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26. Things I learnt from – Chris Haueter – #3 The goal of sport BJJ is to win and the goal of BJJ as an art is to be as smooth as possible. December 3, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Chris Haueter, Conceptual BJJ.
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Things I learnt from – Chris Haueter #3 -The goal of sport BJJ is to win and the goal of BJJ as an art is to be as smooth as possible.

There is a lot written about training with too much ego, rolling just to win and going too hard, but one thing I’ve never taken into account is an individuals or BJJ clubs thoughts on this statement:

The goal of sport BJJ is to win and the goal of BJJ as an art is to be as smooth as possible.

If you take a second to think about your reasons behind training in relation to the statement, the aforementioned ego levels and ethos to training suddenly become clearer.

Now, I’m not saying you need to choose to be from one camp or the other, but whether you like it or not the way you train can be somewhat derived from being more sport or art orientated.

I think everyone should strive to be as smooth and technically proficient whether rolling or drilling, as although I’m not really into the mysticism of martial arts, I think we all owe it to the art somewhat. Also if you’re fly-wing weight like me, then you need to make sure you’re doing things properly, as against bigger partners – the obvious strength, weight and size difference start to dictate the roll immensely.

Having said that, there are people out there who will be more into winning than being smooth, but is that a bad thing? Some may say yes, others no. There certainly is a time and place for winning, but during developmental rolls, against new people or whilst drilling? Surely not.

I don’t think it boils down to the fact of winning and losing though as it’s no coincidence that if you do everything as smooth and as technical as you can that then you’ll hugely increase your chances of winning.

It’s definitely a point to ponder isn’t it? Is grabbing a few short term taps better than working technically and making your game as smooth as possible for the long term? The tortoise and the hare come to mind instantly, so have a think where you stand and how it might effect your training and those you’re rolling/drilling with, as it does.

All the best!

Adam Adshead

Chris Haueter talking about sport and the art of BJJ



1. Anthony - December 3, 2008

Nice post! I am not completely interested in winning rather I’m more interested in improving my techniques, body movement, and body control. One thing I am working on is my aggression and how that plays into the game of BJJ. I would like to add you to my blogroll.

2. Adam Adshead - December 4, 2008

Thanks Anthony. 🙂

I also prefer to focus on other things than just winning, I think in the long run it just makes you a better grappler and a better coach.

Some might say that you need sweeps, control, body mechanics etc to win, but I think that some people can fall into using a limited set of moves against everyone just to get taps, rather than working on their weak areas or the smoothness and productivity of their game.

I think Dean Lister said it best – ‘The more you tap, the more you learn’. I mean what is the person using the same transistion to submission for the 764 millionth time learning? Probably not a lot now, but the tapper is the one who learns the most at that stage.

Things become different once you’ve been training for like 12 years but for most having such a perspective can be restrictive to your development and the development of others, especially if you’ve not mastered the basics.

Adam Adshead

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