Change or die as the saying goes. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, some say. We live in an interesting and exciting time as far as Jiu Jitsu is concerned. We have Instructors like John Danaher who are completely changing the way Jiu Jitsu is viewed, trained, and even taught. We have savages like Gordon Ryan who are proving that you can be swole and a world class grappler. We have leaders like Tom DeBlass who are using the influence they built to inspire people across the globe far outside of just the Jiu Jitsu world, and finally we have Bernardo Faria who are bringing all of these people together on one platform, and providing us access to literally the best of the best in Jiu Jitsu. What an exciting time to be involved in this sport.
When we start comparing basic moves, to new moves, I immediately think of John Danaher’s statement that, most everyone agrees that the fundamentals are the heart and soul of Jiu Jitsu, but there are varying opinions of what the fundamentals actually are. I can’t say for certain, but I assume this is what inspired Danaher to start his most recent series “BJJ Fudamentals – Go Further Faster”. Danaher is widely considered one of the best, most systematic instructors to ever walk the planet, so it stands to reason if he develops a fundamental series, it will become the bible on which other instructors guide their students, and rightful so.
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Professor Bernardo Faria discusses which is more important, the new age Jiu Jitsu moves, or the Jiu Jitsu fundamentals. As he says, our sport is constantly evolving and there are new moves coming out every day it seems.
There are benefits to both the foundational Jiu Jitsu techniques as well as the new moves that are coming out, forcing Jiu Jitsu to evolve. Professor Faria feels that you can have the best of both worlds, however, in order to be able to execute on the new moves, he feels it is imperative for you to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu. He goes on to say that he feels fundamentals are so important that when he switched schools as a black belt, he went to the beginner’s fundamentals class at the new school for 6 months to ensure he knew the fundamentals as they were taught at that school.
I think what we can all agree on here is that without the fundamentals, you have nothing. Think about it like this. When we talk about the fundamentals, it isn’t just techniques or positions, it’s also the movement. If you can’t shrimp well, you will never be able to escape positions that involve shrimping. It’s one thing to go through the motions in drilling, it’s a very different thing when someone has you mounted and is trying to submit you. That being said, we must develop a strong foundation of fundamental techniques and body movements that enable us to develop to a point where we can expand our knowledge and start to dabble in the more advanced techniques.
When it comes to building a solid foundation of fundamental techniques and body movements, I would recommend taking a look at a few specific video instructionals. The first is “Solo & Partner Grappling Drills for Rapid Movement” by Tom DeBlass. This video instructional is not only guaranteed to improve your techniques at least 4 times faster than trying to develop them during live training alone, but also allows you the ability to drill solo, before or after class, or on a day you can’t make it to class for some reason. Regardless of the time or reason, the drills are available in the palm of your hand for you to maximize your training when the mood strikes you. The next video instructional I would encourage you to take a look at is “Pin Escapes & Turtle Escapes: BJ Fundamentals – Go Further Faster” by John Danaher. Again, Professor Danaher is likely the most sought after instructor on the planet because of his attention to detail and systematic approach to problem solving in Jiu Jitsu. Armed with these videos you are sure to take your fundamental game to the next level and develop an edge on the mats.
In addition to these tips from one of the biggest names in Jiu Jitsu, I would encourage you to explore Tom DeBlass’ newest video instructional titled “The Road to Black Belt, and Beyond”. This video and audio instructional will prepare you for the road ahead, and for the first time ever, give practitioners a road map to success in Jiu Jitsu, in work, in family… in life.