Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, Brown Belt Pan Am Champion, and Respected Expert on Beating Bigger Opponents. In Addition to Writing for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, and Other Publications, Dan’s Free “Giant Killer” BJJ Videos and Resources can Be Found at www.MicroBJJ.com 
Being Relentlessly Calm
First off, I think this title is pretty amusing. Ok, now down to business.
Let me ask you a question; have you ever been in a sanctioned fight, match, or just an overall hard sparring session? If you have, allow your mind to journey back to that moment in time and remember every little detail about it. Now, is it fresh in your mind? Good. As you hit the play button in your mind be sure to look for the one moment that could have won you, or lost you, that event. Now freeze.
Being In the Eye of the Storm
No matter your preference of sport, everyone who has competed in some fashion has been in a scenario where the adrenalin was flowing and they could have done something horrible. I recall one sparring session I had with a juggernaut (I referred to him as a “mountain of a man.”) He was much larger and stronger, but I was comfortable that my skill levels and comfort zone were much higher than his.
I danced and danced, clearly frustrating him. I would slip a punch, get into the pocket and unload with a few shots, then zip right back out of his range and repeated this sequence over and over. One time he clipped me with a massive right hook. Everything went black for a second, and my legs buckled but I regained composure before anything could happen. He had me on the ropes, and one more good shot would have put me down for the count and I knew it. With this in mind, I kept calm and proceeded with my game plan of keeping my distance and making him come to me.
I like to refer to this as being “relentlessly calm.” No matter what situation is thrown at you, you must clear your mind and understand it could worse if you let the situation control you! I could have panicked and eaten another shot that would’ve sent me straight to la-la land. But my mind, despite being rocked, hit the over ride switch that didn’t allow me to freeze up and made sure I trusted my instinct. I made it out of the round, and even though it wasn’t being scored, I truly feel that I outworked this monster and even got the better of him. (Golf clap, it’s ok. I won’t hold it against you.)
I just got finished watching a Jordon Schultz clip. In most of this specific match, Schultz was working off of his back and seemed to be in trouble. However, he kept his calm and allowed his opponent to do most of the work. When he saw that his opposition had exerted plenty of energy, Schultz locked on a triangle to get the victory. His opponent, Sean Roberts, is NO JOKE to say the least, but Jordan often really embodies a kind of “staying cool” but “being ready” that I think a good guard game really requires.
It should be the golden rule for everyone that is starting out in any kind of combat sport: Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the moment. The fight/match can be finished in seconds, but it doesn’t have to be. Trust your skills and remember to be relentlessly calm!
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