Do You Have to Be Aggressive?

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I got a message asking if you have to be aggressive in BJJ.​

What do you think?​

Do you think you have to be aggressive when you roll or compete?​

As if you are going to hunt your opponent like a blood-thirsty creature looking for prey?​

Some people are naturally like that personality-wise, and they have an aggressive style of grappling. For example, people like Leandro Lo, Jacaré, Buchecha, and Nicky Rod come to my mind. It might not be to do with one’s personality, but folks like Marcelo Garcia and Andrew Wiltse have an aggressive, relentless style, too.​

But then, you have people like Roger Gracie, Lucas Lepri, and Gordon Ryan. They keep calm and grapple like a precise machine. And when they face someone aggressive, they impose their game on their opponent. No matter how aggressive their opponent can be, they have the skills to slow and shut their opponent down.​

I generally prefer this “precision” approach. It takes time to develop skills, and you might get “beaten” for a while, but in the long run, I strongly believe you will be much better than when you cover up your lack of finesse with brute strength so you can “win” in the short term.​

Having said that, I don’t mean that you can’t develop your skills if you have an aggressive style. Having an aggressive approach doesn’t necessarily interfere with your skill development unless you neglect your skill development process. This is important to keep in mind, too. So, you could be insanely skilled, precise, and aggressive at the same time, of course. (Hmm, Rafa Mendes?)​

Again… do you have to be in aggressive in BJJ?​

My short answer is “no”!​

p.s. Probably another great example of the “calm and precise” approach is Grace Gundrum. Her calmness is on point!