BJJ / Grappling Tips: Learn By Watching, Learn By Listening!

In the above clip, Marcelo Garcia (what a legend!) shows the bridge escape from side control (while Kid Pelligro if I'm not mistaken gives us the audio breakdown).

It's a great clip. Marcelo is a great competitor, practitioner and I've heard many describe him as a great man and teacher. Awesome stuff. I have no illusion that he is trying to short change me.

But, If you listen to the description and follow the instructions, you will do something that he himself doesn't do when he actually does the move in full speed at the end of the clip. Can you see it? It's a small contradiction but it's there nonetheless.

Well, here it goes.

At 3.13 the instruction is very clear: Bring your right (near-side) leg and cross it UNDER your left leg to come to your knees. Marcelo then goes on to demonstrate what he means. This instruction is repeated again in both words and actions at 5.01. Everybody with me so far?

The thing is, and here is the thing. In keeping with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD Mantra, the two slow explanations are always followed up with a "and now, in full speed" where the BJJ / Grappling transition, submission or whatever is shown in...full speed. This is what it looks like when done with automation that comes from years and years of practice to perfection. This reflexive action. This is the Shizaaam.

But when Marcelo...ehm...shizaaams, he VERY CLEARLY crosses his left (far-side) leg OVER his right to get to his knees. When performing the move as he would at full speed, Marcelo does the exact opposite of what he just explained, advised and instructed.

Now, there are more ways than one to skin a cat, but he is not showing us two moves, nor does the audio make reference to that. These are two different approaches and if you disagree, go try it with someone on the mat. Crossing under gets you at a 90 degree angle and is more likely to lead to a snake-belly approach (ala Saulo in Jiu Jitsu University and Roy Dean's Blue Belt Requirements) while crossing OVER will most likely put you in a more parallel position closer to their back (ala the Full -speed version above) or even roll them if they stay connect to you (ala Joao Crus).

My Karate sensei once told me: "You have to use your eyes, ears and body to not just learn what you are being taught, but also steal as much knowledge as you can".


Ps. Renzo Gracie and Craig Kukuk show something that looks like a bit of a hybrid between the two. I don't like that, but who am I to argue with them :)

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Georgette said...

Whooooaaaa! Good catch! So cool :)

Come again ? said...

lol so which one is the better 1 ? the shizaaam version or the instructed version

G-Stamp said...

My Professor told me that most DVD instructionals have similar contradictions or the teacher purposefully omits a crucial detail. good catch!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thanks Georgette! It's amazing what hours of staring at YouTube can do :o)

The Part Time Grappler said...

Ha I'm glad it tickled you "Come again ?". As for which one is's secret option number thre...just kidding. I suppose it's not a case of better or worse but rather which one is possible.

I, personally, always aim for the shizaaam version simply because psychologically it prompts the opponent to pull guard as I'm almost on their back, but then again I love the pressure-top-game.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thanks G-stamp. Yeah it's always interesting to spot the "do as I say not as I do!" moments. Bless they're only human.

I did notice that there are different styles of teaching depending if you are teaching a pricate, group session, beginners, mixed-skill, or a seminar. Eddie Bravo was the best seminar coach I've seen. He had that particular style down pat.

I'm guessing there must be another style which addresses teaching thru a camera and some are just more comfortable with that than others.