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#133234 - 05/18/04 01:01 AM BJJ Learning Curve

Background: I am a 4th Degree Black Belt trained in classical ShoTokan (17 yrs)..also a 1st degree in TKD.
I have recently taken up Brazilian Jujitsu.
I am a little frustrated when I have to tap out often and quickly. I am curious when the techniques begin to gel? I've had only 10 or so classes, but really am not sensing any progress. I'm 43 yrs old..excellent condition and have great coordination. I would be interested in cooresponding with any BJJ practioners. I train about 2 or 3 times a week now.

#133235 - 05/18/04 10:03 AM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
MartinR Offline

Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 109
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
My background is similar, I first studied for 3 years in two styles of Karate (and even got a black belt in one), and later took up Judo when I went to college. I wanted to learn a grappling art (before the days of BJJ & MMA being popular). After about 5 years of training 1-2 times a week, I was only a green belt. I've also studied BJJ for a over a year, but never have achieved rank.

In my experience, the grappling arts take much longer to develop to get rank, but one can develop techniques that can work on an unskilled opponent long before a belt is received. The longer you practice, you will develop a feel for where to keep your hands and how to move your body for defense. Grappling requires a different set of skills than striking, and you are starting from the beginning.

On a somewhat related not, in my opinion, BJJ, Judo (and other grappling arts that are practiced with resistance) show you immediately that you are doing something wrong. You don't practice ineffective techniques for years only to find out that they don't work against a resisting opponnent.

Stick with it. You'll find out how much you've learned when the next beginner starts training with you.

Good luck.


#133236 - 05/18/04 11:09 AM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
Bjj is only offered 1 night a week at my school, so I don't claim to actualy train in Bjj-I merely have exposure to it.
Having said that-how long have the people who tap you out been training?
Did they have a judo/wrestling background before?

I agree with MartinR, you might not see your progress for a time, until you roll with someone who is more of a beginer than you. Also realize Bjj is developing a different area of skill than your striking arts-going from karate to tkd was probably easier.

Just use some of the patience you have developed achieving blackbelts in other arts and stick with it.

#133237 - 05/18/04 01:25 PM Re: BJJ Learning Curve

I appreciate all the input so far.
It is pretty hard to go from a Black Belt back to white, although I really have no pride in this..Just wanna learn!
It just seemed the learning curve is slower in least for me at age 43! LOL Hopefully I will start to see some progress..or at least feel I am progressing....Man! I never had this many bruises in ShoToKan or TKD! least not after every class! [IMG][/IMG]
Thanks again for all your I said..BJJ is totally new to me beyond the normal self D we get in any MA's.

#133238 - 05/18/04 11:56 PM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3403
Loc: MiddleEarth
welcome to my world.... [IMG][/IMG]
- the world of bruises that is! I'm sporting some beauties on my upper arm after last weeks "dirty grappling" session from my partners knuckles. Also some good ones on the ribs. I managed to escape but my partner didn't, so I'd say I had a successful session.

We do quite a bit of BJJ style grappling, I've also done a number of seminars with John Will [BJJ Aust] and it does take time to learn all the techniques. I would say that I've got to blue belt level but am far from being proficient yet!

From what I know about pure BJJ, mostly you have only a few rank levels anyway - white, blue, brown and black.

I did a few years of judo when I was younger and this has helped me but it takes many reps of the BJJ techniques [1000 or more!] to make them really automatic!

Keep it up, you will learn heaps and enjoy it.

#133239 - 05/19/04 08:35 AM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
Hi blackbelt76

I don't think it's anything special to BJJ. It's any sport that requires a physical skill.

It's just been so long since you started karate that you've probably forgotten that you sucked when you started and how long it took you to develop the skills required.

Grappling is a completely different set of skills to the striking arts so you are a complete beginner again.

Sucks doesn't it.


#133240 - 05/25/04 05:45 AM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
otobeawanker Offline

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 192
Welcome to real fighting.

#133241 - 07/11/04 10:31 PM Re: BJJ Learning Curve

Within six months you should see tremendous improvement in your balance and sense of defemse. You won't be getting tapped nearly as often because you won't be extending your arms and you'll be protecting your neck.

Have fun, pay attention and try to avoid using power. Do the reps. Don't try 2-3 and say "I got it". The people who make the greatest improvements are the ones who take their time and have fun.

Good luck.

#133242 - 07/12/04 07:22 PM Re: BJJ Learning Curve
Ed Glasheen Offline

Registered: 06/21/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Newburgh,NY,USA
BB76, In a year you should be able to start setting up combinations with out thinking too hard. It is about flight time and enjoy the ride. Learn how to control your breathing and not panic when in a bad position first. Then stick to the main rule....get the dominate position, control that position then go on the attack. In that order. Learn the basics well. Many practitioners make the mistakes of learning so many techniques. Learn two armbars and two chokes that work in any positions. Master them. You will find you enjoy the art much better. Ed

#133243 - 07/19/04 03:32 PM Re: BJJ Learning Curve

I was in the same boat as the original poster. I spent 7 years doing american kenpo before I dove into BJJ. It doesn't matter how good you are on your feet, you become a white belt again once you hit the mat against experienced BJJ practitioners. It's quite humbling, but that's probably a lesson you need to learn just like I did. On the flipside, you can probably outfox alot of BJJ guys in straight stand-up sparring arena. Expect your neck and back to hurt at first, but as the months progress you'll get a feel for being down on the mat. I hung in and now I've placed in 3 competetions. It's all about diligence and hard work.

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