Wrestling is a great part of grappling. Let’s face it, a person with a background in wrestling will usually be aggressive, physically tough, mentally durable and have good balance. If you are a Jiu Jitsu beginner or even veteran you may have a very difficult time dealing with one. Below are 3 strategies for dealing with wrestlers in Jiu Jitsu. Of course when a wrestler also becomes proficient in Jiu Jitsu then that is a new article altogether.
- Do less. If you are sparring winning is not always the immediate goal. Learning is the goal. So simply survive. Often an aggressive wrestler will pass the guard well. Rather than fight it let them have position. Watch and analyze what they do and just stay calm. Eventually they may tire or make a mistake so keep your body in good position with your limbs close to your body and see how things pan out while staying safe. Find their bad habits. Often times a person in a hurry will make calculable errors so just be patient. If you can’t match the aggression why risk injury by trying. One more thing… Yes, it’s okay to tap. It doesn’t mean Jiu Jitsu doesn’t work. We are all at different stages of our development.
- Hold or block them in solid positions. If you have a good mount then stabilize the position. If you have a good quarter, half or closed guard then control and hold them in this position – slow them down. The goal is to get them to tire or make mistakes while you are safe. Even if you are mounted your goal is to be in control of yourself and know where your opponent is.
- Learn from them. See what attributes they bring to the table you can learn from. For example, sometimes wrestlers have great scrambling ability. See what works for them against you and implement it into your own game or understand how to counter it with your Jiu Jitsu.
Have fun. Wrestling is a great sport and so is Jiu Jitsu. A Jiu Jitsu practitioner should welcome all grappling modalities so they can gain skill and understand how to deal with different backgrounds. Don’t worry about getting smashed. It’s hard to get “smashed” when you are relaxed and actively allowing people to work their game.