Training Strategy

As a long time fan of boxing (when it was still worth watching), I've heard from time to time that it is not uncommon for some of the greats in history to rarely win a round in sparring/training. Even up to fairly recently, I heard Emanuel Steward (trainer of Kronk gym) make this comment about Lennox Louis, Tommy Hearns, and Ali. This is how boxers experiment with new strategies and usually have to take a licking while they develop it. For example, this approach resulted in Ali's rope a dope.

Anyway, just wondering if a similar approach is used by grapplers. Do the top guys out there focus equally on dealing with worst case scenarios as much as they focus on controlling from different positions? Sorry if this is very basic level question.

I know I have seen some women working out on the machines while we grapple whom I would like to have give me a licking while I work out my new stratagy.


I can understand that although I don't think it's a good thing to have hot women around when guys are rolling. What if somebody's imagination strays too far and they get aroused while they're in your guard or something? I don't think that even the most experienced grapplers in this forum would know how to deal with that. On that note, if that news about Ricco Rodriguez is true then I'm sure every guy he's rolled with has suffered some form of psychological damage.

Fox tells me it's ok to hump him.

Since Marcos got that new job Fox has been impossible to work with.


All the homophobic stuff aside, I know that grappling and boxing are two different fighting sciences altogether. I was just wondering if there were similiarities in the approach to the preparation for competition. I imagine it must be easier for the top guys at any given club to dominate and submit many of their training partners but more of a challenge to let them get the advantageous position and force yourself to work escapes, sweeps, etc. Is this something that is done by the more experienced grapplers out there?

There are certain factors in a competetive environment that cannot be simulated in the training room.


Like getting punched in the face full throttle with 10oz gloves?

You can get punched hard in training, if you want you can put on lil mma gloves and go nuts... the problem arises that many guys in training, if they see their "opponent" (training partner) in trouble, they will not close in and try to KO him hard... normally ones limits are more in competition than training, imo.


I remember the first time Big Bob clipped me a few good ones. Thank God for headgear.

"top guys at any given club to dominate and submit many of their training partners but more of a challenge to let them get the advantageous position and force yourself to work escapes, sweeps, etc. Is this something that is done by the more experienced grapplers out there?"

To become good at grappling, you can't be afraid to put yourself into bad places and work yourself out in practice. And that is not just for the top guys. I'm far from the top, but I do that all the time with the smaller guys and beginners. If you can't do it to them, you are not going to do it in competition. Training is just that - you train everything. You have to leave your ego at the door.

I'm going to be getting into the grappling soon now that the holidays are over. My game plan with the training is to not really go for submissions at first since I don't think it's a realistic goal to walk into some dojo and expect to tap anybody out. I thought a smarter approach would be to not fight for the dominant position as much as use my inexperience to practice escapes since I anticipate being mounted, side mounted, and scarf holded. I figure I'd like to be a better escape artist before setting my mind on developing submission skills. Since my training is based more on self defence rather than tournament training, I think I'd like to find ways to get back to my feet. Not to sound like I'm trivializing the process though. This is why I started this thread, I wanted to see if other people thought on that same wave length.

Mike from CBK gave me some good advice once.

"When you're starting, you don't always want to try to win, you just try not to lose."

...or something like that. He was kicking my ass at the time so I wasn't paying all that much attention.


You haven't told us where you will be training or what city you are in. If you pick a good school, they will guide you. If it is a good bunch of people, they will help you out. Don't be overly worried at how you will do in sparring as that is only a part of your training. You will not be able to "tap" people out right away because you will not know how at first. And don't invent ways to do it. Wait until you have been taught properly. There is nothing worse than a beginner trying to "win" by grabbing at anything they can and giving it a good twist to see what happens.

Learn to relax on the mat and concentrate on learning the basics. It might seem overwhelming at first, but you will learn. Like everything else, it takes practice and time.

I have to admit that so far I have been lucky in that everyone I have had the chance to work with has been awesome and helpful.

I have my sight on joining Kumo Jiujitsu. I got some good feedback about them in another thread. While some people suggested other clubs too, nobody had any major criticism to offer which was my main concern. I plan on going to visit them this month to see for myself and make a decision. Location and training schedule wise they are the most logical choice so even without going there yet, I'm optimistic that I'll likely end up there. I've made the error of experimenting on escaping and wound up injured for a number of months. Not a mistake I care to repeat again. Having said all of that, I do intend on being coachable and orthodox with my training as you suggested. I don't intend on trying to submit people or getting creative with escapes until I have working knowledge of the basics. I've been watching the Pedro Carvalho series in the past few weeks and every now and then he makes a point of saying that if the technique requires a lot of strength then it's not jiujitsu. I guess that ties in with your advice on relaxing on the mat. At this point, I'm just trying to enter with a bit of a game plan and have some realistic short term goals.