BJJ Basics class?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Obi Wan Shinobi, May 6, 2017.

  1. Obi Wan Shinobi

    Obi Wan Shinobi New Member

    Hello I've have trained in Shotokan and Judo and in both Arts I started out in a beginner's class. I've recently been training in BJJ for about 8 months now and there never was a beginner type of class. Our classes usually are practicing whatever technique our Coach has planned for the day and then sparring. We even sparred on my first day with me having no clue what to do. I feel that I haven't progressed much in these 8 months. Are all BJJ classes similar in training?
  2. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Half of the gyms I've attended have a dedicated beginner class, the other half just drop you in with the sharks. It's hard for me to say which is better. I started my first couple years at one of the shark tank gyms, it was a great experience. It's initially frustrating, but I found it liberating as well. With that said, my coach also emphasized positional sparring and guard games that isolated techniques. I think the gyms that had beginner classes would often have people who floundered in their approach, and didn't really progress all that much. By contrast, those without the beginner classes had a much higher dropout rate. After eight months, what's it like when someone new enters the gym and spars with you?
  3. Obi Wan Shinobi

    Obi Wan Shinobi New Member

    Well when I spar with a new white belt I can easily see the same mistakes they're making that I did. I have to agree that the shark tank method is much more frustrating but every little achievement is epic...LOL. I'm beginning to understand why it takes on average 10 years to earn a black belt in BJJ. Its definitely not something that is given away.
  4. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    You very much have to work for it. I'm starting up grappling again after a long hiatus, I found a judo joint near me :]
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    The thing I've found with grappling is that it's very common for a more senior student to correct your technique whilst you're drilling it, because there's no point in letting you drill something wrong. That removes a lot of the need for a beginners class, particularly once you know the bare minimum (how to tap/fall/protect your partner).
  6. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    There's 2 separate questions here -

    1) That's how a lot of Brazilian - BJJ instructors teach, But I personally think its not an optimum way to teach new people, and it also acts as a filter to new people who arn't naturally gifted in grappling.
    Because of this some brazilian Orgs and a lot of second generation non Brazilian BJJ coaches spent a lot of time developing beginners courses.

    Gracie Barra, American Topteam, robson moura, Saulo etc have this, as does John Will, Roy Dean, SBG/ Matt Thornton, Chris hauter/Combat base.

    2) You will of definitely improved in those 8 months, But you may not of developed a concrete game yet - Think of all the things you definitely know how to do, even if you cant always pull them off in sparring yet.

    If you want to help organise your understanding the 'BJJ Roadmap' on is free and very good!
  7. Obi Wan Shinobi

    Obi Wan Shinobi New Member

    Thanks for the advice, yes is a good site. Thank you again
  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

  9. Vince Millett

    Vince Millett Haec manus inimica tyrannis MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I was thrown in a the deep end three and a half years ago and have done just fine but since then our club has a "fundamentals" class (which I always attend) and a "beginners' " class which is on one of my rest nights so I only attend it occasionally.

    I'm a blue belt. When I spar with our white belts I am instantly aware of what they have been drilling in the beginners' class because the standard is so good and I have to be constantly paying attention or I'll be caught with something.

    That class has lot of positional sparring so the students learn to apply the techniques under pressure straight away. It is really paying off - the next generation of blue belts in our club will be killers.

    Incidentally our "advanced" class follows the beginners' class, so sometimes I do both. I am always glad I did the beginners' class first because often the core movement, however familiar, needed a tweak or two and was the basis for the advanced techniques later in the evening.
  10. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I think that constantly developing your fundamentals is key

    Having a class dedicated to basics is probably helpful initially (my academy has one), but I don't think you stop focusing on your fundamentals after you move up a class

    So I think that if your place doesn't have a basics class then that's OK too. Either way at some point you have to learn to focus on the foundational elements in every class
  11. Vince Millett

    Vince Millett Haec manus inimica tyrannis MAP 2017 Gold Award

    One thing I noticed when attending our Fundamentals class as a white belt was that the higher belts often attended but that they also often asked questions about details or applications. The more you know, the more you know that there's more to know.
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    This makes sense.
    Years ago I heard an aikido instructor say that there are no "advanced" techniques. They're just the basics done very, very well. :eek: I believe that applies to BJJ, also.
  13. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    There are techniques that require advanced attribute levels - coordination/proprioception and flexibility for the most part.
  14. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I train at a place that does do fundamentals/beginner classes, but I'm not able to make their times.

    Those classes that I did manage to get to focused on position basics, grip basics, and drilling various movements (shrimps, rolls, technical standup, etc).

    I've been going to the all-ranks classes.
    When rolling with more experienced opponents I find generally 2 categories:
    - They push me but not too hard--they let me get position & moves on them if I perform them well enough, they aren't very aggressive towards me. Sometimes they will stop and correct me if I'm trying something over and over and it isn't working--they will show me what I am doing incorrectly.

    - They push really hard and it seems like there is nothing I can do to them. I think this category just isn't holding back enough for me to have much chance against them. I still find it somewhat beneficial--I try to survive without degrading my position as long as I can, and I learn a bit more about which body mechanics work well and which don't. (Keep those elbows in tight!)

    Compared with rolling against newer students, I get a LOT more out of it.
    And now I'm starting to see that if I don't hold back at all I crush newer students pretty fast in rolling. So now I'm starting to hold back a bit...

    It is really hard to see your own progression. BJJ has a lot of different moves, tons of little details to learn, etc. So it seems like you aren't learning much/progressing much (at least, it does to me), but then I'm surprised at how much my rolling has improved over time.
  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Having a deep game is much better then having a wide game.

    But if your game isnt wide enough, people will take advantage of what you dont know!
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Those sort of techniques, are generally trick moves that take advantage of a lack of understanding in your opponant, so theyre not really that dependable.
  17. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    That's a fair point. I have seen some cool stuff that requires good hip flexibility for the setup.
  18. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I was watching Eddie Bravo the other day saying how he changed his top game after rolling with a super-flexible guy. This purple belt tapped him twice because his usual game didn't figure for someone being so flexible.

    Would you say that he fell for a trick?

    As for coordination, I've seen a lot of top BJJ guys on video showing long sequences of moves that are very technical and require fairly high levels of coordination and proprioception. Are they trying to sell cheap tricks?
  19. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Nothing wrong with techniques that are unexpected. I think the point is that they have their place and your game is exposed if you rely too much on them and let your fundamentals suffer as a result

    Most of the time I roll with a heavy weight. Recently I was caught a little off-guard when I rolled with a smaller, super flexible guy. I realised that I needed to close down some "blind spots" and probably spend more time rolling with people across the spectrum
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Definitely. The more different body types and characters you can spar with the better!

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