The Fastest Way to Learn BJJ / Grappling

Last Monday, one of our up and coming BJJ white belts said to me: why do you place more importance on awareness than on techniques? I was very chuffed to hear that of course (it means somebody is reading this blog). The reason to me is quite simple: I do it because I'm a part timer and you learn, at least, twice as much by working your awareness than when you are hunting particular techniques.

What I mean by that is I don't pay too much attention to memorising exact sequences of limb placement and call them a pass, sweep or submission. Instead, I learn and practice the fundamental postures and pressures that make or break the position and take it from there.

For example, I don't always cross the arm when I'm triangle choking my partner. The make-it-or break it detail is to close their arteries with my hamstrings on one side and their shoulder on the other and that's the posture and pressure I focus on achieving.

What do I mean when I say that I learn more BJJ faster this way? What I'm referring to is those translatable fundamental postures and pressures. I've said many times that most of what works in e.g. mount will work in guard and Martyn always tries to link ground work to wrestling against the cage wall. So rather than learn 12 ways to pass the open guard I'd rather work on the safe way to approach someone's open guard, the postured that will put them at a relative disadvantage and start feeding them pressures from an advantageous position.

The beautiful thing is, if I lather, rinse and repeat I will quickly end up learning all those aforementioned 12 passes without consciously trying AND those fundamental postures and pressures will translate automatically into better mount escapes and back takes! Double BJJ bonus!

I'm a part time grappler. I've got stuff to do. I'm outta here!

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BJJ Rob said...

Good stuff! It's surprising how important time management becomes when all your free time gets filled up with adult responsibilities.

(Translation - Man I wish I was 18 again!)

A.D. McClish said...

I love the way you explained this. I try to take the same philosophy and try to learn the concepts behind a position or submission--to understand why it works--so you can apply that to other situations. Great post!

The Part Time Grappler said...

@Rob many thanks buddy. I must differ with you here though. I wouldn't wish I was 18. Lots of hopes and desires and no money :o)

Money, time and ambition. The challenge is finding all three at the same time :o)

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you SO much Allie for the super kind words. I have a ton of posts lined up with this theme. I take all my inspiration from time-management courses I've done thru work...because I was useless at it :o)

Who knows, maybe one day I'll learn how to manage my money too :o) That'll be the day.