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How to be a Wrestler in a BJJ world

Joseph Brett Williams is a wrestler in a BJJ world. Here is his game plan.

BJJ is huge all over the USA, turning average guys in lethal weapons after years of training. It is an an art where small people can hurt the big people. But where does that leave the pure wrestler who wants to still compete? 

I’m not talking about the high school wrestler who got into BJJ and has completely changed his style.  I’m not talking about the guy who knows some MMA wrestling and still fights off of his back. I’m talking about the guys like me, the guys who still hold true certain values that I’ve been taught. Such as: “to be on your back is to punch your ticket to defeat”, a quote from a coach of mine which may seem odd and outlandish in today’s grappling world dominated by jits guys. 


A wrestler in a BJJ world has to compete by their rules and understand they can severely be hurt by submissions. So what can we do to be competitive if we are not inclined to learn BJJ? 

It’s simple, stay true to the fundamentals. 

I’ve competed with many BJJ guys and I am quite competitive with blue to brown belts until I’m in a triangle or something of the sort. 

I do not attempt BJJ submissions: my concept is different. I know it has an effect from what people tell me after our matches: How strong my grip and neck is, how good I am at transferring my hips, how my top pressure is a different level, and last, but definitely not least, how I use my head as a hammer. 

My goal is to suffocate and dominate but never submit. I know I may lose in the end, but I want them to never forget me or what wrestling presents. I’m very confident they won’t see what’s coming and that I bring a whole new element to the table because I don’t train in BJJ. 

I didn’t just watch YouTube videos on how to become a wrestler. I’ve been wrestling a long time and have traveled the east coast training with high level schools, coaches and D1 athletes. I also train in three different disciplines Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco-Roman. 


Along with this pedigree my diet and strength training reflect my ideology, remaining simple. Lifting heavy weights all the time is not going to help you and neither is your banded 7rm overhead press. I recently used a program written by Greg Walsh of Wolf Brigade Gym of Rochester NY that was incredible and a huge part in me winning a wrestling tournament this past weekend. 

Eating pizza and snickers all the time is going to reflect in your performance as well. I stick with a lot of meat, vegetables and milk: nothing exotic or some new fad. It’s truly a lifestyle for me and my students, not just a hobby. Everything we do, we try and make it more profitable for us in wrestling and whatever style of it we are focusing on at that time. 

My love for and commitment to wrestling will always hinder me in BJJ, but the surprise element of my craft will always make up for it.

Joseph Brett Williams Brett is 25 years old and lives in rural NW Florida. A cattle rancher by trade (part time), he compete in multiple sports: mainly Highland games and wrestling. He has been wrestling since he was 15 and has been growing different styles since then.


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