Some Observations About a Local Comp Last Sunday

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I was at a regional ADCC-ruleset competition last Sunday to support my teammates.

If I’m not mistaken, there were about 350 competitors from countries nearby Serbia. They only used three competition areas instead of four, and by the time we left the venue, it was 11:20 PM. So… it was a long day.

Since there was nothing much to do apart from watching matches when I wasn’t cheering my people, I ended up watching heaps of beginners competing against each other.

Some of them looked pretty suspicious with regard to their “beginner” status, though.

They may be genuinely great, but I suppose some of them may have some decent wrestling or Judo background, which can help quite a bit in this ADCC ruleset, especially in the beginner’s category.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the ADCC ruleset, the regulation time of a match is divided into two periods: the period during which no scores will be given and the period during which scores will be given.

For beginners, the former period lasts 2 minutes, and then the latter period lasts 3 minutes. Also, during the latter period, you get penalized for pulling the guard.

I’m sure this setup is intended to encourage competitors to go at it against each other from the beginning. Still, in reality, many people pretend to wrestle for 1 minute and 45 seconds, and then they finally start working on something right before/after the no-score period is over.

But the thing is, while I saw this behavior in the advanced category, I feel it happened way less among advanced competitors. If they want to pull the guard, they do it right away during the no-score period.

I’m inclined to think this is because they know what they want to do, what they are doing, and how to achieve what they want to do.

On the other hand, beginners who are new to competition often don’t have a clear plan. And even if they know what they want to do (e.g., “I will try to go for a sweep from the butterfly guard!”, “The closed guard is my best position… so I will go for triangle from there!”), their plan tends to be incomplete.

It’s great you have a good butterfly guard sweep. Now, how do you get to the butterfly guard position?

Umm, well…

So, the thing is…

You must have a clear plan from the opening to the end, and you must execute it with discipline.

To tell you the truth, though, my plan throughout my non-black belt career was something like this:

  1. Pull the guard
  2. Be in a position where I can set up triangle choke
  3. Submit the opponent with triangle choke

Of course, I could get taken down or be in a bad position, but in those cases, I’d simply focus on escaping and working on #2. And once I established such a position, I’d work relentlessly on #3.

It’s ridiculously simple, and it worked well for me.

If you don’t have a specific game plan, start working on creating it. And once you have some plan, start executing it during your sparring rounds.

Again, keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be super complicated.

Start small and then expand it over time.