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Momentum in grappling - Sphere Martial Arts

Momentum in grappling

Timing, leverage and momentum are three of the most important attributes to acquire in BJJ. They are what allows a smaller person how to defend themselves against a larger adversary.

What most people are used to seeing is the leverage component. If you are watching YouTube clips or people rolling in class and all you are looking at is a certain move or technique then what you are seeing is the leverage.

A sweep from guard is a great example; you can be shown how to correctly apply the sweep by placing your body in a particular position relative to your opponent, and if the leverage is applied correctly then your opponent will be swept.

So here is a common scenario – You spend all night in class learning a couple of sweep variations but then can’t apply it on a training partner when free rolling. You either cannot get the entry or even if you do you just can’t seem to finish it.

This is most likely a result of a failure in timing or not creating enough momentum. Some people might assume that the technique just does not work, or they struggle to understand why everyone else can seem to do it but they can’t.

The following video shows a match between Marcelo Garcia and Rafael Lovato Jr, two of my favourite high level black belt grapplers. This video demonstrates beautifully examples of great technique used with timing and momentum.

There is awesome technique to be seen here with Marcelo’s famous X guard and Rafael’s pressure passing system in play, some deep half guard and delariva guard from the guys too but in this instance try to look past the technique (leverage) and look at the timing and momentum created.

It is very obvious in this video with both players trying hard to create momentum but not give it. And then we they do create momentum their timing is spot on too. Some obvious example can be seen at the following intervals

00:15 Marcelo tries to make Rafael move (momentum attempt)

01:28- 2:56 Marcelo trying to create momentum for the x guard sweep but Rafael does not give much movement and maintains a solid base. At 2:53 Rafael moves his arm too far towards Marcelo and with perfect timing and use of momentum gets the sweep.

03:49 Marcelo tries to pass through the middle and Rafael catches his momentum and with great timing gets the sweep

There is plenty more examples in this 9:00 min long clip but I want you to find them for yourself. Remember, look past the technique and specifically focus on the timing and momentum these two high level black belts are using. It will make you a better grappler for sure and remember to ask your instructor about timing and momentum when he is explaining a technique if he already hasn’t.

Timing, leverage and momentum are three of the most important attributes to acquire in BJJ. They are what allows a smaller person how to defend themselves against a larger adversary.

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