No matter where you currently are in the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you didn’t turn into the grappler you are overnight. Years of hard work on-and-off the mat had to be logged in order to achieve your goals and successes. With all of that mind, it may be easy to overlook your pitfalls and roadblocks along the way.
It doesn’t matter how good you are now, because in the early stages of your grappling life there was something holding you back—it happens to every single grappler out there.
A common issue that many grapplers face these days is inability to engage on the feet, and get the match to where you want it to be.
Seeing this in many of my students, I knew this was an issue that I wanted to learn more about, and it just so happened that I recently sat down with elite grappler, Justin Rader, to discuss a wide range of topics. You can check out part of the interview below
When the opportunity presented itself, I asked Justin how more novice grapplers—white & blue belts—can improve on their feet and become better grapplers because of it.
“I Know Hundreds of Takedowns!”
Known for his unique grappling style, Rader blends a healthy dose of wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, enough to make him a difficult challenge for anyone that is brave enough to step on the mat with him. With an intense pressure approach, Rader has mastered the stand-up aspect of BJJ, something BJJ players can struggle with.
“First, find someone that can teach takedowns and who has a pretty good idea and understanding,” Rader tells me when I ask him where beginners should start. “Maybe you don’t have a specific wrestling class, but finding someone that knows the game is the first and most important thing. From there, you can take what you’ve learned and find what you like the best.”
Justin was adamant not to let yourself get too boxed in. Once you find something you like, you must be careful not to shut off the world around you. Always be willing to learn and prepare yourself for anything that can be thrown your way!
Rader even admitted that when he enters a match, he’ll use four-to-five takedowns, but he knows hundreds of them!
Surrounding Yourself With Knowledgeable Grapplers & Teachers
Knowing the game is one thing, but always learning is another.
“You should always be analyzing your training,” Justin tells me. This will allow you see where you need improvements, and continue to build.
Rader also stresses having the right team and coaches around you; people that you can turn to that will help analyze your game and give your practical advice. Having a bunch of yes-men around will do you no good!
Simply put, if you surround yourself with the proper people and arm yourself with the proper tools, then grappling on the feet will become an issue stuck in the past. Justin has released a new course which you can check out here and the full review to the course here!