What's the difference between a purple belt and a brown belt in BJJ?

LV Brown / Black Belt Requirements? Money!

I've recently received Roy Dean's fantastic new product "The Brown Belt Requirements". I'm currently in the process of writing a review but if you are impatient, feel free to check out Slidey's take on it here. I agree with a lot in it (not all) and it's a very thorough review so I highly recommend it.  

One thing that really struck me in it is how narrow and focused the BJJ game becomes at the brown belt level. I've always known that from other fields that the more advanced you become the more focused and laser-sharp your details become, but the level required here for a brown belt is something I've never witnessed before in other fields.

Brown belts are required to shift their focus from effectiveness* to efficiency. It's no longer good enough to be able to beat someone (or escape their attack) but you must also be doing it efficiently. If you are unsure what this means, I remind you of Dr Jigoro Kano's words: 

"Minimum effort, maximum output"**

The way this translates to day-to-day training and rolling is
that a brown belt no longer just knows the elbow-knee escape from mount, but rather should have such a sharp (and early) mount prevention game and strategy that he shouldn't find himself under a stable mount all too often. I knew this from rolling with Martyn (our brown belt head instructor at The Labs and a nightmare to keep under mount) but I'm slowly getting a grasp on the why and how he does it. Two of key factors that shone from Roy's DVD are:

1. Precise placement: Roy Dean's instructor Mr Roy Harris (a BJJ hero of mine) makes the point in the DVD that some precise placements of your limbs afford you a mechanical advantage that others don’t, which means you are less likely to tire or crumble under pressure

2. Anticipation: This is a big one. In a way, I'm talking about Jedi mind tricks and in a way I'm not. Anticipation here means (as I understand it) realising when a position is lost / gained and where it could potentially lead and being ready for those possibilities. For example, you have side control top. What is your opponent going to do (or rather, what is she most likely to do)? How can you best take advantage of that and how can you best prepare for that (likely) eventuality?

To escape side control (our example) your opponent can i, pull guard (or otherwise entangle you with their legs), ii, get to their knees, iii, bridge and roll you or (less likely) iv, attack your with a submission from an inferior position. Ask yourself:

a, how can I block their escape or, more precisely, how can I best place myself to block that route (keeping efficiency over effectiveness in mind)?
b, if they do escape to the three options above, how can I attack immediately in the transition?

This is a big revelation to me. I know you are all much cleverer than yours truly and probably knew all this already but for moi, this is awesome. I can’t wait to go re-watch some of the fantastic instructionals that I previously felt where way above my head.

Roy Dean DVD set “Brown Belt Requirements” review to come soon. You can buy it from Budovideos here or download it from iTunes here.

*Effectiveness: getting the job done, one way or another.
**That’s one translation of Dr Kano’s words, but it’s not the only one.


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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1 comment:

Bee said...

Great post. For me, anticipation is a huge part of my success or failure on the mats. I'm still a half second behind my sparring partners when it comes my options with blocking routes or transitioning to something different off a failed attempt. Granted, thats to be expected with my experience level but I try to be cognizant of it; awareness has to come before action...