Getting good in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t always as effortless as it may seem. When looking at it from the sidelines, it seems as easy as: „Watch a technique, learn it, and then use it during sparring or competition.“ However, everyone who trains or who has trained BJJ knows that it isn’t anywhere as simple as that; a lot of techniques that are taught during class aren’t acquired by students… And even when it seems that they were, competitions prove otherwise.
That’s precisely why you need to focus less on techniques and more on the concepts that you can use in Jiu Jitsu.
THERE’S TOO MANY TECHNIQUES – AND ONLY A HANDFUL OF CONCEPTS
To start out, just think about this from a logical point of view. How many techniques – and their setups – do you believe there are in the world of BJJ? Probably thousands, especially when all of the minor modifications are taken into account. Additionally, how many different techniques are demonstrated to you each class? Something like 3 or 4, or more? And how many classes per week do you have?
This isn’t just to say that there’s no chance that you’ll be able to cover all of the techniques during your lifetime of training. It actually points out to the fact that, even if you were to train every single day of the week, there’s no theoretical chance that you could ever learn every single technique.
And what about concepts? They’re way lower in numbers, and you can learn them pretty quickly with great success. Sure, their application is something which you’ll need to practice; let’s consider that in the following point.
IT’S EASIER TO LEARN AND USE CONCEPTS THAN TECHNIQUES
Even with the techniques which you have the time to learn, how many of them do you actually acquire? Despite the numerous drills and repetitions, not a lot of them stay with you… Or at least not as many as you’d wish. This just goes to say that you’re limited by the number of those techniques which you know how to apply with the highest quality.
This is perfectly normal. However, wouldn’t it be great if this „stack of techniques“ wasn’t your actual limit?
Well, if you decide to focus more on concepts, then you’ll be opening up a whole new world for yourself! Concepts don’t represent a sequence of moves that you need to ingrain into your brain and muscle memory. Rather, they’re abstract rules and pointers which are universally true.
So, you don’t have to drill and use up valuable mat time that way; but you only need to understand the concepts and practice applying them in live rolls.
This will actually take more brain power than executing a technique does, but that comes with an additional benefit.
JIU JITSU IS A THINKING SPORT, SO APPROACH IT THAT WAY
BJJ isn’t thought of as a game of „human chess“ without a reason. It requires you to be very proactive about finding intelligent solutions to the problem at hand; to a problem that constantly evolves and thinks, too. Therefore, just learning techniques will never be enough to excel in the sport; you need to understand why things happen as well.
That’s what concepts offer. Once you figure them out and start using them successfully, you’ll find that you can use them even when you don’t know the exact technique that is required; but, because you know how the concept works, you’ll be able to either defend against or submit your opponent.
So what are the most important concepts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Read this article to find out.
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