6 Things Your Coach Yells at You During Your Match

During tournament matches, and even in rolls in bjj class, your professor will often yell out instructions to you (often in thickly Brazilian accented English). At a tournament in a hotly contested match, the volume of the instructions can cause a flock of birds to fly off a tree three blocks away!

There are common mistakes that students make in bjj matches and here are the most commonly shouted instructions from your bjj coach:

Read also: Advice for New Students on How to Roll

1) “Move your hips! Hip escape! Shrimp!”
What it means: You are probably stuck on the bottom, flat on your back. Your opponent has you controlled in side control and preparing an attack. Your coach wants to execute perhaps the most important move in jiu-jitsu: the hip escape to create space and get back to your guard.
It is useless for you to lay flat on your back carrying your opponent’s weight. It isn’t easy to escape side control, but the first step is to “move your hips!”


2) “Hand DEEP in the collar!”
What it means: The most common problem when a collar choke fails is hand not deep enough in the collar. In fact I say to new students who are learning a cross collar choke from the guard “If you are calling me over to say ‘Professor, my choke isn’t working?’ I don’t even need to come over to see the problem…your first hand is not deep enough!”
If you are playing guard and using a collar grip, the hand must be deep also. With a loose, shallow grip, your opponent has no fear of being choked and can pass without fear of your choke.

3) “Get the underhook!”
What it means: Both in top and bottom positions (especially in half guard) the person dominating the underhook usually has the advantage.
In the case of the half guard: bottom – your coach sees that you are being held flat on your back and controlled. An escape is far more difficult.
In the case of the half guard: top – your coach sees that you are in danger of having your opponent take your back.


4) “Bridge! Bridge!”
What it means: Many times, when fatigued and under duress, trapped under your opponent’s mount, you can fall into the bad habit of laying flat and trying to use your arms to push your opponent away.
Not only are you open to arm locks, but you are neglecting to use the most powerful muscles in your body to escape: your hips!
Nearly every escape from the bottom begins with powerful bridging “upa!!” motions to create space and break your opponent’s top base.

5) “Control the head!”
What it means: You have passed the guard and find yourself in side control. In your excitement to attack with a submission, you have not noticed that your opponent has hip escaped onto their side (see #1) and is on the verge of escaping.
If you don’t stop and put your opponent flat, you will soon be in a scramble and lose your side control position.
Your professor wants you to get your arm under their head (a cross face) and force your opponent back flat on their back.


6) “Posture! Posture!”
What it means: Usually this means that you are inside the closed guard of your opponent and have decided to take a rest by leaning forward.
Your coach sees that you are now vulnerable to chokes, armlocks, sweeps and triangles!
The best defense against those attacks is a proper base and posture in the guard!

Read also: Advice for New Students on How to Roll

What does your coach yell at you during your matches?

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ