Monday, January 10, 2011

The Real Reason I Don't Like Fancy Moves

The real reason is...they are just too dang hard to learn! It's like trying to do origami with your body. So I have to weigh my time to reward ratio. It will take me much longer to learn and master this move than a more simple basic move, and as far as reward wise, it's probably a lower ratio move. That's insane to me, spend more time learning a move that has a lower finish ratio?

You look at all the Mundials from beginning to now and look up the stats and the top finishes. I can guarantee they will be simple moves like cross choke, armbar, triangle.

Here is the other thing, some people are obsessed about learning every new move that comes down the pipe. But we are human, our brains don't work like that. We cannot learn thousands of different moves and be proficient at all of them. That's unfounded optimism. We can probably be proficient in just a small fraction of them. Yet people still think they can learn and master every new move, every fancy technique, etc. So all that time learning different things, taking forever to master something that's very awkward to do, and for what? It's like learning 80% of all the moves in BJJ that only work 20% of the time. As opposed to learning 20% of the moves that work 80% of the time.

Let's say for arguments sake the fancy move has an equal percentage of finish to something basic, but that fancy move will still take more time to learn, which gives your other person more time to master his move. And you will be in a time/skill deficit (if all other things are equal) and will likely never catch up.

You see this in BJJ all the time. A white belt learns the cross choke, another learns some rolling toe hold. The toe hold guy kills the collar choke guy at white belt. At purple the cross choke guy has taken over. By black, well the cross collar choke guy will be a black belt and the toe hold guy still a purple. Every academy has an example of this.


  1. alot of fancier moves also require more steps, which equals more opportunities for you to mess up, and more chances for your opponent to escape, counter or defend

  2. What constitutes a fancy move? Normally I agree with your posts, but don't forget that "moves" do not include just submissions. It's true that at the highest level, the finishes are by armbars, cross-collars and RNCs. But let's not neglect how they got there. I have been in Rio for the last couple weeks at Ricardo Vieira's Check Mat, and watching dozens of black belts roll hard against each other on the same mat. They are using fundamentals, but they are also fluent in all of the more contemporary guards. They get themselves caught up in all kinds of weird positions. It's true that Roger smashes everyone with the same takedown-pass-mount-choke, but there is only one Roger. Sometimes people get stuck in weird positions and in this day and age they have to know how to navigate the tricky waters too.

  3. Hey thanks for the comment. Let me post my response and my thoughts on the matter. And of course everything I say is just my opinion at the end of the day and is not absolute.



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