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I remember I had this student a long time ago and he would always come to class with new BJJ tapes he just got offof the internet from Brazil. No matter what techniques I showed him he only wanted to practice the moves he saw the BJJ celebrities do on tape. You know what happened to him. Not only didn’t he learn what I was trying to teach him but he NEVER learned the moves from the tapes either. He looked good rolling because he could mimic the movements. But underneath there was no real substance to his technique.
Well what does this have to do with you? Well let’s see. If you’re like me and many other people in the Worldthere’s nothing better than learning a new move. Especially a really fancy one. I was hanging out at my instructor ‘s house watching tapes a long time ago and he had something most people won’t ever have the privilege of seeing. You know how some people at grappling tournaments video tape all of their matches and how they tape different tournament? Well my instructor had matches of him competing since he was a blue belt. As I started watching his tapes I started to see people like Mario Sperry, Allan Goes, Roleta, Nino, Marcello Grosso, Murillo Bustamonte, Wallid and a bunch of other BJJ celebrities. I know what you’re thinking. SO has ever one in the world that has ever seen a BJJ tournament tape. Well these tapes were a little different. Most of the BJJ celebrities in this tape were blue belts at the time. He had tapes of all of these guys as blue belts, purple belts, brown Belts and Black Belts. After watching over 20 different tapes and seeing all of these guys at the different BJJ levels. I noticed one thing. When it hit me it I thought to myself that there has to be something to this.
Let me tell you what I noticed. Every last person on those tapes have been basically doing there same patentedmove since they were blue belts. I mean the guard pass you see them do on the tapes as Black Belts is the exact one they were doing ten years ago. The fancy helicopter sweep wasn’t something they just threw together, they’ve been working on it for a long time. Let me get to my point. If you watch any videos and see a particular move being done by a Black Belt you better bet that it’s probably been in his or her game for a long time. They’ve been developing it since the early days.
So what does this have to do with you? Simple don’t get bored with something that you’re doing well now becauseyou can carry it all the way to Black Belt and beyond. It’s really easy to get sidetracked with trying to learn the next new move of the month and 5-10 years later you realize you’re really good at NOTHING.
So, here is my suggestion: Think about one move that you have in your arsenal that you either have great successwith or you’re always getting close to pulling it off. I don’t care if it’s a submission or a sweep, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you find something that you’re getting some type of positive results with. Let me make this clear, if you’re almost sweeping people with a certain technique that’s fine.
Now this is what I want you to do. Promise yourself that you will not give up on this technique for at least 18months and that you will try to practice and improve this move for the next 18 months. How does that sound? You can practice anything else that you think will help your game, you just can’t stop something that is working now. Who knows, this may be your technique that takes you to Black Belt. You never know.
I was really good at lapel chokes in my early days but after awhile I just couldn’t do them anymore, I wasgetting frustrated and I just stopped doing them. It was almost an entire year before I started to do them again. You see the problem was that everyone I was training with had gotten used to them and had gotten used to my set ups. But when I went to tournaments they worked like a charm. There are moves you’re doing really well in class but they may not be working as well as they once did. Don’t worry, it may just be that your entire school is on to your game and your particular move. If this is the case, your move will still work if you go somewhere else. Don’t give up on it, just make some new combinations to confuse your teammates. You’ll find that the new combinations that you make up to counter what your teammates are doing will broaden your arsenal even more.
There are many students that will give up on a move that could very well have taken them to the Black Belt levelbut somewhere along the way they lost confidence in it. Understand this principle. Of course you can try to add new moves here and there but they must fit into your game. The problem is that people are trying to put a game piece into their arsenal and it just doesn’t fit. As a matter of fact it’ll end up unbalancing the entire game sometime.
There’s a reason that the Champions always do the same move, the same pass, the same take down, the same sweep,the same choke. It’s their move.
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