Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t all guard passes and submission holds, it’s much more than that. Any grappler can present a lethal offensive game; however, it takes a truly elite grappler to be able to offer a stifling defensive approach as well.
In order to be able to be a feared defensive minded grappler, you must focus heavily on your sweep game. Sweeps are very vital to the life of a grappler, as they offer both defensive and offensive tactics that are rather difficult to deal with when done properly.
Unlike certain submission holds—not counting inverted attacks—sweeps will put you in a tough spot, and it won’t be easy to acclimate yourself with them! This is why you must focus heavily on putting in the extra time away from the gym, and be willing to work on your own and log in some serious solo practice time.
All you need is a grappling dummy, and some space. Once you begin working your sweeps, there are a few things that you’ll want to focus in on the most.
Rewiring Your Body’s Instinct
As I stated earlier, sweeps will put you in a tough spot from time-to-time. They are used to help you get out of a tough spot in the blink of an eye, and given that fact; you will end up in some awkward spots.
Sweeps don’t work out like puzzle pieces; they all won’t fit perfectly together. You must get used to rolling and landing in strange spots, as your body will need time to adjust to these positions, allowing you to mount an offensive attack from them.
Spending time on your own with a grappling dummy in order to work on your sweeps is very important to get this aspect of sweeping down pat. While the dummies may not have the same weight as an actual human, it does simulate the proper movement and positions you will end up in. You can learn more about grappling dummies and the best training methods for them in this article!
Transitioning Into Submission Holds
Another fantastic thing about drilling on your own is the ability to see how the sweeps play into your offensive attack. Sure, sweeps are meant to be defensive tools that keep your opponent thinking, but they also can work well as an offensive setup to boot!
Once you get the ball rolling, there is no telling where you could end up after a sweep. To be safe, it’s always a good idea to work on your submission game in case the opportunity presents itself!
You never know where you can end up, so always be prepared! After a sweep, the opportunity to latch on an armbar, heel hook, etc., will very likely be there, so you have to make sure you have trained your body to hop on the first open limb that you see! This all comes with practice time; be it with a team or on your own. You can revamp your solo drilling game with the grappling dummy and this article on BJJ Addict covers some of the ways you can do that!
There’s no easy way to enhance your game, but the one constant variable is practice. So what are you waiting for!? Get too it!