The mythos of 'Black belt techniques'
I'm sure at one time or another all the experienced BJJers on this board have either heard or used the term 'black belt techniques' at one time or another. Hell, when I started learning under a black belt as a lowly white belt, and understood maybe one in five of the techniques he was trying to teach the class, I could buy into it.
Then about nine months later, shortly before I received my blue belt, I finally got my first roll with a fabled black belt. I got tapped repeatedly with basic techniques. None of the fabled, intricate 'black belt techniques' were in evidence. Everything he did to me, I knew of. All of his setups, he had taught to the class at one time or another.
However what differentiated my knowledge of the techniques from my instructor's was:
- the sheer level of control he had over his movements and weight distribution which dwarfed mine
- twelve more years of training and experience of exactly what an opponent can do
- a game that he had made purely his own
And he was holding back. I only found out just how much he did and still does hold back when I watched one of his professional BJJ matches in the Koral Desafio Brazil vs. Japan 2 event, which had been fought at a time when he was recovering from a nasty muscle tear.
Fast forward two years, after a year where I spent four months overseas, training for about three of those, in Brazil and the U.S. I've had the opportunity and privilege to roll with a number of black belts, each with distinctly different games and styles.
Funny thing being, I've seen lower belts use every single one of the techniques that black belts have used to tap me, sweep me or reverse me. From observation, the few constants between the disparate black belts I've had the greatest opportunities to roll with, these being Peter de Been in Melbourne, David Ginsburg in Boston and Giuseppe Schembri in Rio de Janeiro are:
- They all have a distinct, individual game which has been laboured upon for years, and is still evolving
- A great understanding of control and movement, and the knowledge of the small technical tricks that make all the difference when changing position.
- The ability to mentally flow with the game, no matter what it mutates into.
- The ability to innovate, whether it is in small or great technical leaps.
And the funny thing is, those elements can be found among the lower belt ranks, with less in the way of skill in application, of course.
Hence, we can conclude that the level of skill required for a black belt does not include the ability to perform a number of techniques that somehow cannot be performed by lower belts. Rather, it is the ability to apply those techniques in action which surpasses that of lower belt levels in fluency and control.
You know, I've never rolled with a blackbelt. Still rare in some parts.
I still know this is bullshit though, rolling with a brown now versus when I started proves that.
I had the pleasure of attending a Carlos Gracie Jr. seminar. My instructor would ask him simple questions about his personal game, like "How do you attack from mount?" and "How do you attack from closed guard?"
And it was all basic basics.
From closed guard, he liked the kick sweep (they stand, grab ankles, kick down), armbars, collar chokes and pendulum sweep. From open guard, he liked a basic foot on biceps, foot on hip spider guard and baloon sweep (both feet on hips, take them over the top). From mount, he liked the double attack (cross collar choke and armbar in combination).
The "fanciest" trick he did was simply wrap their lapel around their arm from guard, but even that is based on a simple concept of "Cross the arm".
Every time I've started looking into "advanced black belt technqiues", they've turned out to be basics with an interesting twist. Even the notoriously "advanced" x-guard is simple if you understand how hooks work.
Difference between a white belt and a Black Belts.
White has done an armbar a couple of times
Black belt has done it THOUSANDS of times.
That is all.
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!
Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
The level of ability to execute the basics is what seperates an expert from a beginner.
I've rolled with Pedro Sauer and he beat me while telling me what basic submissions he was performing. He told me he was going to armbar me, while setting it up, but I still couldn't stop him or prevent it.
There are certain fancy techniques that you shouldn't teach to new people because they lack the foundations necessary to understand them. That's about it.
For instance: Our school advocates only closed guard for white belts because it gives them a tight game and if they open their guard against someone of equal skill they'll most likely get passed. As a white belt I would use open guards when I had to but it usually meant I was in trouble rather than using them tactically.
I'm jealous. My legs are too short to close my guard.
Thats what my teacher told me the other day.
Originally Posted by LORD ASIA
"The only thing the separates me from you is mat time. Im not using fancy moves to tap you. I'm using basics. Basics are what works."
I can't say it any better than this, so I won't try.
Originally Posted by LORD ASIA
Matt Thorton states on FUNCTIONAL JKD2 " Advanced techniques are the basics done very well."
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