As you start to learn techniques that are more complex— or you’re moving into positions that are unfamiliar to you— there are going to be times when a position you’re watching just looks overwhelming. The reality is, however, that most of the movements we use in BJJ are simple. Complex movements have room for error, and the weirder a position is, the less applicable it’s going to be to the average practitioner. What makes positions look or seem complicated is the addition of an opponent.
When you’re learning a new position, even if it’s unfamiliar, it’s really important to look at what the person performing the technique is doing. We always tell our students not to make things too complicated, and it’s absolutely something that you should keep in mind when watching new positions. In the video, we’re talking about the crazy dog pass initially, but this is true of nearly every position we teach. Simple movements are strong movements. Nearly all of BJJ stems from a few strong movements and positions— that’s why we do our animal drills at the beginning of each training session.
Of course, it’s also important for the opponent to do the right thing during the drilling session. BJJ is a sport that includes resistance, so you need to integrate resistance into the drilling session. We’ll do another video on being a good drilling partner as well. For the most part, though, instructions for opponents in a drilling session should be relatively simple.
The crazy dog drill we were doing involved the opponent opening the knee in the crazy dog position and having active frames— and that’s it. Small movements that are easy to remember, but also movements that are likely to occur in a sparring situation. Most of us can remember a few instructions with relative ease, so after a few repetitions of the technique, you should be almost completely ignoring the opponent and focusing entirely on the person performing the technique.
This will likely change how you see Jiu Jitsu— you’ll start to see patterns of similar movements emerging all over the place. It’s so much easier to learn generalized movements and apply them in a variety of situations than it is to learn a technique for every possible iteration of movement. Imagine trying to memorize every possible sentence in a foreign language versus learning a collection of verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives and then applying those known words to new situations: one method is clearly going to produce superior results.
Do you want to learn more essential Jiu Jitsu concepts like this? Escapology Online has a dedicated “concepts” section. Each of these concepts, while simple, can have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of your Jiu Jitsu.
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