Let’s say that you just started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu… That you’re a fresh BJJ white belt and that you’re kind of confused.
There are so many techniques and positions out there. Which ones you should learn first?
Well, famed coach John Danaher understands the struggle you’re going through:
Start your training from the ground up, okay?
Your first sessions in Jiu-Jitsu, you’re going to find – to your horror – that everyone gets on top of you and you can’t get out. And it’s a dispiriting, crushing kind of feeling that you just have no skills and you have no prospects in the sport.
Therefore, there are two skills that every BJJ white belt should learn first:
So, your first two skills: you’ve got to be able to get out of any pin and you’ve got to be able to hold someone in your guard. So, pin escapes and guard retention are your first two skills.
I generally advocate the idea of learning to fight from your back first, and then learning to fight from top second.
But why does Danaher advocate that idea? He explains further:
Because the brute fact is, when you first start off, you just don’t have enough skills to hold top position or gain top position through a takedown.
So, inevitably you’re going to end up underneath people for most of your training time.
Your training should reflect that in the early days as a white belt. Start with the first two skills you need.
They’re not the most exciting, they’re not sexy skills that are going to make you look like a stud in the training room; but they’re going to keep you “alive” long enough to learn those sexy skills in the future – that will make you look like a stud.