As we progress through the ranks, we receive loads of advice.
Some hits home, some does not, but we listen intently and choose what fits best for us. As with any endeavor, there are those that have gone before us. In BJJ, these veterans carve paths for us. They sacrifice their time and their bodies to learn the most efficient ways of doing things. These methods are then passed to their students and followers. The hope is to make the journey a more well-organized experience.
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At each belt level there are certain themes, principles and methodologies that should be focused on. The higher the rank the more experienced advice must be given.
Elite level practitioners and the most successful players in the sport provide us with truly battle tested guidance. Bernardo Faria is more than qualified to dole out this kind of information and in this segment, he speaks to the brown belt. Have a listen.
If you’re not a brown belt, no worries, Faria has some quick words for those of us at all levels.
At white belt Faria feels we should be focusing on the fundamentals of BJJ. I don’t think anyone would contest this. Building a solid foundation is paramount to the rest of your BJJ journey and without spending the time necessary to begin understanding the basic techniques of jiu-jitsu, our progress would simply cease to exist.
Once you’ve committed yourself to learning the basics and achieve the blue belt, Faria believes it’s time to branch out, and pad your fundamental knowledge with some new ideas.
At purple, the foundation is strong. Here’s where Faria says we can really begin to open up, explore and begin adding more exotic ideas to our arsenal. As Faria states, this is where he began to explore the deep half guard.
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In my own experience this is exactly the way things went. I felt comfortable at purple belt to begin exploring more unorthodox themes and ideas. I began to look at leg locks and more outside the box ideas. When we feel our foundation has become solid, we can begin to experiment more.
Faria feels that at brown belt our time is best spent finding the holes in your game and fixing them.
As a brown belt you’ve no doubt developed a unique game filled with things you love to do. You’ve seen a lot and you know what you like. Put your go to stuff under the microscope and refine the things you love. Make your techniques air tight. Faria advises us to ask ourselves how we can make what we already do better.
This is great advice. As we get closer to black belt, the concept of refinement should be in the forefront of our minds. If this is our focus, the presentation of one of the highest honors in BJJ will feel that much better upon its arrival. Thank you, Bernardo Faria!
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