Takedown or guard pull?

Recently I've been working on my takedown game. I come from an old school gym, where wrestling class was ran by the MMA coach. The class was known to be brutal, exhausting work. I only went a couple of times and nearly threw up. The matted area was also quite small, so when it came to No-Gi classes there simply wasn't the room to start the rounds standing up.


Wrestling, Grappling, UFC, MMA
Khabib throwing Able Trujillo through the air

This led to me fearing stand up when it came to competitions. I'd cautiously pull guard, and every time I did a little piece of my soul left me. I hated that feeling of competing and not feeling competent stood up. However, one advantage was that my guard game became good, quickly. For many years I was more than comfortable off my back, sweeping, submitting, regaining guard etc.


bjj competition
Pull guard, and lose. Just like I did.

Fast forward several years my team moved to a beautiful custom built gym with a huge mat space, meaning we can not only drill takedowns in class without fear of landing on other people, the wrestling focuses on technique. The classes are still very hard work but they don't feel like a brutal conditioning session. With the extended space, the majority of my rolls can start standing and I feel like I can experiment with my wrestling. This opened up my appreciation for grappling to a whole new level, and I'm no longer scared of being taken down, or to shoot on someone during competitive rolls.


Bjj gym
Stealth Teesside, our custom BJJ facility

Although, my guard game has suffered (or my team mates have gotten wise to it), so I guess I'll have to begin starting some rounds on my back again.


What's your go-to? Guard Pull or 2 point takedown crew?



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