Skill + Preparation + Right Mind Set = Success. Pt. 3

Coach’s Corner w/ Coach Chris Herzog




In the first two installments of the Coach’s Corner we took a look “Preparation” and the role it plays in the “Equation for Succes”. Moving forward were going to cover “Skill”, and how it should be integrated into your training camp.

Skill training for competition is going to be different then general skill training and development. During our 3-6 week training camp we are going to be narrowing are focus to two areas: generic responses and specific attacks.

Generic Responses:
This drill training will be centralized around defending common attacks; armbars, triangles, guillotines, mount, side control, etc. This is about economy of time. Spend this time doing repetitions of defenses and escapes to basic and high percentage scoring techniques, that ones that win the most. Worrying and focusing time on techniques that you may not be exposed to is poor use of your time, that can be better spent drilling escapes to techniques that are likely to happen. There is a time and place to practice defenses to flying armbars and rolling leglocks but drilling them during a training camp is a wasteful use of precious time.

Specific attacks:
This is the main reason I started with the preparation installment first, because development of strategy based on a events rules and how we score points will help formulate changes and tweaks to our personal attacking systems. Your PAS (personal attacking system) can be heavily influenced by numerous factors: your instructors teachings, your body type, strength, flexibility, etc. An example: you have your opponent in side control, ones PAS may have him transition to mount, another attempting a kimura or far side armbar, or even another transitioning to twister side control hunting to finish with a Twister. (Note: development of your PAS should be done during your on going training not during a training camp. However adjustments should be made based on individual rule sets.)

The drill training of your PAS should not only include the techniques themselves but the transitions that get your there. If your PAS includes systematic dissecting of your opponent by using Rubber Guard you not only need to drill your RG attacks, but how we get there, and what we do if we get shut down. This goes back to our strategic game planning. Pulling guard may not be an option if we loose points in doing so. However this is were we implement drilling training formulated based on our strategic game plan and our PAS. Remember our reference to Demian Maia shooting and pulling 1/2 guard in the previous installment. This is how we add transitions to our PAS based on the influence of a scoring system.

Whether your drill training your Generic Responses or your Specific Attacks make sure you pay attention to detail. Repetition of poorly drilled techniques will result in poor execution. Gradually increase resistance while drill training, if you can’t execute a technique against a partially resistant partner you can forget successfully applying it against a fully resistant opponent. To quote Eddie Bravo “the difference between most purple belts and black belts is numbers”. Putting in the numbers (reps) will revile itself when it matters most, on the competition mat

Coming Soon:

Right Mind Set and the part it plays in the competitor’s equation for Success. 


Chris Herzog Is a Brown Belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, under Eddie Bravo. Chris runs 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Rochester out of Empire Academy of Comabt Sports & Fitness in Rochester, Ny. Chris also teaches Judo, Sambo and MMA. He is available for seminars and be contacted through the Academy website at: or by e-mail:

9 Responses to “Skill + Preparation + Right Mind Set = Success. Pt. 3”

  1. Erik Wahlberg says:

    Thanks for your time with this, coach!

  2. Chris Urbanski says:

    All about the reps and doing reps with correct technique!

    Thanks again Coach.

  3. Brontis says:

    Love what you have to say here coach. Thanks!

  4. Jason Hyatt says:

    Great advice as always coach! I know that was a big “aha!” moment for me when I first learned just how important transitions and the PIT/TIP approach were from you. Thanks again and keep ‘em coming!

  5. Sako says:

    Good Stuff!

  6. Chris Herzog says:

    For those that don’t know:

    P.I.T. : For attacking (Position, Isolation, Technique):
    Basic conception of Position before Submission.

    T.I.P.: For Defenses/Escapes (stop the technique/submission, remove the isolation, then escape position).