How To Correct White Belt Mistakes
3. Move Those Hips
Nowadays, there are so many versions of the guard it seems as if there are at least two or three new types debuting every year. The best guard players have a few things in common: they utilize a lot of hip movement and use it so they never stay flat on their backs, or at least not for too long. Even with a great closed guard game, you’ve got to be able to move your hips. Using your hips significantly changes the complexity of your guard by allowing you to create angles, get onto your side, or posture up. This mobility is needed to combat the attempts of an individual who is trying to pass because he now has more mobility and free area to work with. When you’re flat on your back there is an increased amount of friction between it and the mat, as compared to your hips. This friction slows down movement dramatically making your guard less dynamic. Not being able to move efficiently in jiu-jitsu is a sure fire way for your opponent to get the better of you.
Show Us Your Moves
A lot of schools perform shrimping (aka snake moving) during warm-ups. Have you ever noticed that you never lie flat on your back while performing this exercise? Try dragging yourself with the heels of your feet, while on your back and you’ll see very quickly how limited your movement is.
4. Don’t focus on just one move
Now that you’re beyond being taken advantage of and fully grasp the concept of position before submission, you will start progressing until you stop yourself. How can you stop your own progress you ask? Well, let’s say you have a go-to move that works well on everybody – that is until it doesn’t. However, you still doggedly pursue this move regardless of all factors during the roll, and in the end, you still don’t get it. Since you are so focused on that one and only move, either your entire game shuts down or you wind up on the bad end of things. Instead of being so focused on executing that one move, try other options. Chances are you will find new openings that you hadn’t previously seen.
“You either win or you learn.” -Rickson Gracie
5. Don’t beat yourself up
I put this last because all too often white belts beat themselves up more than their opposition does. Frustration from a multitude of factors is bound to happen. Making the previously mentioned mistakes, as well as others, where you are either forced to tap, get swept, or are not able to escape, are just a few things that come to mind. Feeling beaten down can make you question yourself as to whether or not you are any good at jiu-jitsu or if you should continue to train. My advice: don’t take it to heart because everyone has to start somewhere and we all progress at different rates. Keenan Cornelius was an unheard of purple belt until he changed his focus and mentality based on his progress and previous mistakes. He sought out better ways of learning, became a force to be reckoned with at the purple and brown ranks, and is now one of the best jiu-jitsu competitors in the world. While you may make mistakes, learn from them and look to improve yourself in some way, shape, or form each day. Ask for help and be okay with constructive criticism. You’re your own problem and solution.