Thread: BJJ progress question
9/18/2013 9:10am, #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
BJJ progress question
Hello and thanks in advance for your time.
I'm a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (doing in for close to 3 about now) so you can know (atleast for a bit) where i am at.
I have a question about progess. I have read Saulo Ribeiro's book University of Jiu-jitsu and what has struck me the most was his anecdote about him fighting Helio Gracie and didn't submit him. He goes on that survival in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the first thing you got to do and then move on the escapes.
Now, eventhough i get my favourite submission (bow and arrow) a lot in training i want to train consciously at my game. I have more of a flow jiu-jitsu style (for as far a blue belt can have a style) because a lot of the guys tend to outmuscle me. I have a "lot of succes" (take this offcourse yet again as talking about blue belt level) with this and just go for their back but when they can stop this flowing (what my coaches tend to do) it gets a bit more hard.
So i thought i focus on defence and then escapes. I set the plan for following the class and during rolling keep practising certain escapes untill they become good (again good blue belt level).
The problem is when i rolled last practise with a insane good blackbelt i talked about me focusing on defence and escapes for now because of my flow style jiu-jitsu. His reply was that people who focus on those areas tend to have a slower progress in jiu-jitsu then others.
So the question now is: will focusing on these aspects of jiu-jitsu really slow my progress. Should i just stfu and train? Wich i probably should do but i want to work on consciously choosing area's off my game and improve them.
Thanks for reading my blue belt blues and i appreciate all help i can get. (Oh, the advice "talk to your coach" isn't really good right now because i did but that was before the other blackbelt said those things and is gonna be a week before i can go to the next training.)
9/18/2013 9:30am, #2
Beating better guys doesn't generally consist of escaping once they put you in bad positions, it consists of efficiently imposing your game on them such that those positions never become an issue.
You also don't want to spend much free rolling time working escapes on purpose, in my opinion, deliberately making the mistakes that put you in those positions becomes a bad habit quite easily. If you want to work escapes, start in the bad position and re-set once you get out.
9/18/2013 10:30am, #3
There is a lot of value in getting caught over and over again by a higher level person...lots to learn.Falling for Judo since 1980
"You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS
9/18/2013 11:14am, #4
I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest you will get plenty of practice with escapes just rolling normally. I don't know if you need to specifically work on them. I like the book your talking about and yes it makes a strong case for having strong escapes. Just roll and work on what comes up when rolling. Just when your in a position to escape go for it instead of giving up (not saying that you do) just make sure your being safe.
10/08/2013 1:17am, #5
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
Hi OP, I'm a purple belt that progressed down this defense line the first 3 years of my bjj, even today i'm still seeking out better guys who put me in bad positions and I work on specific defenses to things I still have trouble with. For me, it was a good road to go down because it made me appreciate techniques more, and I became more patient with positions and more aware of transitions. As such I was able to see weaknesses in other people's transitions and positions because i'm constantly working on taking advantage of those gaps. I don't believe I've hindered my progress at all by working this way.
Having said that though, for the World Championships this year, I drilled specifically for high percentage back control escapes (along with other things obviously), especially when the guy already has a collar grip ready for the bow and arrow as this is the most common sub i can see that gets utilised at my belt and weight. I practiced two variations of the escape and got so good at them that during the prep, no-one at the gym was able to choke me from the back during a live roll.
Fast forward a couple of months, I made it to Rd 3 at the Worlds, I'm leading by 2 points and just shy of the quarterfinals. The guy almost passes my guard, I make a last ditch effort and turtle. However, instead of fighting like hell to avoid the back-take, I semi-let him take it, because I'm so comfortable escaping from the back. 30 seconds later, he's got his 4 points, I've escaped the back and now stuck in 50/50, playing a game he was better at than me, he stalls out for the win and a spot in the quarterfinals.
Moral of the story, drill and practice your defenses because they will save your ass, but be ready to have transitional escapes so you have the right frame of mind and muscle memory to not get caught in the first place.
Again, I don't think learning to defend against good guys is such a bad thing, more mat time will always make you a better grappler.
10/08/2013 12:40pm, #6
I think the answer really depends on how you define being "good" at jits. If you talk to Rener Gracie, he's going to, most likely, tell you that defense is key, and that is the road you should take. If, conversely, you talk to Andre Galvao, he's going to most likely recommend a more offensive attack-centric game. Truth is I don't believe there is 1 right answer.
Rener would look at your match and say you didn't get submitted, and if the round was extended indefinitely your defense could have lead to a win. Galvao would say you lost.
So the answer is a personal one, what are your goals? How do you want to approach it? What makes more sense to you? I am more defensive, personally, but I admit there have been times over the years where my lack of offense has been somewhat of a frustration for me. I tend to see positions, and can often out position people, defend, my guard is hard to pass, but I'm not as dangerous as I'd like to be. It is what is I suppose. I enjoy playing my game, despite moments of frustration.
*disclaimer, my assumptions on the thoughts of Rener vs Galvao are assumptions, based on interviews/Gracie Breakdowns and what not.
Also, I don't really compete, if I did I would probably need to work hard on playing a more attack based game.