Beginner BJJ question...

Discussion in 'Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling' started by TMA17, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    What type of blueprint did your instructor/s go over when you first started in terms of curriculum? Was there a fundamentals class? Did it go over the heirarchy of positions in BJJ?
     
  2. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    None really. We just sort of did stuff.

    Bjj is VERY loose on terminologies and names for techniques. I don't even think half of the stuff we do has a name. It's very different from Judo or Karate that has a very set list of techniques and stances that you drill over and over again. I think the downside of that is that things can be very overwhelming for a beginning student. I think the upside is that you end up learning faster once you get the hang of things. Kind of like tossing a kid in the deep end and making them swim.

    Interestingly I never formally learned how to do the guard, we were just told to get into guard position and work from there.
     
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  3. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Good to know, thank you!

    I'm a structured person so I was looking for that. I will just go with the flow, question and research on my own what I need to know.
     
  4. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I’d recommend going to www.grapplearts.com and downloading the free Roadmap for BJJ book (or app, if you prefer). Kesting does a good job of outlining basic info that any new BJJ student should know to put their instruction into context.
     
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  5. Kababayan

    Kababayan Blue Belt

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    That is what happened to me too. Both of the BJJ places I trained at just through me in and said "grapple". I do wish that there was more structure for beginners. I would have liked to study at a Gracie gym where they have the combatives-structure. I don't know if they still do that.
     
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  6. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Generally spend the first 20 minutes or so learning a new technique, then going straight into grappling. For me (and a friend who joined me), we spent a few classes learning how to maneuver between guard, mount, and sidemount, and basic ways to retain a good position. I disappeared for a few years (practiced elsewhere), and when I came back I didn't go through that again, and didn't notice other people getting that education. I personally preferred just going straight into it.
     
  7. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Purple Belt

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    I came from a Kung Fu / Judo background. So I was used to meticulous forms and drills, then the formality of Judo with practicing a throw again and again with Sensei watching. Lots of talking about principles and "why you do this" and "why this is the right way" as we did things. You get the idea.

    BJJ is very different. Very little formality. Very often being shown movements and unless you ask, the name of it might not even be mentioned. Its very "Watch me, now you do it, ok guys lets spar now". Its challenging for someone like me that wants everything to have a name and fit in a category, or a hierarchy / flow chart of understanding. But BJJ is DEEP.

    I agree with Tony's comments above. Stephan Kestings Grapple Arts app and his emails are good info on fundamentals and it has helped fill gaps for me. I've honestly also learned more by rolling with as many colored belts as possible and asking questions than I have in structured class time. It seems like just how it is. I might have learned a certain sweep or guard pass, but unless I put it to use immediately it doesn't get retained. But if you keep submitted a certain way during sparring, then someone shows you how to defend it / neutralize position and now you have a solution for an immediate problem, well... that's something that sticks in your brain.
     
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  8. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Thanks Piedmont. Good points.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know which branches of BJJ do this, but some have a set curriculum at the beginning. For one group, this is the "BJJ Combatives", which is pretty self-defense oriented and isn't just ground work. That said, I don't really think that material is foundational to the rest of BJJ (that's a not-fully-informed observation), so still doesn't really fit your expressed wish for a framework.
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Gracie Combatives is the white belt curriculum for Rener & Ryron Gracie’s academy and their affiliates. It’s a pretty good intro to the art. When I was teaching beginner classes I ripped a lot of it off. It doesn’t really cover all the conceptual foundations of the art, but it does help the student become acquainted with some important principles.
     
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  11. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    I’m still in my first month so I’ll see how it goes. I want to try and attend open mat sessions.
     
  12. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Mastering Jujitsu, by Renzo Gracie and John Danaher, also provides a good conceptual overview.
     
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  13. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Your training partner makes a HUGE difference. Was with one blue belt last week that just didn't get anything and I got very little out of it. That will happen anywhere. The following class I had a great blue belt to work with that knew what he was doing. Open mat will be crucial too to really nail this stuff down. I may look into a grappling dummy if I stay with it.
     
  14. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    Attended the 6am class this morning. It was nice because there was only 4 people. Worked on self defense takedowns and fundamentals.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Your training partner is important to your learning in any grappling art. If they don't understand, they can't feed drills properly, won't know when and how to cooperate on early drills, won't provide useful resistance on later drills, and you don't get a chance to learn from where they outclass you. A really good partner - not just highly skilled, but good at being a partner - can be as important as a good instructor.
     
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  16. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    With only a few weeks experience gpseymour, you're so right. Makes a world of a difference.
     
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