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28. BJJ, Burmuda shorts and puffy shirts December 17, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in BJJ, Conceptual BJJ.
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fas016It’s coming to the end of 2008 and now is a perfect time to reflect on your game over the past year. This can come in many areas, but today I want to talk about the different factions of BJJ that you use whilst rolling.

To gauge such a thing I think it’s worth pondering the question – When you roll what percentage of ‘The game’ do you use?

By that I mean what proportion of the encyclopedia of BJJ do you try and execute during a standard roll? Do you play mainly guard, go for triangles and omo platas and repeat the process? Do you shoot straight to top control and work predominately from there, or do you alternate between playing top game, sometimes play guard, mix it up with some back control, plenty of sweeps, mount and a full range of submissions, transitions and strategies? (more…)

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

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, (more…)

Looking for a BJJ/Grappling club in Stockport/Macclesfield? November 23, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Factory BJJ.
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join us

Although we’ve been open since March it’s only now that we’re opening the doors to the world after a period of: consolidation, re-grouping, re-associating and training on limited mat space.

So if you’re a fan of ConceptualBJJ.com and looking for a BJJ / grappling club in the Stockport / Macclesfield area, then drop on by or get in touch.

Factory BJJ

Class times:

Tuesday – Gi 7.30-9.30pm

Friday – No Gi – 7.30-9.30pm

Saturday – Open Mat 12-2pm (Gi, No Gi or a mix)


Hulleys Gym (AstraZeneca – Gym AZ)

Silk Rd Business Park

Charter Way

Macclesfield (Just outside Stockport)


SK10 2NG

(At the desk say you’re here for the ‘Martial Arts’ class in the studio and they’ll let you through)

Contact us at Info [@] FactoryBJJ.com or phone Adam Adshead on 07910 580 244 for more details.

24. Things I learnt from Chris Haueter – #1 Starting a roll from your knees isn’t as useful as starting it in different positions. November 14, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in BJJ, Chris Haueter, Conceptual BJJ, Inspiration, Things I learnt from:.
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Things I learnt from Chris Haueter – #1 Starting a roll from your knees isn’t as useful as starting it in different positions.

Most grappling clubs start sparring with both people on their knees and whilst this minimises the injuries that sparring on the feet has, I don’t think it’s the most efficient use of limited class time.


I agree that it’s fair and even, but why not start with one person in closed guard, in side control or in back control etc? By doing such a thing you’re in the thick of the action straight away and not dancing around the mulberry bush just to get started.

I think taking such an approach is also a really useful way of building the repetitions of breaking a closed guard, getting out from under side control or keeping on someones back (All fundamental core skills that can never be worked enough).

But you don’t have to stop there you can start from any position.

If for instance you’ve just taught a class on De la Riva guard, how inefficient is it if everyone then starts to roll from their knees? Yes, eventually one person will end up in guard but why not save some time by starting with one person in De la Riva guard? Then if someone progresses to a tap etc, then they end up in De la Riva guard, giving the other person a go. This gives both people a chance to work what has been covered, work opposing sides of the material and is a more efficient use of your time. (more…)

21. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ October 23, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Conceptual BJJ, Inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi.
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Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and after reading that quote attached to a chamomile tea bag, I’ve been interested in how doing such a thing can positively affect the different factions of my life.

In terms of BJJ, I think a useful idea that this quote rouses is the fact that you can set an example and tone that will carry out through the rest of your academy.

If for instance you constantly ramp up the pressure and intensity when you roll, then other people will think it’s acceptable to do the same back. Now, if you’re a coach or senior athlete setting such an example will be magnified – as they say ‘Monkey see, monkey do’.

So if you train at a club where things get a bit too heavy during rolls, then ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ – roll how you want to, don’t be drawn into playing any other way as you’re selling yourself short and only adding to the atmosphere.

I have always been a light, fluid, mobile grappler and I know that by consistently setting such an example, even when I wasn’t a coach, that it helped influence, in some way, the athletes I’ve trained with over the years.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ as I’m sure we could all benefit from being more like a grappling Gandhi.

Adam Adshead

Additional inspiration – John Will

20. ‘Grappling is a rubix cube, the tighter you hold it the harder it is to solve’ October 17, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Inspiration, Thoughts.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of attending a friend of mines grappling for MMA classes so I can tweak and add bits to the already stellar coaching.

Apart from being a lot of fun, it has sparked a lot of thoughts about Conceptual BJJ.

The first thought surrounds the idea of using too much strength when you first start grappling. It’s only natural and although it can be difficult to play against, it’s something that people need to get past before their game will open up and progress beyond a basic level.

So this had me thinking on how I could explain the idea of toning down the strength game for the greater good of your grappling and I came up with this:

‘Grappling is a rubix cube, the tighter you hold it the harder it is to solve’

So if you’re coaching or rolling with people with a tendency to go mini-hulk on you,  rather than tackle grappling with a more intelligent outlook, use this analogy. You all know how complex both grappling and doing a rubix cube is and if you try doing either with white knuckles you’ll struggle to get anywhere close to solving the puzzle.

Spread the gospel.

Adam Adshead

19. The Luck Factor – Principle 1 – Maximise your chance opportunites August 1, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Richard Wiseman, The Luck factor, Video.
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It’s been a long time coming but the first proper installment of The Luck Factor and BJJ is here. Below is the outline on what is covered in the video.

Principle 1: Maximise your chance opportunities.

‘Lucky people create, notice and act upon chance opportunities on and off the mat.’

Sub-Principle 1 – Lucky people build and maintain a strong ‘Network of luck’.

Sub Principle 2 – Lucky people have a relaxed attitude towards life.

Sub-Principle 3 – Lucky people are open to new experiences in their life

*Slight ammendment to the quote in green above from the picture.

Hope you find the video useful, stay tuned for the next one and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Thanks for watching.

18. The Luck Factor and BJJ (An Introduction) May 30, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Off the mat pursuits, Richard Wiseman, The Luck factor, Thoughts, Video.
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It’s been a while…but I’m back from the future with a new mini-series in the form of video articles.

As promised I’m documenting my interpretations of Prof. Richard Wiseman’s – The Luck Factor, with BJJ.

The first video is an introduction before we get down to the nitty gritty.

The next video with be posted online within a few days and subsequent videos on a weekly basis thereafter.

Thanks for sticking around and emailing me berating me to publish more stuff for ConceptualBJJ.com. Remember, without you guys, I’d just keep all this stuff in my head tightly sealed away forever.

Thanks again,

Adam Adshead

The Luck Factor April 5, 2008

Posted by Adam Adshead in Adam Adshead, Conceptual BJJ, Richard Wiseman, The Luck factor.
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I’m Currently reading a fantastic book called The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman.

The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman

I’ve had the book for absolutely ages and have even seen the TV shows but have only just got round to reading it.

Anyway the book shows you how simple behavioural techniques can help you increase your chances of being lucky, now we’re not talking lucky in terms of winning the lottery but things like maximising on chance opportunities and being positive. Although in principle the ideas presented will help you in your everyday life, I see a massive crossover that could be exploited in BJJ. Therefore as I’m reading the book, I will update you all on my findings and the correlation certain principles have in BJJ.

Stay tuned, I’m working on the first article and I think you’ll find it really interesting.

Adam Adshead