Featured photo: Roger Gracie teaching his famous choke from Mount during a seminar – a great picture of the students at Rilion Gracie’s academy – the academy looks like a lovely place to train.
Of all the things that have made a big difference to my performance when sparring, I would have to say that posture and hip movement are without question – the most important breakthroughs.
Rickson Gracie is one of the genuine legends of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and whenever I have found interviews on him on the Internet, or articles in magazines, I have read them thoroughly with great seriousness and interest. I have read several times that Rickson Gracie thinks that of all the things that make a difference, good posture is the big one.
Good posture when you are in someone’s Guard is paramount. In my opinion, there is no point in trying to break someone’s Guard open until you have managed to sit with good posture. I believe posture is so important I constantly test my posture under conditions of complete resistance with a training partner. I sit with good alignment and simply ask the person underneath to break my posture – I want to feel the pressure and learn to readjust myself according to where force is being exerted from below. I want that person to hammer me with submission attempts, too. I not only want to learn and practice, I want to take my confidence as far as I can, as well.
When you start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it can feel as if you are constantly fighting for survival when you are in someone’s Guard and they are aggressively looking for submissions. I distinctly remember my first few training sessions in Brazil in January 2007 and I honestly lost count of the number of times I was submitted. Humbling to say the least.
Good posture is not only the platform for advancement when in guard – it also keeps you safe from submission attempts. My first defence against Guillotines, Triangles, Arm Bars and collar chokes, is good, strong posture.
I have listed seven things on this website under ‘accelerate your training’, that have made a big difference to my game and every one of the principles or concepts I have listed is highly important in terms of overall, what has made the biggest difference to me. Some arrived early on within the first year or two – some later, it’s all a journey. Things that come easily in life are not as satisfying as things you have to work hard for. I have had my posture broken hundreds of times which has often led to a fight for survival – it’s the hundreds of times I’ve had my posture broken that has made learning the changes necessary to keep posture, so rewarding.