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#172085 - 07/27/05 01:06 PM Learning the Basics?

I'm taking bjj now. When I was younger I took karate. I like both. I do think that it's easier to learn the basics in karate. You drill them every class and you can practice them on your own. BJJ has soooo many techniques that it seems very hard to get a firm command of the basics. I don't even want to know all the bjj techniques there's so many. I've been to 2 diff. bjj schools and I think one thing they could do better is teach beginners the basics. Maybe there are good ways and I just haven't learned them. Do you guys have any ideas?

#172086 - 07/27/05 01:23 PM Re: Learning the Basics?
Boomer Offline

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 304
Loc: York, Pa
I'm at a basic level of understanding myself (in grappling), but I think it's like anything else. Practice and repetition. Like algebra, the basics get built upon, so you have to get a good foundation first.
Calling yourself "Master" implies that you have slaves.

#172087 - 07/27/05 02:28 PM Re: Learning the Basics?
BigRod Offline
Does it all

Registered: 02/10/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Tell your instructor. Maybe he'll make some adjustments.

You can also try to find someone to drill with before or after class. Or take private/semi-private lessons.

And lastly, find some resources on the web and/or buy videos/dvds.

#172088 - 07/27/05 03:54 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: BigRod]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Of course this may only be an attempt to preach to the choir, but.......

I think part of the problem is that people focus too intently on the techniques (submissions and sweeps) and not on controling positions.

Obviously this is important from the top positions, but it's equally important from the guard where it's often overlooked.

I'd rather have a great ability to control my opponent and just a handfull of attacks out of that control.

Spend a great deal of time developing your ability to control your opponent and it will pay dividends when you're working your attacks.

Also, try this: When attacking out of a position (other than guard where you need to be as active as possible) think "one shot, one kill". Don't go for a submission until you are 99% sure you'll get it. Be content to work your control and make your opponent give something up instead of trying to force something you don't have.


#172089 - 07/27/05 10:08 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: JKogas]
Marz Offline

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Iraq
You should definitly start with body mechanics and worry about the submissions later. Sure, it's not all that exciting, right? Everyone wants to get to the "good stuff", the submissions right away, have to have a solid foundation first. can start to be the fighter you envision.

#172090 - 07/29/05 05:38 AM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: Marz]
mantis_boxing Offline

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 62
basics are important but whenever you're in a situation you havent been taught how to tackle yet, use common sense. For example if he wants to choke you, dont let him.

#172091 - 08/07/05 12:59 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: mantis_boxing]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina

basics are important but whenever you're in a situation you havent been taught how to tackle yet, use common sense. For example if he wants to choke you, dont let him.

Now why haven't *I* ever thought of that?!


#172092 - 08/08/05 11:20 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: JKogas]
mantis_boxing Offline

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 62
i think many of us have seen it before. a beginner rolling with a more advanced student staring with the deer into the headlights look, about to get choked/locked just kneeling/sitting/lying there. do SOMETHING. try to stand up or something, dont just lie there.. ive even seen this in competition. sometimes it feels like some people are lost in finding the right 'technique', etc etc and forget to use common sense

#172093 - 08/11/05 01:01 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: mantis_boxing]
hunterkell Offline

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 435
Loc: fl usa
il admit that happened to me. i didnt know what to do with a more advanced opponent and while i sat there thinking about what to do, BAM! took a choke, lol. im still a beginner, but it did teach me that doing something IS better than nothing.
Remembering 3655K

Nothing is impossible for the person that doesn't have to do it.

#172094 - 08/11/05 01:47 PM Re: Learning the Basics?
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Maybe your instructor is throwing everything at you at the same time, does he drill you in some kind of order? As an example we will work on escape from the guard one night and practice about 4-5 techniques over and over, another night it might be escape from the half guard, another night it would be take downs from the clinch, chokes, leg locks ect. My point is they are "in some kind of order" so it is easier to remember vs. throwing a bunch of mixed techniques at you. Also like every one else has mentioned it take practice and more practice.

John L and I went to a Patrick MCarthy seminar together a few weeks ago and he gave us a lecture on "Hyakuren Jitoku" the Japanese translation mean, 100 repeats of a basic exercise makes you own your technique" As he said, before you run to your Sensei and say I just can't seem to get this particular move down, have you practiced it 100 times, and if you have I'm sure that you under stand it by now.
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

#172095 - 08/12/05 11:54 PM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: schanne]
katsuhayai05 Offline

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 49
Loc: florida
I found the same thing to be true when people first showed me bjj, I don't know after I wrestled in high school though th basics of bjj seemed easier to understand.

#172096 - 08/14/05 09:09 AM Re: Learning the Basics? [Re: katsuhayai05]

My instructor is very good. We do the many drills at the beginning of each class and then we practice a new move or two several times. I have an understanding of the basics, but since I'm new everyone else has a better understanding of them. I tap people but not that often. I guess it's just going to take time.

#172097 - 08/18/05 12:06 AM Re: Learning the Basics?
Rainbowtiger Offline

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 95
Loc: Maryland, USA
the basics of BJJ are positions and control once you learn the positions in BJJ (i.e. Guard and North-South) and the control grips from all the positions submissions will come to you. Don't worry about it

#172098 - 10/24/05 10:03 AM Re: Learning the Basics?
ToddR Offline

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 148
Loc: York, PA
I had the same frustration when I began BJJ--I'd go to a class, learn a coulple techniques that were usually too hard for me, and then we'd free-roll and I'd either get tapped out really quickly by the advanced white belts and above, or me and another beginner would fight like our lives depended on it until someone managed to get a RNC or quit from exhaustion. It's like going to your first boxing class and jumping into the ring to spar on your first day!

Shortly before I left Seattle to move to PA my BJJ instructor worked with his instructor, David Meyer, to come up with the "Basic 12" techniques that all his new students had to learn before they were allowed to free-roll. Unfortunately, I was only able to learn about 6 of the basic 12 techniques before my wife and I moved. However, about 3 months ago my hapkido instructor and I bought David Meyer's "Masterclass Grappling Curriculum" and began working on our blue belts in his system. There are 3 levels of techniques, about 45 techniques total, to get you to blue belt level and you get a log book where you have to log 150 reps of each technique, pass a midterm evaluation by Mr. Meyer, go back and do another 150 reps of each technique, and log 50 total hours of free rolling time. Then, you're eligible to test for your blue belt. Now, I realize this is no substitute for training at a good BJJ/grappling school with a good instructor and skilled students but I see it as serving at least two functions: 1) it allows people who don't have access to a BJJ school to train using a well-thought-out curriculum, and for someone like you who does have access to a BJJ school it could be a fantastic supplement to your training and a way for you to get a solid foundation in the basics. Check out for more information. Be warned though, it's a bit pricey--like $300 for the manual and DVD, though once you buy the curriculum you have phone and e-mail access to David Meyer who is really fantastic about getting back to you quickly to answer any questions you might have.

Good luck with your training!

#172099 - 10/24/05 12:35 PM Re: Learning the Basics?
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

I have had both a similar and a dissimilar feeling, especially coming from a karate background.

I like karate, but grappling seemed much more natural in the feel of the movement since you can sense the body weight of your opponent shift. However, the problem is the listing of techniques...five or so for class (from my experience) with variations on these. This is for everyone from beginner to advanced and then getting a feeling for application.

Those with a lot of experience can follow along, while some like me take a bit longer to get aclimated to all the variations and variety. So, what do I do, just the best that I can....

I think John is correct, and I think this is applicable to stand up as well. Learn positions and control from those positions...and then look to apply techniques.


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