This Is Crucial, But… Not Taught Much?

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In typical BJJ classes, your instructor shows you how to do a specific move step by step.

They probably show you its few variations and/or moves connected to it as well.

It’s easy to structure classes that way, especially when these classes are designed for every level in mind.

When you’re an instructor, you need to make sure that your instructions are detailed enough for advanced students but not too detailed for beginners, as too much information can confuse them.

Also, you’d want to make your classes reasonably entertaining, so your students can get into the tasks you give them as well.

But the thing is…

There is something that’s crucial, but not taught much, probably because:

1) It’s difficult to teach.

2) It’s difficult to learn.

3) It doesn’t sound as exciting as heel hooks or berimbolo.

4) Students have to have a good understanding of BJJ in order to appreciate it.

What I have in mind is…

Hand fighting (or grip fighting).

Hand fighting is essential in many areas of BJJ. Pretty much in every area indeed.

When you pass your opponent’s guard, when you play the guard, when you attack your opponent, when you set up your takedown, and when you escape…

You have to clear and control your opponent’s hands so you can improve your position.

I wish I could teach you some systematic ways to improve your hand fighting skills in each position, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

I’d say that you need to understand your main goal in hand fighting (i.e., what kind of grips you want to get or where you want to place your hands/arms), though. And you need to figure out how you can beat your opponent’s hands with that goal in mind. It takes trials and errors on your part, but this would be my #1 tip.

If you’re more advanced in your BJJ journey, you’re probably already aware of the importance of hand fighting.

If you’re still new to BJJ, just keep in mind that hand fighting is essential and try to pay extra attention to it.