Most beginners tend to neglect this simple but powerful concept:
Before you initiate your offense, ideally you should be in a better position than your opponent.
(Perhaps they just haven’t been taught to assess their situation, though.)
I believe most of you understand this concept without further explanation. It’s simple just like that.
But it might help to explain what it means to be in “a better position than your opponent” because this can mean a variety of different things.
My definition is somewhat loose, but I’d say you’re in a better position than your opponent when you are limiting your opponent’s defensive & offensive options by occupying a certain position that allows you to control your opponent with relatively little effort.
The reason why you can control your opponent with relatively little effort in such a position is often because your weight and body can take care of your opponent’s ability to move around freely.
A couple of questions you could ask yourself would be:
- Do I have more options than my opponent?
- Can I move more easily than my opponent?
If you answer yes to both in a given situation, you are probably in a better position than your opponent… and it’s about time you initiate your offensive moves.
And if you answer no to either of these questions, you should consider working on improving your position.
There’s no reason why you should start attacking when you are in a neutral or inferior position, though you could make things work from a neutral position if you know what you’re doing. In fact, initiating attacks from neutral positions is one of the things you could work on when you are more advanced.
Takedowns. Guard passes. Sweeps from the guard. Submissions. Whatever your attacks may be, make sure to reach a superior position first, through hand/grip fighting and constantly adjusting your position. Don’t try to do a hail mary attack from an inferior position… not from there.
Better positioning will help you create a better setup, and such a setup will improve the success rate of your attack.