Effective Defense vs. Total Defense

defend everything-everything the training partner does is “bad” for you, so everything is wholeheartedly defended. this is the new student, terrified of everything, attempting to slap, yank, punch every grip or knee slide brought to him. Success for them comes as not dying today.

Defending less will expose you to more…help you learn more, takes courage but so did stepping into a dojo.

defend nothing-learned enough to realize that not everything your partner does is immediately dangerous for you, it IS ok for them to have a hand in your collar. i mean, there is now one less hand to prevent your guard pass for example. And if you’re “lucky” they can get their 2nd hand in your collar, occupying that hand as well. This is beautiful, because that leaves them with so much less and you’re ready to rock. But this sucks if those two collar grips are good enough to nap you before your offense is successfully executed.

Defend more, not everything… you must respect every attack, but defend just enough, learn to find how LITTLE you need to defend. This trial and error will come with a ton of “setbacks”, and this changes with each training partner and each isolated attack….but risking this this will free up valuable flanking reserves 🙂

defend enough-defends everything just BARELY enough, sometimes not at all, keeping the majority of his efforts free for offense. They understand that it’s not how WELL defended something is that proves a good defense…it’s how EFFECTIVELY it is defended. How closely they can judge and ride that line of near misses and constant flow, wasting nothing along the way. They know that an impenetrable castle with infinite wall height, no windows and triple moats can never effectively survey the landscape, and that any castle can still be starved out by just an offense’s mere existence. They know that defense, of any kind should be temporary at most.
Effective defense vs. Total defense.


Published by: JonFriedland

Jon Friedland here, finally putting some of my thoughts to type. I've been training well over 23 years, receiving my black belt in 2007. I’m a 16-year dojo owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiujitsu. Started training Jiujitsu casually in early 1995, formally in 1997. Teaching BJJ since 2000, i received my black belt in 2007, opened my academy, Neutral Ground, in 2005, am the head instructor, and am currently a 3rd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer. i can be reached at jon@wisconsinbjj.com

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