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vindel
2/26/2012 5:49pm,
I'm a BJJ white belt with about 6 months of training, not really sure where my question belongs but I'm hoping this is it. I'm training at a small local school, there isn't really any currilucum there so we've been taught basic techniques in a pretty random order. Now I just got the "Jiu-jitsu university" book by saulo ribeiro, and I'm discovering a lot of holes in my technique that my instructors haven't really talked too much about. And I don't mean anything advanced either, just the chapters on the basics ("survival" and "escapes") about proper posture, positioning and escapes from inferior positions has a lot of new stuff. But then again, maybe Saulo is a little unorthodox? I don't know but I'm really eager to try it out.

Now, my question is - how am I supposed to correct these holes in my game and drill these basic techniques? I've heard that white beltes are not supposed to teach other white belts and that makes a lot of sense to me. So in other words, I can't read up on these things at home, explain them to a partner and just start drilling. Nor do I like the idea of bringing the book to class and letting my partners read for themselves, because I think an instructor should always be present when you're learning new things, at least as a white belt.

The best option as I see it is to go to one of my instructors, show them something from the book and ask them to teach us. But I'm not sure they'd appreciate that. They may not recognize the technique, they may not agree with it or that particular variation, and even IF they are willing to teach us, I'm not really comfortable taking charge of the teaching like that. I mean it's not just this one little thing, it's a lot of stuff.

And this dilemma doesn't just apply to that book either, but drilling in general. Is if it ever ok to drill something you've seen in a book or a video without an instructor around to correct mistakes? If not, how am I supposed to use this book?

Soldiermedic
2/26/2012 7:16pm,
First of all, welcome to Bullshido.

Most bjj schools run an organized curriculum based on your instructors own training, and what they feel works and doesn't work for beginners. For the most part though, you'll see a lot of the same drills from school to school, but the difference might be stylististic, or maybe a particular school's lineage might stress different things.

That being said if your school is small then there should be a lot of 1 to 1 instruction, and it should be a close knit group. Is your instructor a bjj black belt? And what is his lineage?

Although you shouldn't try to "run the class" also remember that you are a paying customer for a service. If you have questions about training you should ask. As a beginner, sometimes its hard to see how everything adds up into the big picture of training, but that shouldn't discourage you from asking the "whys" and "hows" of a technique or drill.

Coach Josh
2/26/2012 7:19pm,
In short no.

White belts can work together to drill techs not teach techs.

Educated yourself on the art is fine, drilling sound techniques with others is fine. That book is great btw and should be part of every grapplers library.

Idk the gym structure or level of the instructors so can't comment on them. Needless to say if they are solid lower level ranks and are teaching sound stuff from a good linage then worry about learning all they can give you.

You have a lifetime to learn jiujitsu don't be in a rush to get it all down in a day week or year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk please ignore typos.

vindel
2/26/2012 7:54pm,
Thanks for the replies! Like I said it's a pretty small school, and there are no black belts there. My instructors are blue belts and purple belts, I have no idea who gave them those belts but (for the most part..) I have no reason to doubt their knowledge or skill. They do a pretty good job, but there are quite a few (basic) things in this book that they haven't talked about, which kinda surprises me.

I know learning BJJ is not a race, but I'm really eager to learn and improve. I'd probably train 4-5 days a week if I could. They have two classes a week, which is not enough for me so that's why I wanna drill after class (in the dojo) as well.

But many of you guys seem to already have this book - how do you use it? Were you already familiar with the material when you got it?

Vorpal
2/26/2012 8:08pm,
When you are a white belt the people who are crushing you tend to know a lot more than you. This makes the white belt want to consume huge amounts of knowledge (books, videos, youtube) in an attempt to jump start or accelerate the learning process. I think it hurts. You end up with information overload and you don't really learn much of anything. I would recommend just going to class, keeping a journal and concentrate on being consistant and staying uninjured. One book I think is helpful to people starting out is JiuJitsu University by Saulo Ribiero (I hope I spelled that right). Most of the others not so much.

Dozer60
2/27/2012 3:13pm,
BJJ is all about repetition. just kept doing the techniques your instructor is teaching you and find your own way of perfecting them.

Petter
2/27/2012 3:57pm,
I'm training at a small local school, there isn't really any currilucum there so we've been taught basic techniques in a pretty random order. Now I just got the "Jiu-jitsu university" book by saulo ribeiro, and I'm discovering a lot of holes in my technique that my instructors haven't really talked too much about. And I don't mean anything advanced either, just the chapters on the basics ("survival" and "escapes") about proper posture, positioning and escapes from inferior positions has a lot of new stuff.
Ah, but as you say, your technique has a lot of holes.

Saulo’s (excellent) book is showing you some ways to fix some of those problems. Your instructors, if competent, are also showing you some ways to fix some of those problems. It may very well be that the book and the instructors are addressing different problems, and address the same problems in different ways (in some cases Saulo is indeed unorthodox, and acknowledges it as e.g. when he talks about why he prefers a different “rear mount survival posture” than most). It may be that they will in fact address the problems you’ve become aware of, in good time; only with a thousand problems to address, they haven’t got there yet or don’t deem them the most important.

After all, what your instructors can do and Saulo’s book cannot do is look at your game right now and determine which holes in your game are the biggest problems right now, and what bad habits need to be broken right now to avoid regarding your long-term progress. Of course their curriculum won’t be tailored just to you personally, but if they’re good instructors, they should be paying attention to all their students and bringing up those topics most relevant to that group.

Of course we can’t know, sitting here with no further information, know whether your instructors are good; but this may be something worth considering.

Petter
2/27/2012 4:04pm,
Is if it ever ok to drill something you've seen in a book or a video without an instructor around to correct mistakes? If not, how am I supposed to use this book?
“Is it ever OK…?” is, perhaps, a different question from “Is it a good idea for a 6-month whitebelt…?” Once you have more experience, you’ll approach every new technique with a solid foundation of basic principles of leverage, weight distribution, and awareness of a lot of the things that can go wrong. Lacking that foundation, I’d say you’re more likely to get things badly wrong. As others have said, it’s probably better to focus on the things they are teaching you and solidifying those basics, building a strong foundation upon which you can eventually add new things of your own and experiment.

That said, I found that particular book very accessible and useful even at a very basic level, but I never tried to take new things from it, so much as incorporating details Saulo discusses that I had missed. His survival postures, for instance, are not radically different from stuff I was already doing, but by reading the book and just adding a few of the details he emphasised when rolling, I found myself surviving accordingly better.

I should add the caveat that I find myself having trouble learning new techniques and preferring to focus on solidifying and refining the basics I can actually remember, so my aversion to technique collection is probably biased thereby.

Tramirezmma
2/27/2012 4:09pm,
I'm a BJJ white belt with about 6 months of training, not really sure where my question belongs but I'm hoping this is it. I'm training at a small local school, there isn't really any currilucum there so we've been taught basic techniques in a pretty random order. Now I just got the "Jiu-jitsu university" book by saulo ribeiro, and I'm discovering a lot of holes in my technique that my instructors haven't really talked too much about. And I don't mean anything advanced either, just the chapters on the basics ("survival" and "escapes") about proper posture, positioning and escapes from inferior positions has a lot of new stuff. But then again, maybe Saulo is a little unorthodox? I don't know but I'm really eager to try it out.

Now, my question is - how am I supposed to correct these holes in my game and drill these basic techniques? I've heard that white beltes are not supposed to teach other white belts and that makes a lot of sense to me. So in other words, I can't read up on these things at home, explain them to a partner and just start drilling. Nor do I like the idea of bringing the book to class and letting my partners read for themselves, because I think an instructor should always be present when you're learning new things, at least as a white belt.

The best option as I see it is to go to one of my instructors, show them something from the book and ask them to teach us. But I'm not sure they'd appreciate that. They may not recognize the technique, they may not agree with it or that particular variation, and even IF they are willing to teach us, I'm not really comfortable taking charge of the teaching like that. I mean it's not just this one little thing, it's a lot of stuff.

And this dilemma doesn't just apply to that book either, but drilling in general. Is if it ever ok to drill something you've seen in a book or a video without an instructor around to correct mistakes? If not, how am I supposed to use this book?

What holes do you feel your game has? And why do you feel your instructor is not correcting them? How does the book do so?

In my experience, most grappling teachers don't have a set curriculum with an order to it. They teach you what they feel you need to know, and as you continue learning, holes fill themselves.

vindel
2/27/2012 4:40pm,
Your instructors, if competent, are also showing you some ways to fix some of those problems. It may very well be that the book and the instructors are addressing different problems, and address the same problems in different ways


To be honest, my instructors seem more focused on teaching us new techniques than drilling old ones. I'm not sure if I'm actually unhappy with their teaching or if I'm just impatient, but I feel like I've been missing out on important details since the very beginning. My approach to instructional videos and books so far has been exacty what you suggest - improving the techniques that I already know. But now this book is showing me rather different ways of doing things that seem superior to what I already know.


What holes do you feel your game has? And why do you feel your instructor is not correcting them? How does the book do so?

In my experience, most grappling teachers don't have a set curriculum with an order to it. They teach you what they feel you need to know, and as you continue learning, holes fill themselves.

Well, The back mount survival posture would be an example the book. No one ever told me to what to do with my hands in that position (block the choke with both hands). I also learned that I should always block the cross-face in side-control, I can't remember anyone telling me that and Saulo makes that sound pretty important. Of course, these are just details and not completely new techs, but it makes me wonder what else I'm doing fundamentally wrong. The book also says I should never be flat on my back. I'm really curious to try out his escape from the back mount, too. That's something we have hardly even drilled.

I know I'm sounding very critical of my school right now, but I just came back from a training session and I feel a bit disappointed. We're learning leg locks now instead of drilling the basics. Although leg locks turned out to be really fun and this was NOT the beginner class, so I guess that's to be expected.

DKJr
2/27/2012 4:40pm,
I love Saulo's book and still look at it. As a high blue I took on his back escape strategy. Also I feel his book covers important things about simple hand and body placement that doesn't get spoken to enough.

Try things out on your own during open mat and sparring also ask about the techniques and positions you're curious about. It's what the instructor is for.

Also you're a 6 month white belt the holes in your game should rival the grand canyon. Your experience sounds normal.

DKJr
2/27/2012 4:45pm,
I know I'm sounding very critical of my school right now, but I just came back from a training session and I feel a bit disappointed. We're learning leg locks now instead of drilling the basics. Although leg locks turned out to be really fun and this was NOT the beginner class, so I guess that's to be expected.

I can speak to this. If you have to teach the same basics over and over your more experienced members will get bored as ****. That's why there should be beginner classes so that people can get the instruction appropriate to their level.

WhiteShark
2/27/2012 4:56pm,
In my school when white belts start to look too lost. My coach pairs them up with purple belts or higher. This seems cruel and unusual except someone that much better than you can point out little things and micro coach you one-on-one in ways that just can't happen in a one-to-many demonstration environment.

Today for example I was talking to a white belt about just aiming your hips in the right direction. Nothing else just make sure that your hips are pointed in a direction that could actually be good for you.

submissionfc
2/28/2012 4:24am,
Jean Jeaques technique book and dvd are pretty cool, you should check it out.

I'd recommend being at an actual school learning from a real black belt instructor rather than learning from a book. However, a book can add to your jits game if your already training.

Tramirezmma
2/28/2012 10:03am,
OP, I think you are too worried about what order you learn things in.

Learn the techniques your teaches show you, try out things from books and the like at open mat/free rolling.

osagame
2/28/2012 10:50am,
Books can be a supplement to good instruction. But, you need to have a good command of the basics to get the most from them. My personal favorite BJJ book is Saulo Ribeiros University of Jiu Jitsu book.