Thread: Fundamental Fives
7/06/2006 9:05am, #1
In a recent thread I presented one of the "Fundamental Five" that SBG teaches and there was interest in the others. Thornton also refers to them and guard surfing (which I'll explain later) in several articles (such as Coaching, the SBG Way), so it is worth explaining them so you can fully understand what he means.
The Fundamentals Five (Fun 5) are sets of five principles that apply to a particular part of BJJ, regardless of specific techniques or personal style. What I mean by this is that no matter what particular techniques a person likes to do, how they like to grip, how aggressive, passive, fast, slow, heavy or light they like to go, these fundamentals will apply to their game.
Focusing on core fundamentals like this opens up a whole new range of potential for the student and coach. The coach can teach the Fun 5 to a class and improve each student's personal game without necessarily making them do specific techniques. At the same time, the student gains a more fundamental understanding of the delivery system as they develop their personal style.
For example, some schools tend to teach certain aspects in a signature way: one will does nothing but standing guard passes, another always passes from knees. One teaches side control one way, another does a different way. These preferences often match those of the coach's game, which influences what he teaches.
Contrast this against how Thornton teaches the Fun 5 of Passing (explained below). Experienced guys like purple belts will come to him for help on passing guard and ask for some new guard passes. He'll admit that they probably know more passes than he does, since he sticks to a relatively few basic ones, and he can't promise that the way he passes is the way they should pass, since he feels guard passing is a very personalized thing. Instead he'll have them take their favorite guard pass and he runs them through the Fun 5 on it. In this way, the student gains a more fundamental understanding of guard passing while also improving his existing knowledge as well as further developing his personal style. Now imagine that applied to a group, like a class or seminar. These same five fundamentals are taught, but everyone in the room is drilling them with a guard pass of their choosing. I personally find that amazing.
Here are simple versions of the Fun 5. I may explain each further if there is interest, but you'll have to show me some real love first.
Fun 5 of Escapes (More details here.)1. Hip and Hunchback - turn on one hip, roll your shoulders.Fun 5 of Passing
2. Arms between you and your opponent.
3. Look and Feel - know how you are pinned.
4. 90/10 - Make space: 90% hips, 10% arms.
5. Escapes - return to guard, go to knees or roll them.1. Open the legs.Fun 5 of Top Game
2. Control the legs.
3. Control the hips.
4. Lock in the upper body.
5. Complete the pass - land your hips.1. Block out the guard.
2. Lock in the upper body.
3. Kill the near side arm.
4. Control the far side arm.
5. Transitions - moving to other positions.
Last edited by Aesopian; 7/06/2006 3:55pm at .
7/06/2006 10:36am, #2
7/06/2006 10:45am, #3
Makes sense. I guess I've been taught this already, it's never just been put in words before.
7/06/2006 10:48am, #4
A lot of what SBG does, and part of the reason they don't get credit for their work, is because they just take what "everybody knows" and find better ways to teach it.
7/06/2006 10:56am, #5
They've very good at that.
7/06/2006 11:20am, #6
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7/06/2006 11:27am, #7
I want to highlight a section of Coaching, The SBG Way that explains why the Fun 5 were developed and why the steps occur in a specific order:
Regardless of what it is we are coaching at the time, I believe we can break it down into three additional areas:
- The core fundamentals of the skill set we are working.
- The natural order in which those fundamentals arise.
- Why those things are the fundamentals, and arise in that order naturally.
This is important for a number of reasons.
First, it is the best possible way to enhance the performance of an athlete. But secondly, and just as important, it allows the athlete to develop his or her own "style".
As an example, if I spend a class teaching how I personally pass the guard, it may be useful for a few athlete who play a game similar to mine, but it won’t affect all athletes in the room, as some may play a very different type of passing game.
However, if I focus on teaching the core principles of all guard passes, as an example the five point passing game and the guard surfing drill, then I pass along the core fundamentals that will affect the games of everybody in that room, while at the same time creating an environment where each athlete is free to express their own personal "style". This relates back to the difference between "style" and "delivery system" which we discussed in the Aliveness Q&A.
Second is the "natural" order in which these core fundamentals arise, and I place emphasis on the word natural here. I believe that training these fundamentals in the proper order can be just as important as making sure what it is you are training is a fundamental.
As an example, when teaching BJJ we have the fundamental five on top and the fundamental five of escapes. These core skills transcend individual style, in that they are something all of us will need to develop. Therefore they are core fundamentals.
But also, they always arise in a particular order when rolling or sparring.
So if you kill the inside arm or go after the far elbow prior to blocking out the guard, then obviously you create an opening that allows your opponent to escape. So we train this skill set in the same order in which it occurs.
The same is true with guard passing. If I attempt to lock in the upper body before I have controlled the hips, then I leave myself open for submissions. So understanding the order in which these skills occur is critical.
I didn't create the order because I felt they should be trained that way. Rather, we have observed through training that this is the order in which the skill sets occur, so it is a natural order.
7/06/2006 6:11pm, #8
Originally Posted by Aesopian
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7/06/2006 8:54pm, #9
Let's use the double under pass as an example.
You open their guard (1). You get your arms under both legs and cup their thighs (2). Then you clasp your hands around their legs (more 2), pull their hips up on to your knees (3), then sprawl, rolling their hips off the mat (more 2 and 3).
If you tried to just shuck the legs and jump past guard now, they'd still be pretty free to move their upper body to create space and push you away. So you first take one of your hands and reach across and grab their opposite shoulder or lapel and pull it to you (4). This locks in their upper body.
Your other hand comes down and grabs their belt/pants or in some way lifts their hips in the air (more 3).
You now keep pressuring forward as you circle your legs to the one side. But they post on your hip and push you away, so you can't complete the pass. Why? Because you can't land your hips by coming to their side, lowering and widening your base, sprawling your legs, etc. So you to remove that hand somehow, then bring your hips around and sinking into position (5). By now their legs just fall off your shoulders and you're chest-on-chest.
Now notice something here. Locking in the upper body is in both the Fun 5 of passing and top game, so at some point they blend together. In the above example, I used "2. Kill the near side arm." in order to complete the pass.
7/07/2006 11:54am, #10
Originally Posted by Aesopian
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