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29. BJJ Goals/Targets for 2008 (Update) December 22, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Conceptual BJJ.


Around this time last year I drew up some BJJ goals/targets for the coming 12 months – with a view to attaining as many of them as possible. Now almost a year on I think its important to document where I triumphed, where I came short and also what new goals/targets I’m setting myself for 2009.

So here goes, how did 2008 go for me?

Short Term (Within the first 6 months of 2008)

Develop my ‘taking the back’ and Rear Naked Choke game.

With the help of Stephen Kestings fantastic Youtube tutorial and a close eye on the masterful Marcelo Garcia, I’ve been under some of the best of long distance tutelage. From where my RNC game was a year ago and where it is now, I’m happy with the development although haven’t played it as much during the last 3-4 months. Mainly as I’ve been favouring a transition into side control when on the back or going for gi chokes.

Continue developing my passing game.

Towards the back end of 2007 and early part of 2008, my guard passing was at a level where it didn’t have to develop that much because of the level I was regularly rolling with. Then as we moved onto Factory BJJ I coached a 6 week block of guard work (Spider, butterfly, X, De La Riva etc) and from that and the developmental environment we quickly built, my guard passing had to naturally develop massively as a result. Add to this some clever half guard passing ideas from Darren Currie and some more ideas from Chris Haueter and everyones passing took a quantum leap.

So to the back end of the end of the year and the next jump in the level of guard retention at our club has meant, it’s had to develop even further and so the cycle continues… 🙂

Develop my Upa and escapes game.

As with the guard passing some brilliant early Factory BJJ sessions from Doug on no-gi top control forced me to quickly work on my Upa and escapes. Building on some material that Cecil Birch taught us in 2007, I’ve enjoyed working from a tight underneath game and in recent times employing more of Saulo Ribiero’s ‘Running Escape’ ideas, which is a nice addition.

As for escapes the submission games of everyone at our club has jumped expotentially! Again forcing me to work my escaping game more and more. Add to this a more diverse guard playing game (Things like rubber guard, de la riva etc) has forced me to think more about the way I play.

Set up my own home gym for supplementary training.

I didn’t set up a home gym in 2008 but it wasn’t without earnest intentions. I had some mats, cleared the space and had the gumption to do it. Then when Revolution closed the grappling program and I set up my own gym, the mats, time and effort went into running the club. Having said that I have been supplementing my training with climbing and training when I can at Voodoo, as well as the odd private session.

Medium Term (Within the 6-9 months)

Continue to develop my take-down game and feel comfortable playing it against everyone at the gym.

I do feel more confident on my feet, with my clinch and with my take-downs, but if I’m honest that side of my training has been neglected. This isn’t through apathy, but through the environment we have at our gym. For 75% of the year the mat space was very limited and the the surrounding mirrors, glass and hardwood floor, just made it too difficult to regularly and safely train take-downs and clinch consistently. This is something I’m hoping to rectify in 2009.

Long Term (by the 31.12.2008)

Feel like I have a strong submission game from every position.

This year has been good for my submission development. Early on it was more to do with tweaking my triangle and working my RNC but as the year developed I started to embrace other areas of my submission game. This came in the form of Gi chokes with John Will and David Meyer’s Gi Chokes DVD the culprit of such inclinations. To say it completely transformed my understanding and application of Gi chokes is an understatement.

As well as that I’m also pleased with the improvements on my straight ankle lock game. Doug has revolutionised the way we all play this and has literally transformed the submission into a high percentage and formidable submission.

Towards the back end of the year, my submission game took more of chaining approach, which I really enjoyed and has helped with the fluidty of the submissions I’m playing. I also started playing a lot more mount than I ever have too, this has made for more top triangles and armbars, which has helped me work on this goal.

Achieve the level of Purple stripe 1 by the end of 2008.

I didn’t make Purple stripe 1 but I’m more than happy with not reaching this goal. 2008 has made me feel more and more like a well developed Purple belt and that’s more important than the stripe to me.

On going goals

Use development plans and training diaries to maximise my training experiences.

Not tangible plans or diaries, but blogging and thinking more about my training has helped me maximise my training experiences. Will that improve next year? I think training diaries and plans, aren’t what they used to be for me. Having said that who knows.

Train intelligently during all sessions to get the most out of them and help achieve my targets/goals

Training intelligently is something we all can constantly work on. Whether it’s too much talking in between rolls, tapping a bit later than you should have, getting the most out of your rolling/drilling etc, we’re all capable of doing it. For me this year, I’m really happy with the way I’ve trained. I think more Ginastica Natural, would be an area for development but it terms of the efficiency of an average session at Factory and the way I approach them as an athlete and coach, I’m more than happy.

Continue to develop my Conceptual and Systematic understanding and theories of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It goes without saying really and 2008 has seen me watch more youtube videos, train with more higher level belts, read more books and develop more than ever.

Maintain and improve my web presence as a BJJ athlete/coach.

In terms of hits on ConceptualBJJ.com the middle of the first half of the year weren’t has progressive as I would have liked, but that’s because I wasn’t as frequent with my posting (Sorry guys and girls). Although my exposure with Factory BJJ, becoming associated with Combat Base and more regular posting has seen my web presence improve a lot more than last year. 2008 also saw the someone recognise me, when at a seminar so said ‘Oh you write ConceptualBJJ.com don’t you?’, which was very flattering.

Develop my wrestling game more and integrate it into all aspects of my BJJ game.

With Doug being such a proponent of wrestling his coaching has allowed me to develop my wrestling game more and more throughout the year, to a point where I’m naturally wrestling as a preference to BJJ in various positions. From head and arm control, better sit outs, cradles, turnovers etc, I’m loving integrating more wrestling into my grappling game.


In conclusion, quite a productive year if I’m honest. With everyone at Factory BJJ, Darren and Helen Currie, Chris Haueter and my own expectations pushing more and more this year it’s been near impossible not to develop.

As for 2009, I’m looking forward to more development, so stay tuned for my goals/targets for the coming year.



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