Brazilian Jiu Jitsu...It's all about the hips and grips...
When coaching new BJJ practitioners, it's important for me as an instructor to make sure that at the start of their instruction, I convey some very important details about what will help them be successful in the short term as well as the long term training they undertake in the sport. Besides building a strong technical foundation of the fundamental positions in Jiu Jitsu, I stress the importance of the theory of hips and grips. When as a white belt, you find yourself in a bad position, you can survive against a more experienced opponent with the best grips and proper placement of your hips preventing them from advancing further against you and finishing the fight. When you become more advanced as a practitioner, you will be able to use your hips and grips to set up more complex techniques, sweeps and submissions against strong opponents who get tied up or put in a disadvantageous position due to leverage created from the placement of your hips.
Some of the best fighters I have trained with have either, A.)remarkable hip movement…OR…B.)incredible grips (in terms of positioning or strength) or both. Being advanced in both areas of hips and grips is an advantage that you will have over almost every other jiu jitsu fighter you could face. If you want to improve your game tremendously in a very short period of time, all you need to do is work on those two areas.
Experiment in the gym with trying different grips on the gi and see how it will stifle your opponent’s movement and frustrate them by preventing them from moving. It will also set up all types of sweeps, passes and submissions. With explosive, fluid hips, you will confuse your opponents and prevent them from being able to settle down into a comfortable position to try and advance or control you. Below is a link to an article I wrote for BJJWEEKLY.COM on the Importance of Hips in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Hopefully it will help add some insight to help improve your game!
2011 American National Championships....Black Belt No-Gi Senior 1 Absolute Division