That was a bit of wisdom told to me by my first instructor – and it’s the dead serious truth. This is my Super-Fight match against Danillo Cherman, BJJ Black Belt, a little while after getting my Purple Belt. It was “one of those matches” where I felt GREAT starting off, then made one dumb error and lost.
Today, the goal is to learn from it…
I came out with guns blazing, and ended up right in the 50-50 and another host of great leg lock positions, but then I ended up in a variation of the 50-50 and just kind of froze up. I started “thinking,” and not acting, and I took him off the defensive for just a few seconds.
That was enough to get me heel hooked. Clearly, my heel hook defense skills didn’t kick in when they should have (this was nearly 2 years ago when my skills weren’t as sharp as they are now, but still).
Since then, I’ve broken down this EXACT heel hook position and figured out how I would beat it if I ever ended up there again, but in that moment I had no gameplan for that position, no clear plan of attack for that ONE position, and it cost me the match.
If you have a “game” or position you use a lot, you’d better know every darn variation of that position.
If you like the De La Riva, you’d better be able to navigate it well, because that ONE hole in your game creates ONE pause, and ONE too many opportunities for your opponent to win.
Take this message and run with it – do you have any positions Right Now that you know need rounding out?
Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
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