are today, but not if you follow the same old advice we’ve been given. As I tell my clients, if you don’t want to tap like everyone else then don’t train like everyone else!
I started this blog to help me get my cutting edge, revolutionary drilling and training concepts out to my fellow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students. Here you’ll find drilling routines, competition strategies, strength and cardio programs and other information not available anywhere else. Some of my colleagues wonder why I give away so much info for free but I don’t care.
I want to help you be the best at BJJ thats my goal!
I know that if you use the information you’ll find on this blog you will do just that. I also know that once you see what this free info will do for you then you will be more likely to check out one of my more in depth programs; but even if you don’t that’s alright. Just knowing that I am helping advance BJJ is enough.
So check back often since the revolution never stops! I’ll be posting new articles, videos and podcasts every week, making this THE best BJJ drills website. And let me know if you don’t see something addressed on here that you want to know more about – I rely on you guys to let me know what is on your mind and what you want to improve with your riding. You can reach me through the Best BJJ Drills Facebook Fan page. Just click on the link below and Like the page and you can post your questions or comments there or email me from the site.