Monday, March 30, 2009

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Would you like to spend a day doing BJJ Basics?


When asked this question, most BJJ practitioners I know, would probably answer ‘no’. Advanced, secret, cool, hot-off-the-press techniques – oh yes; that’s an easy one – but basics – ummm. Kind of boring right? Well, before you answer that question – I would like you all to consider this …
What if I asked you whether you wanted to eat spaghetti for dinner tonight? A pretty simple question – one that I bet all of you could answer without to much need for consideration. But let me pose a few more questions – (fear not – I do have a point) – was you IMAGINED spaghetti straight out of a can as you slumped on the couch watching Seinfeld; or was it a plate of angel hair pasta served up in the best restaurant in Tuscany, with the love of your life sitting across from you; or was it a hot and hearty plate of rosemary and basil pasta accompanied by a glass of your favourite beverage?
Whatever it was that you initially imagined, when I posed the question ‘do you want spaghetti for dinner tonight – I can probably safely bet that your mind leapt straight to n answer, and didn’t consider the infinite number of possibilities of how this spaghetti dinner could be presented.
And so it is the case when presented with the question on whether you would want to devote an entire day to the practice of BJJ basics. If you have been training for a while, you probably have a skewed idea/picture of what basics consist of. But that’s – like the spaghetti problem - just one single point of view. What if when I say ‘basics’, I am referring to the ten most important and game-changing concepts that someone like Rigan Machado considers to be the foundation of high-level Jiu Jitsu – would that change your mind? One would hope it would.
I love studying and training the ‘basics’. After all, the basics, from a total novices point of view, and the basics from the virtuoso’s point of view – may be more than a little different. I love looking deeper – rather than broader. Remember, the virtuoso’s of the world are doing things, and sometimes (understanding things), that others are not. They have become masters of nuance – masters of the basics – when asked if they want to eat spaghetti for dinner – it’s worth pondering the possibilities.

JBW

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4 Comments

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John,

Great thought. I sometimes think we need to replace the word basic with 'fundamental'- those things that take a few lessons to learn, but a lifetime to master.

So the question I have that follows on from this - what do you believe are The Basics, The Fundamentals?

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Hi Copland,
it would take me an entire book to lay out what I consider to be the 'basics' for you -.
hey, wait a minute - I've done that! it's called BJJ Fundamentals.

But seriously, the point of the blog is that, there are explanations of basics and then there are explanations of basics! it often depoends who is doing the learning - and who is doing the teaching. A DEEP understanding of the fundamental techniques, will set you in motion with great habits ofr future learning. I try to instill in all of my students, a love for DETAIL. All of the amazing concepts and principles contained in the basics (and in every other BJJ technique) need to be understood and comprehended at one time or another, to make the huge jumps we are all looking for.
More on this in a blog to come Copland.
Best wishes to you.
JBW

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Hi John,

Enjoyed your blog and your creative way you express everything.

Looking forward to the seminar at the Lions Den on Sat.

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One of the most common training mistakes I see is the rush to learn the advanced or cool u-tube move of the day .However when I grapple with a person 20 to 30 years my junior they cannot escape from my north south or full mount .
They like to use the excuse your just naturally strong and your base is too good .. duh
Jim S.

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