When to start sparring standing?

When does it make sense to start sparring from standup or even train just standup (takedowns and clinchwork)? I let my beginners start sparring from the knees because a) it's pretty common to do so in the BJJ world and b) to minimize the chance of injuries and c) because I don't really have any insurance thingy going in my club so I don't want to have to pay someone a bunch of money because of an injury (I'm not rich enough yet).

I know that some clubs start sparring from standup right away for beginners, but some don't. I can sense that some of my students are anxious to try training this way and I don't want to lose them from my club. But I want to do the "right" thing as far as making myself and my students good grapplers.

What's your opinions on this?



Start from the beginning... Just make sure they learn to take a fall.

Right, start as soon as possible, after few weeks of breakfall practice. Probably the most common injury is to the hand/wrist/arm when people stick their hand out to catch themselves when they are falling. You need to make it very clear not to do that.

When I was doing TKD, every time we would practice their version of osoto gari, the instructor would mention how a student put his hand out to catch his fall, and his elbow burst through his skin, and all kinds of nasty shit like that.


My advice is to make sure everyone who intends to spar standing, is very well versed in breakfalls, i cant emphasize that enough. People WILL get hurt during standing sparring. Especially beginners, Beginners will go ape shit trying to throw one another, legs will get tangled..knees....you know how it goes. Id just highly recommend good instruction for the takedowns, and make sure breakfalling is second nature to them. Also make sure they go at like 50-60% just like when you roll from the knees.

Tell the students to start standing, and to only play at like 50% if one of them gets into good position for a takedown/throw, tell them to let their partner have the takedown/throw. that way, there partner learns how to control the takedown/throw, and they learn to take the fall. Then you can just increase the intesity until everyone is more experienced and they can just bomb each other around :-)

Jonpall, this is super risky unless you have insurance and are a good judo/wrestling instructor.

It's OK to teach the throws and takedowns against a non-resisting partner - the breakfalls will prevent most injuries.

When you have two "beginners" trying to take each other down and one perform the throw arseways and someone lands on someone else's knee ... *shudders*.

Standup is 20x more risky than ground grappling (especially when the ground grappling stays away from neck cracks and heel hooks until later in training).

When they can grab the pebble from your hand Grasshopper.

Honestly, I never understood the whole 'hurt while standing up' thing. I've seen people hurt more often from ground work than from anything else.

Now, that being said, right now I'm sidelined from getting dumped on my shoulder. But that injury initially started because I was showing the defense to the Arm Triangle and my friend caught the point of his elbow against my collar-bone and shoulder blade, I was out of training for almost a year from that.

Just stick with the basics, and make sure that they finish the throw properly and with the right amount of speed and control. Honestly, I've dumped people harder when I've tried to show a throw too slow rather than at the proper speed.

Honestly, I never understood the whole 'hurt while standing up' thing. I've seen people hurt more often from ground work than from anything else.Well, different experiences obviously.... If you think about it, most people can feel a choke starting to work or an armlock being applied so they have time to tap. On the other hand, throws are an abrupt and sudden impact. You are either in a good position (breakfall) or not...there isn't time to adjust.

Paw: It's not from armlocks or such that injuries occur, it's pulling things when trying to escape, or switching positions, or posting a hand wrong when trying to pass or getting something strained when you are stacked.

Heel hooks aside, stand up seems to destroy knees faster than anything else.

Train carefully, step by step, and where pads/braces where/when necessary.

Rene.r It destroys knees over time, just like working the guard messed up one's lower back.

As long as people have knee pads and shoes, there are few injuries doing takedowns, over the last 2 years or so, the only injuries I've seen are messed up toes (no shoes) or impact bruises on knees (no kneepads) Or people hitting walls.

And almost every session, we've done heavy standup training, in fact, many times we work man in the middle just to the takedown.

I do very little of it because I don't fight standing up. I'll jump open or closed guard. For guys like me it's not that important. You won't to have the feeling of standing up and not have a blank come over your mind the first time you face someone standing.