The art of grabbing your opponent’s gi and manipulating it to lead the fight where you want can be, at the start of your contact with BJJ, quite a mystery.
Enter Marcos Schubert, a teacher in Curitiba who, with his knowledge and didactics, is able to clear up the main mistakes people tend to make when making grips.
One of the first ones, and which most undermine the student’s progress, is to grab the cloth in no particular manner, expending muscular strength and energy unnecessarily.
“The grip must be firm, indeed, but it must also be flexible,” he says.
Another common mistake: not using the thumb and index as tweezers while grabbing the enemy gi. Schubert recommends using three fingers glued together in combination with the tweezers. It’s a strong, mobile grip, and one that doesn’t require too much strength.
The third and most common grip mistake is thinking that a firm, flexible grip is only useful in stand-up. The teacher says that it’s precisely on the ground that the grip with the well-positioned fingers can make the biggest difference, as you maneuver between positions.