Entries by Dion Mendel

How to begin a roll

Ideally, every roll would start with both opponents standing. Potential collisions with other people rolling nearby make this impractical on a crowded mat. Additionally, takedowns often result in wear and tear on the body. Most gym rolls have an implicit agreement that both opponents will avoid standing at the same time. The naïve compromise is […]

The Right Way(tm)

When we learn a new move in jiu-jitsu, we want to learn it correctly. We want to perform it the right way. A move is a collection of concepts and tradeoffs. There is no right way to always perform a move in the general sense. The specific way to perform a move will depend on […]

Ever thought about why you love/hate the gi?

Gi or no-gi is a polarising question in BJJ circles. Most people have a preference for one or the other. Calling it a preference is a little understated. Religious fervour would be more accurate. The main difference between gi and no-gi is that you can grip the clothing. Essentially, gripping the gi acts as a […]

Safety and Illegal Moves

As a coach, my job is to provide a training environment where people can learn BJJ safely and effectively. But there’s more to it than that. My job is to ensure that they learn how to keep themselves safe while training and competing. These two things are not the same. The most important thing to […]

Why the IBJJF rules can’t be fixed

The majority of BJJ competitions follow the IBJJF ruleset or a variation of it. The objective in a BJJ match is for two competitors to battle to be the first to submit the other. This simple objective sounds like fun for the competitors and promises excitement for the spectators. So why aren’t IBJJF matches like […]

Frames – Half guard notes week 8

Until now, the bottom player has been reacting defensively to the top player’s counters. Even though her goal is an offensive one (gain head position), she has been going about it with a defensive mindset. Her thoughts have been on countering the obstacles that the top player is putting in her path. The top player […]

Review week – Half guard notes week 7

This week was used to review what we’ve covered so far and to ensure we understand what the key points are. Key points: The main objective for the bottom player is to gain dominant head position. Control the centre of mass after obtaining head position. The main objective of the top player is to prevent […]