Should mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a sport in and of itself – separately from MMA?
Furthermore, should they start from the beginning, as a white belt… And train in the gi? Would this further their success in the octagon?
Well, Sean O’Malley believes so.
He was asked the same question at a recent Grappling Industries event – and here is his answer:
I feel like… You look at some of the guys who have the best success at MMA and, you know, they’re high-level black belts in Jiu-Jitsu.
Demina Maia comes to mind obviously, Gilbert Burns – his Jiu-Jitsu is insane in the gi…
So, I would say I don’t think it’s waisting your time doing gi Jiu-Jitsu.
You’re developing your forearms, your grips, your understanding of Jiu-Jitsu.
And, while there is a difference between “pure” Jiu-Jitsu and Jiu-Jitsu for MMA, O’Malley believes that there’s still value to training in the gi:
MMA Jiu-Jitsu is completely different. With the added punches and in certain positions, I think it changes it.
But I don’t think it’s going to hurt to learn some Jiu-Jitsu from the beginning, as a white belt and in the gi.
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