Ben Askren has always been very critical of Jiu-Jitsu. After all, Askren famously self promoted himself to black belt in BJJ:
The recently retired MMA fighter and Wrestling prodigy said in response to a fan question on Twitter that he regretted noy having put in more time in learning Jiu-Jitsu:
“I never really had a great jiu-jitsu coach until really the end of my career when I found Marc Laimon. I really enjoyed him. But before that, there was really a mix of different jiu-jitsu coaches at (Roufusport), and I think that my potential to choke people out went untapped. “I was the best pinner in modern era of college wrestling, and I think if I would have went to work with, say, the Danaher Death Squad or Marcelo Garcia, I could have really tapped into that at a much higher level. But then at the same time, I really liked being coached by Duke (Roufus), that was going well, and I always thought, ‘Hey, I’m good enough on the ground. I need to work on the striking end of the takedowns.’ I always thought, ‘Hey, I’m going to be done in a couple of years.’ And then it just ended up so happening that I fought until effing 2019.
“If I would have put some more time into jiu-jitsu, I think I could have gotten better choking people. But, hey, that’s how it goes sometimes. That’s what I would have done a little bit differently had I been able to go back and do it again.”
Askren was a guest on the Joe Rogan Podcast where he criticised the training methods of BJJ schools and what he sees as a lack of drilling.
He also talked about the lack of sense of doing 5 minute rounds in BJJ:
“We know, without a shadow of a doubt (that) just saying ‘go for five minutes’ is not the most effective way to train someone,” Askren said.
“If I’m coaching at my academy, and we were drilling the front headlock, we don’t just say ‘OK, now go five-minute goes’ because how many tries are they gonna get at going at the front headlock position?” Askren said. “Maybe one, maybe two, but essentially most people, if you say ‘go for five minutes’, they’re not disciplined enough to make themselves do new skills. They revert to whatever they do best. And then they just do it over and over and over again.”
“If I want a kid to be good at a front headlock – which if you’re gonna wrestle at a high level, you need a good front headlock – I’m gonna put him in there 50 times in that practice,” he added. “He’s gonna get it over and over and over, and maybe the next day, it’s single-legs, and maybe the next day it’s double-legs. And maybe some days, you say ‘hey, go for ten minutes, go wrestle.’”
“But saying ‘go for five minutes’ every single day is very much not the most effective way to do it, and it’s so insanely frustrating for me to have that happen at almost every jiu-jitsu school in the planet.”