Wrestling Singlet to Jiu Jitsu Gi
BY: JOHN MARSH
Wrestling is a sport of gaining control, scoring points, and pinning your opponent to win. Being on your back is the worst position you can find yourself. Needless to say we train relentlessly to keep our opponent there and even harder to get off our backs. We are known for our strong grips, big necks, and explosive power. What can be so hard about Jiu Jitsu?
What you learn very quickly is that Jiu Jitsu is the equal and opposite of wrestling and many of our strengths become our weakness. They too gain control and score points to win matches, however, they do not pin opponents; they submit opponents with chokes and joint-locks. They like being on their back, it’s called “pulling guard!” and because you do not pin in Jiu Jitsu once we get our takedown, what do we do?”
Wrestlers usually start out in No-Gi, it’s most comparable to wrestling. We dominate on our feet but leave ourselves exposed. Our big strong necks become an easy target for simple submissions, most noted for, guillotines, and leg triangles. We pressure forward and cross arms falling into these traps because in our world that’s what you need to win. We fight off our back and belly out, exposing the wonderful rear naked choke. It takes us probably 100 times of getting caught before we are no longer stubborn and start to adjust our finishes to not get caught. Lets not forget we cross our feet when we have back control, and yet again, we fall into another trap! After a few month we adjust all of that, but Jiu Jitsu has 2 styles, No-Gi and Gi. What the heck is a Gi? That’s a Karate Uniform right?!
To a wrestler that’s nonsense, we want to grab your wrists, arms, neck, legs. Not your clothes! There is a big difference from grabbing wrists and ankles to holding onto a Gi, it’s a different kind of grip strength. Normal movements or scrabbles to gain position get stopped before they even begin. What’s wrong!?… Ooh Yeah! They can hold my Gi! It can be very frustrating and different for a wrestler to make the adjustment.
I have been training regularly in Jiu Jitsu and have come along way! I even train Gi now even though I swore against it! I even ENJOY it! I have learned to trust the system! It is true what they say, that training Gi will make your no-gi better! I still have a way to go to be where I want to be but I wanted to share a little perspective of what most wrestlers will experience when transitioning to Jiu Jitsu!
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