As covered before, improving in Brazilian Jiu jutsu takes dedication and hard work. For beginners, adopting the correct mindset towards body position plays a particularly important role in reaching the next level. The way practitioners conceptualize BJJ changes as time progresses and they amass experience. After creating a solid foundation of the basic positions, most grapplers naturally begin assuming a more advanced mindset towards grappling. By actively embracing the mindset of an experienced practitioner towards body positioning , the overall grappling level can increase exponentially.
Beginner Level practitioners. The human mind naturally attempts to create order from chaos. When confronted with the bewildering array of body positions, holds, and movements available to grapplers, beginners ignore the vast majority of possibilities and focus and the most basic ones, like mount, side control, back-take, and full guard. Eventually, other positions become normalized and assimilated into the practitioner’s arsenal, like half-guard, quarter-guard, and turtle. The process continues and the practitioner uses movements and holds to switch between two known positions. While it’s still possible to improve, a mindset that only thinks of submissions based on position creates a limited range of attacks.
Advanced practitioners. More advanced practitioners use the basic positions as a reliable fallbacks, but freely adapt their position based on available options. Instead of anchoring themselves to a single place and struggling to retain it, practitioners flow from one half-formed position to another. The willingness to explore more fluid movement patterns, like the many variations of open guard that require constant adjustments, means the BJJ practitioner is capitalizing on the innumerable, undefined body positions that humans are cable of. By conceptualizing BJJ in terms of constant movement instead of static holds, the practitioners adaptability increases dramatically. Of course, the larger number of positions known to advanced practitioners helps orient the grappler and inform his choice of movements.
Knowing how mindset in grappling matures over time allows BJJ practitioners to look for, and understand, advanced approaches to rolling. With practice, beginners can then widen the scope and depth of their own game. Foundation remains important and practitioners must train the basics properly before attempting to embrace higher level positions. When ready, however, adopting the more well-rounded and advanced stance towards positions will help BJJ practitioners reach new levels in their grappling. What mindset gave you a breakthrough? Let me know in the comments!