Learning curve for BJJ?

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CrankyDragon

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I only took one class so far, I was impressed that it was not a "do it perfect or it fails" martial art... One of the JJ videos I was watching the instructor stated that one of the things about JuJutsu was to take what is given to you and work with it. I think thats the most realistic concept Ive heard yet.

Now the question I have is, even though Ive been observing and have participated a little, from an experienced BJJ student, how do you describe the learning curve of BJJ? Im a curious because from my untrained observation, it appears that it can be learned rather quick and you can become proficient in short order (given that the student has aptitude of course).

Thanks for any feedback and comments,
Andrew
 

Blindside

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I had about a year of BJJ and I would say the learning curve is pretty fast. Alot of that first year is about learning how to move on the ground, how to relax, and learning when you are truly in danger and when some joker is just putting you through some pain that you can work through. You'll learn alot of submissions and most people get good at just a few. The constant partner work and rolling gets you applying against resistance and that ups the learning rate considerably.

I'm sure that someone with more experience would be better to ask, but that was what I found.

Lamont
 

Eternal Beginner

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The learning curve is huge at first, especially if you have no background at all in wrestling or like arts. I know a little later you will feel like you have plateau'd, but that is when you start to refine things. In fact, for a while you may even feel you are getting worse, but that is just because you are working on deficiencies and they will take time to shore up.

As to your "proficient in short order", yes...to a degree. You will be able to do things very quickly but as you test yourself against better and better grapplers you will realise that there is always room for improvement. I can pull off triangles and other subs against newbies and some intermediate grapplers...put me against any advanced dude and I don't have a chance. So proficiency is relative. That is why I believe (excuse my soapbox) that it is important, in order to really get proficient, that you grapple a wide range of skill levels and sizes and compete. I know competing isn't for everyone, and if you're happy not competing fine, but I think you are missing the only real opportunity for assessing your skills unless you are randomly visiting schools and testing yourself against people you don't regularly train with.
 

Tgace

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Eternal Beginner said:
I can pull off triangles and other subs against newbies and some intermediate grapplers...put me against any advanced dude and I don't have a chance. So proficiency is relative.

Thats true in any competitive endeavor. There will always be someone better (and then there is just pure luck). Its the law of averages. You want to keep trying to improve your odds. Just dont get deluded into fantasies of invincibility.
 

Eternal Beginner

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Tgace said:
Just dont get deluded into fantasies of invincibility.

Trust me, that isn't going to ever happen. I get my butt handed to me too consistently to ever think that I am invincible.:wink1:
 

arnisador

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You'll learn most of the techniques in the system within the first year, but it'll take a long time to see how to implement them--to see the opennings, to set up your moves, etc.

Quite seriously, be mentally prepared to lose most matches for the first year or so. After that, it starts to get better.

Best BJJ advice I ever got: Pick one move and try, try, try to get it, every time. Once you can make it work, move on to another one. I started with the figure 4 arm lock.
 

Shogun

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The hardest part for new people coming in is just to relax.
At first, you'll see all these new moves but after 50 or so classes, you'll see just how inter-connected they are. after 100 or so classes, you might actually start to get bored. don't. it gets so much better. but, this is the reason so many people quit, is because they get down the blue belt moves, then think they have nothing left to learn. just the opposite.
 

Andrew Green

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arnisador said:
Best BJJ advice I ever got: Pick one move and try, try, try to get it, every time. Once you can make it work, move on to another one. I started with the figure 4 arm lock.

Good advice, you might even consider drawing out a table

Mount
Side Mount
Guard
Back


Put 2 columns, top and bottom, and a technique for each. Those are what you are working on in sparring for the next couple months ;)
 
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CrankyDragon

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Andrew Green said:
Good advice, you might even consider drawing out a table

Mount
Side Mount
Guard
Back


Put 2 columns, top and bottom, and a technique for each. Those are what you are working on in sparring for the next couple months ;)

Great ideas for focus! However, our school goes on a schedule, including standing and no-gi. So, I have to focus mainly on whats in front of me at the time, then on Saturdays during free mat, I can fine tune some slop out of my techniques!

Thanks much!
Andrew
 

Eternal Beginner

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Picking a move and trying it out is a good plan...once you've been there a while. Since you are a brand new student just go with the classes. Picking an armlock or something without learning the set-ups, defences, proper positioning may make you miss out on moves that may be more advantageous to your fighting style. I've seen the guys who are brand new determined to perfect the americana and usually just wind up using brute, brutal strength trying to force it every time they caught an arm. That is not practicing a technique...that is stubborness. Part of good technique is also knowing when to let go and flow to another technique.

Since you asked advice as a beginner what I suggest is watching the techniques being taught in each class very closely...pay attention to where all the limbs are even if it is an armlock being taught as often the positioning of the legs, hips, head are all of paramount importance to a succesful technique. Write the techniques down when you get home...practice them and you will soon find (after a few months) that taking one technique and working it will pay off. Focusing too soon on a 'favorite' technique or trying to force a technique under inappropriate circumstances can lead to frustration.

Please notice the caveat...working one technique is great and most players do it...just not at the very beginning.
 
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