Championship BJJ Strategy on display: Tainan Dalpra vs Jansen Gomes
Hey folks! The 2023 BJJ World Championships have just concluded, and let me tell you, it was a spectacle filled with mind-blowing matches, awe-inspiring performances, and groundbreaking moments.
Dalpra and Gomes have been entangled in fierce battles since their early days as colored belt practitioners. With Dalpra riding a wave of success, many expected him to dominate this encounter and were for the most part looking towards a match up vs Kade Rutolo as he registered with the direct goal of defeating the unbeaten @ black belt phenom Tainan Dapra.
Things went a lot different than many people planned
However, I won’t simply regurgitate a blow-by-blow account of the match. Instead, let’s take this opportunity to explore a concept that i try to stress in class that often turns into a joke.
Avoidance > Resistance | An Essential Tenet of BJJ & Grappling
When it comes to defense, whether we’re discussing grappling, BJJ, or MMA, the most valuable advice I can offer is to avoid being in the tough situations.
Yes i know it sounds cheeky when someone asks, “How can I escape this crazy submission hold?” But it’s an honest truth.
Now, let’s momentarily set aside the specific techniques and shift our focus to Gomes’ strategic approach in this match. Sure, I’ve heard grumbles about the pace of the contest and complaints about training in kimonos being slow and boring compared to the recently very popular no gi / submission wrestling circuit, but for me its was great and the major takeaway here is how Gomes skillfully evaded Dalpra’s strongest positions instead if trying to counter or resist while in to deep. the art of Jiu-jitsu at the very best
Outmaneuvering Your Opponent: The Battle for Dominant Position
You see, at the highest echelons of competition, the real struggle lies in securing advantageous positions long before executing the final move. We all know that Dalpra is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the X-guard and single leg X-guard from the bottom, right? However, Gomes approached him with innovative methods to avoid is key grips and other cases really focus on breaking them to avoid falling into Dalpra’s comfort zones. In particular the pant leg grip as highlighted in this video.
High level Video breakdown of the technical aspects of the match
This calculated approach seemed to knock the wind out of Dalpra’s sails, as Gomes even came close to securing his back and passing his guard.
Remarkably, Gomes remained largely unthreatened throughout the entire match! This level of strategic thinking is precisely what elite competitors employ when facing a rival who matches their skill, its rarely what i call “1 – way traffic”
while it can and does happen you are far better as a student of the martial arts to take the lesson on display here and add it to your tool-kit
For Martial arts The Key Takeaway: Proactive over Reactive
Undoubtedly, there’s always a risk of falling victim to an attack or position you are unfamiliar with but at the highest level, the real essence lies in the “avoidance” mindset. The fight the untrained eye us watching is actually the result of decisions made several steps earlier.
Elite Jiu-Jitsu skill = training to see the bigger picture
Whether it’s an armbar or a choke, if you find yourself already folded up, you likely made a mistake a few steps back and yes you can resist and escape/survive but that counts on on either your opponent’s mistake or your own determination to see you through. As a competitor you’ve got to do what you have to do but as a daily student of the art or a practitioner new to bjj, take the time to train yourself on the fine art of thinking several steps ahead to setup and shut down the sequences that make jujutsu the powerful art that it can be.