In the world of BJJ there tends to be in general two different sides and thoughts about how Jiu Jitsu should be trained.
Some people believe BJJ should be trained only in the gi while others believe that the gi is what holds BJJ back.
Certain venues such as Metamoris have started to put on more nogi matches (most likely because they feel nogi is more spectator friendly) and others such as the IBJJF tend to throw more gi competitions.
I think that people have started to forget that BJJ is not a simple martial art and it encompasses techniques that are both gi and nogi.
People should in general train both in the gi and nogi.
I am not saying you have to like both equally, but rather you should respect the value of both. Here’s why:
This has been all over the place recently.
Starting your sparring rounds on your knees.
It has been called ineffectual, a waste of time and a bunch of other things by extremely high caliber grapplers who I respect and, frankly, agree with.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we are always learning.
We learn a lot about the art and about ourselves.
We learn a lot on the mat listening to our instructors and training with our friends and family, but there is another place we can learn a lot about Jiu Jitsu and life.
The place I am referring to is of course the competition mats.
While competition isn’t for everyone; there is a lot that we can learn under the Jiu Jitsu spotlight. You don’t have to have super high goal or expectations like winning worlds or the ADCC’s in order to use competition as a learning tool. I believe competition may be one of the most under-utilized learning tools in the BJJ world and here is a short list of a few of the top benefits to putting yourself out there.
The most important skill in jiu jitsu is learning how to tap.
It is one of the most fundamental aspects of BJJ, that enables us to fight to the full extent of our skill without damaging our partners.
This is pretty unique amongst martial arts.
But knowing when to tap is the key to your own protection and learning.
I recently had a coworker sign up at the gym I go to.
Awesome, I thought to myself.
I’ll have someone at work who will actually understand the beauty and wonder and joy we get from trying to choke each other or bend a joint the wrong way.
He joined about a month ago and has taken every class we have to offer, aside from BJJ.
We work in a jail, where every single fight and physical incident involving detainees ends up on the ground.
If you take a look at any recent tournament footage you begin to see certain trends in different age and weight divisions.
For example a few weeks ago the masters/seniors worlds were broadcast and “budoJake” was quoted on his show “this week in bjj” saying he thinks he saw maybe three berimbolos a few reverse delarivas and a lot more emphasis on standing even from guys who clearly had no idea what they were doing on the feet.
Why is this ?
Do you really need to compete when you training BJJ, is a question I asked myself a year ago.
When I started training, it really wasn’t to compete it was to enjoy the training, stay fit and learn something new.
But I started to question this decision the longer I trained. Was I missing out on something, were my concerns about injury unjustified?
So I researched the issue a lot before I made a decision and this is what I discovered…
Today Jiu Jitsu is much different than it was back in Helio and Carlos Gracie’s days.
Back when Jiu Jitsu was young our founding fathers had to be loyal and prove its effectiveness over other martial arts.
Now days we train in relaxed gyms and everybody is very social even from gym to gym.
This brings me to my point: No matter where you train or how many academy’s you have switched through, I believe it is important to know and respect your lineage.
Dating a grappler, in reality, is just the same as dating anyone else. We all have little habits that may seem strange to non grapplers.
But it is worth being prepared, for that may be different you anything else you may have experienced.
I have come up with a list of a few of the things that will make any prospective partner understand us a little better…
Everyone who practices BJJ has been a beginner. We all began our journey with the first step, a fresh blank slate for our instructors to fill with what seems like a bottomless amount of information.
Eventually we get to the point where we love it.