How to Handle Aggressive People on the BJJ Mat?

How to Handle Aggressive People on the BJJ Mat?

1. Aggression in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an aggressive submission grappling combat sport. It uses self-defense techniques to submit your opponent. The fighters use throws and takedowns in a swift manner which makes it look like an aggressive sport.

It is actually a gentle art. Most fighters who transition from wrestling or MMA to BJJ, play offensively. It makes the sport a little dangerous. But this aggression can be used in fights to gain victory over your opponent.

Aggressive fighters play offensively which gives them a dominant position over their opponents. It helps them to apply their techniques before their opponents can even think of their own moves.

Being aggressive in BJJ means that you are playing offensive techniques within the limits and bounds of BJJ. Many fighters use it in a negative way. Too much aggressive behavior is not recommended.

2. How to Handle Aggressive People on the BJJ Mat?

Many fighters have to face aggressive opponents because BJJ is a form of Martial Art and fighters are usually prone to be aggressive. It is sometimes good as an aggressive fighter uses sweeps and takedowns immediately and tries to gain an advantage over his opponent.

While being aggressive many fighters do not care about the safety of the other fighter.

There are different ways to handle aggressive people on the BJJ mat. Because if the fighter is aggressive on the mat during BJJ training, the fighter can talk to the partner and slow him down. But if this situation arises during a BJJ match, the fighter has to tackle the problem himself by using fast sweeps and submissions attacks. 

3. Bring the Aggressive Opponent to a Defensive Position

  • If your opponent is aggressive, he will try to dominate the game by staying on top and keeping you in a defensive position.
  • Being in a defensive position, you will not be able to apply your own techniques.
  • The fighter can apply close guard and submit his opponent.
  • For that purpose, the fighter hooks his legs around the opponent’s waist.
  • The fighter grabs the opponent’s BJJ Gi from the collar and brings his arm into a lock position.
  • The fighter transitions his leg lock from the opponent’s waist to his upper body by keeping his head and other arm in the lock.
  • He then turns one hand of the opponent, hence bringing him into submission which can force the opponent to tap out.
  • The fighter can also submit his aggressive opponent from the closed guard position by locking the opponent’s head by the legs.
  • After that fighter can apply the pressure with his hands on the leg lock and the opponent taps out as his breathing is obstructed in this process.

For more information. You can watch the video.

4. See it as an Opportunity

  • BJJ teaches its fighters self-defense techniques.
  • These self-defense techniques are based on real-life situations.
  • If your opponent is aggressive on the mat, you can see it as an opportunity and learn from that opponent’s techniques and apply the self-defense techniques to defend against the aggressive approach of your opponent.
  • This aggressiveness will help you to make your BJJ game a good one as you will learn how to submit your opponent immediately by using takedowns and sweeps.

5. Do not Leave Your Game Plan

  • An aggressive BJJ opponent can be intimidating to the fighter.
  • Due to the opponent’s aggressiveness, fighters often forget about their own game plan and become defensive.
  • It gives an advantage to the opponent as he gains the freedom to apply his own techniques.
  • A fighter must be strong in his mind to not let the fighter establish his mental superiority.
  • For that purpose, a fighter can practice with aggressive partners in the academy or he can also sharpen his own goals.

6. Be Aggressive

  • If your opponent does not stop being aggressive, you can play the same card by being aggressive.
  • It tells your opponent that he can not play rashly as you can also play offensively.
  • You can match your own aggressiveness with your opponent’s. But be careful because it may lead you to lose your own balance or this can guess you out.
  • Being aggressive to a certain level is acceptable if it does not harm your opponent.

7. Neutralize an Aggressive Opponent

  • To neutralize an aggressive opponent, the fighter must be wise enough to keep his opponent at a certain distance.
  • Neutralizing an aggressive opponent also means stopping him from playing offensively and bringing him down to a defensive position.
  • If the opponent is too close to the fighter, he can easily take down the fighter.
  • To dominate the opponent, the fighter must use long guards to keep his distance from his aggressive opponent.
  • If the opponent gets in your vicinity, you can use the 360 Block extending your lead arm 3 quarters, at an angle of 45 degrees to block him from getting anywhere near you.
  • If you grab the arm of the opponent, he will try to tie you by collar tying. So to prevent that you can go for the inside control of the opponent’s arm.

8. Increase Your Own Speed

  • There are times in a BJJ match when you have to play offensively because the defensive mechanism does not work in every match, especially when you are facing an aggressive opponent.
  • To play offensively, you have to apply takedowns, sweeps, and submissions fast and in an aggressive manner.
  • For that purpose, you must know that you have to play really fast so that your aggressive opponent has no time to decipher your move.
  • You must practice fast sweeps and submissions with your training partners so that if you ever encounter an aggressive opponent, you know how to play effectively.

9. Apply Spider Guard

  • You can apply a spider guard and create pressure on your aggressive opponent by locking him in that position.
  • For that purpose, the fighter applies pressure from the spider guard by pulling the opponent’s sleeve and pushing into his bicep with his foot.
  • But in this position, the opponent can break free from that sleeve grip by simply popping his elbow off.
  • So to prevent that you can keep your one foot on the opponent’s bicep by keeping the same leg straight from the knee. Now your opponent can not move his arm even if he is grabbing your Gi.
  • This double spider guard applies pressure from the push of the leg as well as the pull of the opponent’s sleeve.

For further information, you can watch the video.

10. Apply Submissions

  • You can apply swift submissions to stop your opponent from being aggressive.
  • The fighter has to be very careful in applying submissions because the opponent can turn the situation over by quickly getting out of the submission.
  • You can apply submissions from closed or spider guard.

11. Use Their Own Momentum Against Them

  • Using the aggressive opponent’s own momentum against him throws him off balance.
  • It gives the fighter an advantage because when the opponent is thrown off balance the fighter can apply his own techniques and gain an advantage over his opponent.
  • The fighter can try to escape the opponent’s techniques for a certain time which will exhaust the opponent to the point where he will not be able to successfully execute his moves.
  • This will grant an advantage to the fighter as it will be easy to submit an exhausted opponent rather than an aggressive opponent.
  • Or the fighter can also become aggressive in the application of his techniques.

12. Using X Guard

  • If you are not able to apply spider guard, you can go for the X Guard or even pass the X Guard to submit your aggressive opponent.
  • To apply this guard, the fighter must be on top of his opponent.
  • It usually happens when the opponent is trying to apply X Guard on the fighter.
  • The opponent is on the ground with his back and tries to hook the fighter.
  • The fighter avoids those hooks and stretches that the opponent tries on him.
  • To be able to avoid stretches, the fighter must have a strong base.
  • As the aggressive opponent stretches out the fighter, the fighter folds down the front toes of his opponent.
  • The fighter traps the foot of his opponent and sits back also trapping his hips from any movement.

For more information, you can watch the video.

13. FAQs

13.1. Is Aggression Bad for BJJ?

Aggression in BJJ means the fighter is confident in his skills and is trying to intimidate the opponent with his speed and force. It is not considered a bad quality. But the fighters must not take the aggression to the level where it makes the game an unhealthy one by hurting anyone.

13.2. Does BJJ Help with Aggression?

BJJ helps a lot with aggression. It is said that if you are an aggressive person, BJJ is the best sport for you. It lets your aggression channel in a better way. It makes you humble as the art itself is a gentle one.

13.3. How is BJJ related to Real Life Situations?

BJJ teaches self-defense techniques which are very helpful in real-life scenarios. That is why being aggressive in this sport is not taken as an offense. Rather it shows that the fighter is quite serious about his BJJ game.

14. Conclusion

BJJ is a submission grappling sport. To some extent, It demands aggressiveness because most calm fighters can be seen as aggressive in the execution of their moves. Being aggressive gives you the advantage of the speed and mental superiority over your opponent. It does not mean that a non-aggressive fighter can not be a good one. You can apply different guards to regain the dominant position or you can increase your speed and give no time to your aggressive opponent to play offensively.

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