5 Important Questions to Ask When Learning a New Move In Class

So your instructor has just showed a new move to the class that has you excited. You can’t wait to drill this and add this to your game. How do you best approach learning the move and getting it successfully into your game?

read also: The Students Who Improve the Fastest…Lesson from an old Kung Fu Master

Here are 5 Important Questions to Ask When Learning a New Move In Class

1) When do a I use this move?

Most techniques in bjj are applicable to specific situations in a roll. For example: the hip bump sweep should be used when the opponent is upright and their weight and energy going AWAY from you. If the opponent has their weight low and head on your chest – the sweep will not likely work.
The right move for the right situation.

2) What should each part of my body be doing?

To make maximum use of all of your leverage you must ask your self “what should each of my hands and legs be doing in this position?”
Where exactly should you be gripping?
Where are you posting your feet to keep balance?
In the guard how should you be making a hook?
Each body part has a job to do!


3) Where should my bodyweight be concentrated?

When you are in any top position, your bodyweight should be ON your opponent. It slows their movement and is a crucial part of controlling an opponent who is trying to escape.
Ex. In side control : when your weight is concentrated on your knees (which are on the mat), it means your opponent is NOT carrying your weight making it easier for them to escape.
Weight distribution is also very important to keep your balance and top and not be reversed.

4) What is the most common mistake beginners make?

Instructors who have demonstrated a technique to hundreds of different students know where the technique’s point of failure is most of the time. Ask your professor what is the most common mistake and the instructor can save you from making the most common mistakes in executing the technique.
At what point does the technique usually fall apart if done incorrectly?
What detail must you pay special attention to?


5) How is my opponent going to try to counter it?

In a perfect world, your technique is so sharp that no opponent can escape. But as the saying goes “no plan of attack survives first contact with the enemy”!
What is your opponent going to do to escape or counter your technique?
How can you overcome their resistance?

read also: Take Note! 3 Methods to Remember Your Techniques

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ