Recap after Grappling Industries, Sydney.

‘You must go the extra distance and apply the hold in such a way that you block the anticipated counters before they occur’.

– John Danaher
> Link to his article on anticipation-

I can’t get enough of it.
I admit it.

Having the opportunity to be surrounded by such positive and friendly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) friends is an awesome feeling – especially when everyone in the gym is in competition mode.

You never leave the gym upset after a great mental and physical workout. You ALWAYS end up learning something new and continuously add extra details to sharpen your personal Jiu Jitsu game. Now I’m no black belt, but here are just a few tips on how I learnt to improve my ground game and some insight to how you should approach training with a mentality of building a foundation of control rather than rushing to secure a submission.

Even if you felt like you didn’t gain anything and have hit a plateau in your training, there is always a way to break the feeling of having hit a concrete wall and being stuck there like a squashed bug – and that is through either jotting down notes before, during or even after class, drilling and applying techniques with set repetitions, and participating in competitions.

Due to losing my first ever competition, rather than using all my strength to pull, push and bully my training partners,  I now, always try to put myself in my most vulnerable positions during training, especially if my opponents are way out of my weight category. I dropped the ego, started paying attention towards bloggingand writing down little details on how to remember particular sequences and it has worked incredibly. I have been complimented and told that my ground game has made a massive improvement, however, still far from perfection – which is totally okay. Progress is good. Progress is addictive.

After my first fight (featured in one of my very first blog posts), I quickly learnt that holding on super tight to the oppositions gi is really not the smartest thing to do, even after being constantly told that I should be conserving my energy. With burnt out forearms and an unsustainable breathing pattern, I lost the fight (to a now great friend!) with a score of 4-0. Danaher has quoted in his ‘Anticipation’ article, that ‘for any given submission hold, there are a few main avenues of escape’. During class, this was my opportunity to make sure that I revise, drill and rep out positions to ensure that there is a low possibility of getting caught off guard, whether I was being forced into a scenario where defense is my priority or, better yet, given a split-second opportunity to attack.

Second fight in Gi.


Signing up for a comp is what keeps me motivated to go the extra mile. It makes me really put in 110% effort during training to ensure that I gain control and a base over my opponent. The thrill of a competition and the adrenaline rush that comes with it allows you to reflect on what you should have been doing during your fights, and what you can drill to improvise for your next time around, even if you end up winning the fight. From my perspective, there is always room for improvement. Do not try to feed your ego and consider yourself the biggest and baddest wolf in town. There is always someone better than you – so try to feed your mind with the idea of progression.

Third fight in Gi.


It’s always a great feeling to win competitions – or at least place on the podium. However, at the end of the day, my primary objective is to constantly learn and better myself as a student.

One for the record!
Second place in Adult Novice 91kg+ Gi division.

// Charles


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