Roger Gracie is an undisputed GOAT – greatest of all time in jiu jitsu. Just in the past year the now 38 year old Gracie family prodigy dominated over one of the biggest champions of today Marcus Buchecha and managed to submit him with a chke.
Now if you’ve ever observed Roger you will realize he’s a bread and butter bjj guy – he mostly focuses heavily on basics and has very elegant solutions.
Recently Roger talked with graciemag and revealed why is it that he’s mostly all about the chokes:
Throughout your career, what technical detail has changed the way you tighten your opponents’ necks?
Roger Gracie: Changed the technical adjustments. There is always one detail or another that we perfect, but what has changed over the years has been the fit. I can better fit the grips, and better adjust my hands, especially before tightening the choke. This to me is the most important. I learned to be patient. And I proceeded to throw no grip while the position was not engaged enough. In the throttle of the mount, for example, I do not satisfy myself as long as the first hand is not tucked in there, in the depth that I know the opponent will not be able to escape. Only there I squeeze the strangulation.
Gracie also elaborated on upsetting trends in competitors of today:
Instead of competing to measure the quality of their Jiu-Jitsu, they train to win championships. If the fighter only cares about being a better competitor, he tends not to train the technical fundamentals and specific positions. The training ends up being all the time in the guard, which is the most recurring position in the competitions. They train so they do not take stitches, not finish. Forget that Jiu-Jitsu consists of passing, riding and picking up.
Interestingly Gracie prefers specific training:
What I recommend is that if you are going to train two hours, it does not have to be two hours of rolls. Set aside at least half an hour for specific positions to get into real situations. Start already on the mount, you attack and the companion defends. Five minutes or so, and you reverse. Start at hundred-kilos, the guy tries to reset while you try to ride or pick up, five minutes and swap. Then start in the back, five minutes and change. Of course you end up training the guard more, it’s a very important weapon, but there are other important fundamentals, do not forget. Otherwise, the result is a student or competitor with an unbalanced game, having an absurd gap between the various aspects of Jiu-Jitsu.