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Learn To Flow For Success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)

By May 3, 2014 June 27th, 2018 No Comments

I’ll let you in on one of my black belt secrets.

The best BJJ fighters all have one key thing in common. They know how to “Flow”. They’ve got the ability to flow from one technique to the other, almost seamlessly.

The techniques used have been drilled and worked on to the point of auto pilot mode. That means if needed they’d be able to perform a certain skill without even thinking. This is what you should want in your training.

Not just for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but also in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Wrestling, Judo or anything else.

If you’ve ever faced a high level black belt then it might have gone a little like this:

You stop them from using technique A but then all the sudden you’re hit with technique B, and if you by some small chance you stop that move then you’re nailed with technique C. And it just keeps going on and on.

So In order for you to become very good at BJJ, you’ll be needing that technique flow.

Now, I’m sure you can imagine, these skills won’t come overnight.

The best guys out there didn’t become the best in 2 weeks. It takes a bit of time for the process to take place.

Lots of drilling and rolling for many years. Over the course of time your ability to flow will increase and so will your winning percentages.

Speaking of this whole flow thing. For today, let’s do a case study of a guy who’s truly the master. I wish I could say it’s me but that would be a flat out lie.

The man I speak of is none other then the great Marcelo Garcia. Widely considered the pound for pound best BJJ player in the world, gi or nogi.

What makes him so great? He flows like no one else. It’s like watching poetry on a BJJ mat. The all out attacking style he used is just out of this world.

You just get hit with endless techniques, one after the other until you get caught. His movement is amazing and because of this most guys simply can’t keep up.

Take a moment and watch him in butterfly guard. Attack after attack with each movement so smooth and fluid.

He’ll go for a hook sweep and then if it fails he moves right into an arm drag and then he’ll use the arm drag to set up his footlock sweep series. It’s just amazing to watch this guy roll.

The way Garcia drills is what makes him so nasty when it comes to flowing. I myself haven’t worked with Garcia but I’ve got many close friends who have. All say the same thing; he’s a beast.

Pictured here is Marcelo Garcia. One of the greatest BJJ fighters of all time.

Pictured here is Marcelo Garcia. One of the greatest BJJ fighters of all time.

They all talk about #1 how he beats that crap out of them and #2 the way he drills. Lots of drilling and a heck of a lot of live rolling.

So here’s the question of the day; How can you become a master of flowing? Just like Marcelo Garcia.

I could just say drilling sure but I think that might be too black and white. It’s not just drilling, but also how you spend time drilling.

I’ve got some tips for you. If anyone asks be sure to tell them Danny Ives hooked you up!

Here’s how you drill:

Start off drilling a basic armbar from the mount. Drill that maybe a dozen or so times. Then start drilling your paintbrush, also from mount. Right there you have 2 techniques, the armbar or armlock as it’s better known and the paintbrush.Now, to make this a flow series drill by starting with the paintbrush and when your partner counters by reaching with the other arm BAM! You hit the armbar.

Now you’ve got something that flows together.

So, drill like this:

  • 12 armbars from mount
  • 12 paintbrushes from mount
  • 12 paintbrushes to armbar when you get countered using the paintbrush

That’s the type of drilling that’s going to produce results. Trust me, I’m a black belt.

If you’re drilling on your own during something like an open gym then you’d be wise to pick one or two series to drill on.

Try to combine techniques in a way that they can be used in rolling situations.

Well at this point I’m pretty sure I’ve talked enough. Below are some youtube videos showcasing the skills of Marcelo Garcia. Watch them all and learn.

As always if you’ve got questions shoot me over an Email at [email protected]


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