Contributed by Manolis Zouganelis of BJJ Blog , who interviewed intrevewed Belgian BJJ black belt Wim Deputter.
First time i walked into a proper form BJJ class was in 2008 in Leuven,Belgium in Exit/Brasa BJJ academy.
Back then i met Wim Deputter as a purple belt at that time who was teaching some classes and apart from being the nicest guy you will ever meet he is the perfect example of the guy who never quits, a guy that deeply loves BJJ and a person who i look up to on and off the mat.
Wim deputter is a black Belt under Felipe Costa and so far has 385 wins(244 submissions-2 DQ)and 67 losses in BJJ/grappling/MMA.
When i asked him to make a short interview and share his experience with the rest of us he was more than happy to do so!
MZ: when was the first time you came in contact with martial arts?
WD:The first time I came in contact with martial arts was probably when I was 8 years. Was a initiation class of judo in school.
I start practicing judo the year after when I was 9.
MZ: Tell us about your training regimen
WD: Usually 2 – 3 times a day during the week and 1 time on Saturday and Sunday. I usually give a private in the morning
In this private I teach technique and roll for about 1 hour. Around 13h I roll about 1h and in the evening I teach class for 2h.
When I teach I usually give 1h technique, 15min of specific rolling and 45 min free rolling. One training a day I usually roll a bit more intense and 1 more relax and trying new stuff. The intensity depends on how I feel. I don’t have a specific rest day. I rest when I feel tired. Otherwise I train. I always train gi. Except Tuesday freestyle wrestling 1 class and Thursday 1 no gi class.
MZ:wow that’s alot of work volume! Whats is your favorite position ?
WD:I love many positions. I love everything actually. Defending attacking top bottom. All part of the game But Competition wise I prefer to start from half guard bottom. In general I like to be close to my opponent. Step by step crushing, not giving any options.
MZ:Do you prefer to be the aggressor or counter and setting up your opponent?
What’s your BJJ mind set when you step on the mat and fight?
WD:I prefer to take position, good posture, gradually increasing the pressure, tiring out my opponent and little by little forcing him to make a mistake. So aggressor, but waiting for his mistakes. I try to empty my mind, feeling no emotions, and have a clear idea of what I’m going to do step by step. I try to relax and slow my heart beat.
WP:Thx I feel like this. If I get anxious, I might attack to late or not aggressive enough,’Cause I’m scared. If I get overconfident, I might attack to soon, rush, give to much. Something my opponent can use to his advantage. If I’m angry, I might act to soon out of anger
So the best state is to be completely neutral. Attach no emotion to the fact, cause emotions lead to stress, anxiety and overconfidence.
In jiu jitsu you always need posture. If you push to much or lean too much forward, they can pull you out of balance. If you lean backwards or pull too much, they can push you out of balance. The best posture is to be in the middle, neutral, and feel in what directions your opponent overcompensates. I like to picture a wall. A wall just is. It’s balanced. It doesn’t lean forward or backward. It just refuses to fall when you push or pull. The same principal about posture I try to apply on my mind.
MZ:How should a person should roll in training?
WD:It really depends. You should do everything. Sometimes push yourself to submit the guy. Sometimes play defensive. Sometimes just roll very basic without giving any options. Most of the time, just flow, feel what he is doing and try to react accordingly. But gassing should never happen. Just for the experience to roll while tired maybe. To be complete. But not more then that. Try to see jiu jitsu like a marathon. Since I train a lot of hours, I try to not tire myself too much. Spread it over the day. Conserve your energy. A roll means nothing. Being able to roll the rest of your life does.
MZ:Lately has been lots talking about drilling or not, are you fond of the drills or you work on “concepts” ?
WD:I train technique a little bit, until I get it more or less. Then I try to spend a lot of time in that position while rolling. I mostly do free rolls. Not much specific, so the first training is getting to the position. Then step 2: Staying there, feeling his reactions, and think where my techniques fit in. Then apply. I don’t really do much drilling. Sometimes I drill standing guard passes or spider guard passing, cause this tends to be a fast game. Heavy depending on quick reaction. But my main training is rolling, and experimenting while rolling.
MZ:that’s an alternative view given that lots of high level practitioners dedicate a whole session on drilling 1000 times a move
WD:I’m not saying it’s the best. Just that I like this the most. Look, first of all training has to be fun. If it’s not fun, you won’t do it for the rest of your life. Maybe You will make more progression when you drill 1000 times everything but for most people that won’t matter.
If you roll every day 2h then extra drilling will surely make a difference. But drilling instead of Rolling is not the way for me.
MZ:totally get your point! You might drill it but if you are unable to apply it on live rollling even on lower belts then whats the point…
WD:Exactly. Look, actually I drill all the time. When I roll I experiment, without caring too much that is drilling. I think you should drill till you get the basic movement in your system. Then You can drill action reaction
You do step 1, opponent reacts, Step 2, and so on. 1000 repetitions on a not reacting opponent is as useful as hitting the bag to live boxing
It has it’s place, but it’s not the most important. First learn the basics, apply them while rolling. Get an overall decent game. Then drill some stuff you like or have trouble with. Don’t overthink it too much. Enjoy the training.
MZ:what do you think of modern BJJ game?
WD:I think the basics are most important and those apply as well on ‘the modern game’. It’s always about good posture, hip movement, angles. The exact position doesn’t really matter. You still need to apply these. Focus on basic positions first. As they are more universal applicable easier to understand and derive the basic principles from then. Once you have that, train the ‘new things’ because you want to be complete. Want to have fun and want to know how to counter them. You don’t need to know everything from every position. But you need to have an answer to everything
Whenever I arrive in position that I never experienced before
I apply the basics. Basics principles are like someone who take you by the hand and lead you across a path. If you trust that person 100% it doesn’t matter of the path gets dark. Sooner or later you will arrive somewhere where you do know. It’s the same for rolling. Basics and posture always work
. But keep an open mind to everything.
MZ:Favorite BJJ player ?
WD:I like Felipe Costa
As a person, a friend, a teacher and a competitor Rodrigo ‘Comprido’ Medeiros for the same reasons. Other than that, people that really influenced my game:
MZ:Lastly i wanted to ask you from all the fights you have so far which one you remember the most and why?
WD:That’s a difficult one. Maybe The finals of the ne waza world championship last year in November against Sebastien Lecoq because of the importance. The way it went. Judges against me. Tried to screw me over three times but I still won. Probably my most exciting fight. Other than that…Many others