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27. Too much or not enough? December 4, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Inspiration, too much - not enough.
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BJJ is a battle of inches as they say and everyday we all walk the fine line between too much or notClipart enough.

Whether that’s using too much or not enough strength, being over active or under active during a roll, sinking your hooks in too shallow or nice and deep, playing loose and fluid or tight and rigid – the list goes on and on and on.

So what is the right amount of strength to use? How active do I need to be in a roll? How deep should I play my hooks? What is the perfect balance between being loose and fluid and tightly impenetrable?

Well the answer is… very complicated and also different for everyone at their different levels, weights, styles, game-plans, the situation you’re in, the phase of the moon, the brand of deodorant they use and most importantly their dress sense.

I’m sorry to raise your hopes in trying to define and solve the complicated quandary that is the ‘Too much – not enough‘ spectrum but although I haven’t solved it yet, I think conceptually it’s something we can all be thinking about.

So if you think you might be using too much or not enough during training, try to redress the balance for the better. Remember it might not be a technical issue that is stopping you pull off a sweep or guard pass it might just be that you weren’t in the right place on the ‘Too much – not enough’ spectrum.

What inspired this post is a fabulous advert from the good people at Audi (crosses fingers, awaits free car) who have an advert on the different types of grip we all use everyday. It really illustrates the spectrum and as you’ll see it neatly transposes over to BJJ.

Anyway, take a look and make sure this week you consider the spectrum and how it may have helped you pull something off or miss a golden opportunity.

Take care people.

Adam Adshead



1. jiujitsu365 - December 13, 2008

All they had to do was place two guys grappling at the end and it would have still made perfect sense.

Good post.

2. Adam Adshead - December 13, 2008

🙂 That would have been brilliant and I’m sure was in the directors cut of the advert….shame it didn’t make it in. 😦

Thanks for the comment. 🙂

Adam Adshead – ConceptualBJJ.com

3. Brian - December 18, 2008

its seems strength does have its place.. I try to play very loose and let the technique do the work, because I feel that if I apply strength to make the technique work , then its poor technique. The application of perfect technique should be about leverage and timing in my opinion.

I do however get muscled around sometimes, especially by people with wrestling backgrounds that are pressuring down from the top game. That can be very frustrating. So I’m struggling with this very concept….

Adam Adshead - December 19, 2008

Strength does have a place but it’s very complicated…

I think if you’re 13 stone Purple belt and using 80% strength and 20% technique/leverage against a 10 stone white belt, then there is a problem as you’re using too much strength. If on the other hand it’s the other way round (13 stone White belt….and 10 stone Purple) it becomes a lot more excepted and more run of the mill.

I think like you said it comes down to person using the strength and whether they are more:

Art/sport orientated
short or long term orientated

I’m like you:

I feel that if I apply strength to make the technique work , then its poor technique. The application of perfect technique should be about leverage and timing in my opinion.

In the past if I’ve used too much to pass guard (I’m 129lbs) then I’ll throw myself back in guard as it just doesn’t feel right!

It’s tricky isn’t it!? I guess as an athelte it’s all about ‘being the change you want to see in the world’ and being happy with your game and strength usage.

Thanks for commenting Brian, all the best,
Adam Adshead

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