Punisher, that sucks. Your expectations are perfectly reasonable; I am sorry to hear that all of the BJJ schools in your area are substandard. Rest assured, though, there are plenty of them in the US that DO meet your criteria. Don't give up; keep looking! One good indication that you have possibly found a good school is if many of the students hold black belt rank in other styles/systems (not a guarantee, but a good place to start).
All good points, and a lot of schools do have beginner classes now.
One thing i will say, and i'm really not trying to be a dick here, is that usually after a few months of consistent training guys are actually starting to do a lot better and hit subs. I do find it pretty surprising that after a year of training you weren't at the point of consistently tapping newbies.
Also saying it takes at least a few months to have an idea what you're doing really isn't the same as a kung fu guy saying that 15 years of kung fu isn't enough, it takes 20.
Well it is sad to say that you are correct in your observations. There are a lot of sport oriented BJJ schools out there. However I teach a lot different.
Originally Posted by Punisher
1. I have a set curriculum for each belt level.
2. I have a beginners class devoted to what I call "Street Combat Readines" techniques. Basic BJJ techniques used for common street attacks.
3. I have classed devoted to striking defense and offense that is taught submissions (Vale-Tudo) and it is not an MMA class either.
4. I always do a class outline each day that I follow when I teach classes. I just don't show up and guess on what I am going to teach.
5. My primary focus for my students is teaching them to fight....medals don't save your ass on the streets.
6. I have strict standards when it comes to promotions.....just because you win in tournaments won't get you promoted in my class.
We always get students from other schools that will stop by and train. I am amazed when I see a blue belt or purple belt come in and they can't even do a simple stand up-in base or do a hip throw. I am like what the **** are they teaching these guys at their school. No BJJ student should have to take an MMA class to learn how to fight.....it should be taught in the BJJ class.
Slidey or Moose already said it, if you can do it against an experienced person, you should have no problems doing the technique against a total newbie. Just because your opponent has zero experience, doesn't mean that you should settle for JUST enough technique to overcome him. Train against people who are more and more skilled to get your technique better and better. If we're talking about self defense here, life or death, I'd rather have a technique that I've worked hard to perfect rather than something that "will just get by."
Originally Posted by Punisher
Well of course you wouldn't armbar a blue or purple. They have years of experience on you. They've defended hundreds of armbars and even know the combos that set them up, and you're expecting to pull one off on them right after you learned it??
When I trained BJJ at an academy, I learned the arm bar from the guard. While I learned the basics of HOW to do the arm bar, I never really learned WHEN to do the arm bar, and never got a chance to practice it in a realistic setting. After spending a whole class working on arm bars, I'd be all pumped to try it out in sparring, only to find none one would give me the opportunity, especially blues and purples. They know better to put their arms on a someones chest, so I never ever got a chance to attempt it. How did that make me better?
Whenever I learn a new technique and want to add it to my game or just try to practice it, I don't go testing it on ranks above me. If I try something brand new against a brown belt or black belt, chances are they're going to defend it well - they've probably already seen the technique and defended it a hundred times more than I've attempted it.
I go test the new stuff on lower belts. Then when I get more comfortable with it, I'll work it into my rolls with the advanced belts. Eventually, the technique will become bread and butter, and then I'll really train it against higher belts to further improve the technique.
Jeff C. already pointed out the value of asking for help. Everyone's got their own things to work on, and sometimes you have to be proactive to learn.
In the year I was there, I never got to attempt and armbar from the mount, a rear naked choke, or viturally any other submission when sparring. Maybe I was just ina school full of dicks, but all the blues and purples at the school I went too were foucsed on smashing white belts and prepping for their next tournament to be much of help during sparring.
Also, in BJJ there is something known as "positional rolling." I have yet to see a school or instructor that does not employ this in their training sessions. You start in a specific position, and only work that situation with the same resistance you'd have in a free roll.
For example: half guard passing - one guy starts in top half guard, looking to pass. Bottom guy looks to sweep. Bottom guy can start with an underhook or an overhook. Maybe top guy wants to start with his hips reversed and work his reverse escapes. Possibilities are endless.
Even if you had the misfortune of actually ending up with an instructor that doesn't use positional rolling for his students, you could always ask your training partners to do this with you.
Are you familiar with Roy Harris? He wrote this article about the progression through BJJ:
Originally Posted by Punisher
You were a white belt for a year, and you spent that time mostly defending and tapping out. I'm SURE you learned something that an untrained person wouldn't know how to do. Like escaping the mounted position with an upa. How about bridging out of a sidemount and regaining guard. Or maybe how to break grips off your lapel or belt.
If you're expecting to tap out blues and purples with armbars and triangles, of course you're going to be disappointed. You have to know how to control someone in a dominant position to do that. You have to know how to get to that position with sweeps and reversals. And on top of that, you have to have the feel for leverage and momentum that, yes, only comes with mat time.
If it were that simple, MMA gyms wouldn't have a separate kickboxing coach, BJJ coach, boxing coach, wrestling coach, etc. Cross training these days means becoming a student of each art. It's compartmentalization first, then integration by someone with MMA experience.
Here's news flash. I don't even really want to learn BJJ, I want to learn functional grappling for self-defense. If I could find a decent BJJ school in my area that would offer that and be able to teach it competently I would probably go there, but so far I haven't found one.
If an instructor isn't willing to answer your question, well that's a red flag and you would do better off somewhere else. I personally haven't met an instructor who wouldn't take the time to answer questions (both in class and on open mat), but if you happen to be in BJJ hell I suppose thats just misfortune.
Originally Posted by Punisher
Roy Dean has a good video on his philosophy of BJJ learning:
A Set Rotating Curriculum: I want I school/program that puts some thought into what they teach and when. Most BJJ schools in my area seem to simply work on whatever the instructor wants to that night, with no rhyme or reason. This makes it difficult to learn and build a cohesive game. At best you end up with a bunch of dots with no way to connect them.
Roy Dean Philosophy BJJ
Bottom line: You learn words first before you learn sentences. Building a cohesive game usually never takes place in a linear fashion. It's not like a building from the ground up. I put stuff on the backburner all the time, and come back to it later on and find that I have worked on something else that helps me with it. But someone else might not have that same progression.
IMO a curriculum is only good for making sure everything gets covered, and that the instructor is teaching more than his own game, so that students can have the freedom to build their own.
This I can understand for brand new people. Having someone with under 6 months experience learning reverse de la riva isn't efficient learning. But at some point (close to blue), I think everyone benefits from being in the same class.
Begineers Class: As somoeone who admittedly doesn't know what he is doing, I want a class devoted to people like me. I want to focus on the basic applications of basic techniques and build a level of proficiency in those before moving on to more advanced variations and counters. Most schools in my area have a single BJJ class for adults, with no separation for rank or skill level.
I agree on this. More self defense in BJJ would be great, not just strikes, but knife, gun, club defense that used to be a part of the system. Like I said before, I think the techniques on the combatives dvd are fine. I just don't agree with the idea of correspondence substituting actual training, and then awarding belt rank and certification to open schools based on that correspondence.
Self Defense Focus: Althgouh I'd settle for inclusion. My goal in training isn't to compete in BJJ tournaments. I want training that at least includes: takedowns, variations without the gi, and acknowledgment that the other guy can strike. All the schools I've been to in my area are sports focused, which colors what and how they teach. They do teach techniques that leave you exposed to strikes, and don't teach techniques designed to protect you from them. I used to ask questions like, "Doesn't this leave you open to be punched?" or "How would prevent the guy from punching me in this position". More often than not, I was told to learn the "BJJ" application first and once I got good enough I could join the MMA class to learn how add strike defense to my game.
Last edited by EternalRage; 12/25/2010 12:02am at .
Every BJJ school and MMA gym in my area don't fits the above criteria.
I'm willing to take some responsibility for my suckage. I've come to realize I need to exposed to BJJ in a particular way for me to understand,, learn, and be able to perform it. I blame on years of krotty training.
Originally Posted by Das Moose
The school I spent a year at is probably the worst BJJ school with a legit lineage in my area. The year I was there, we didn't get many new white belts those that did sign up didn't stay very long. As a result I was often least experienced guy in class. The places I tried after that were better, but not enough to make me stay.
I know there are good BJJ schools out there. And I don't want to give the impresison that all BJJ schools in Sacramento suck. I just haven't found one that is right for me.
Originally Posted by Jeff C.
EternalRage, no disrespect, but I can't help the feeling you're talking out both sides of your mouth in order to justify your belief that my old method of BJJ training was superior than I think it was and new method is inferior than I think it is.
Originally Posted by EternalRage
At first you tell me I shouldn't be satisfied with just tapping out people who don't know what the are doing, but then say I shouldn't expect to get submission on people more experienced and should focus on tapping newbies.
I'm not talking about not being able to armbar blues and purples in class. I'm complaining about not even being able to ATTEMPT armbars on blue and purples in class.
For the record I did ask for help. Most people were unwilling or unable to do so. Often I would get what I now know to be incorrect technical advice, or a half hearted attempt to lighten up for the next 30 seconds. A lot of this stemmed from the attitude of the guy who taught most of the classes (blue when I started, purple when I left) If he didn't have much time for newbies during instruction, why would anyone try to help us out during sparring.
And we did do positional rolling, and I still do. At the school I was at positional rolling went something like:
I'm in guard on bottom. Guy on top blows through my guard in 2 seconds and finishes with a painful and/or humilating submission. Repeat for 3 minutes. Switch.
I'm in guard on top. I try the one guard pass I kinda know since its the only one we've worked on either a Tues or Thurs this month. Guy on bottom either sweeps me right away or looks at me with disgust as I struggle to break his guard for next 2 minutes 59 seconds.
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