Friday, April 15, 2011


A BJJ black belt under Rickson told me that BJJ is about concepts. Techniques come from the concepts, you can't get the concepts with just techniques.


  1. I agree. The techniques may vary from student to student as they adapt it for their body type, skill level, etc... but the concept remains the same.

  2. Question is, what are the concepts? Does it also change from student to student?

  3. I don't think that the concepts change, only the technique. Example; how many armbar techniques are there? Alot. The concept is still the same. A concept is an idea; the concept, in this case, is to use leverage to manipulate the arm in such a way that if your opponent does not submit they risk elbow hyper-extension and possible breakage.

  4. I also agree. Now that I'm older and with kids, I have limited time to train, and thus, limited time to learn 2,000 submissions.

    It made me realize that regardless of how many "moves" I learn, if I don't understand the underlying "concept" behind it -- the underlying "mechanics" (I think of it as, "the reason why it would work against someone bigger and stronger than me, on the street"), then I don't quite internalize it properly.

    And this wastes time that I don't have.

    This has helped me narrow down the spectrum of my training. Due to my limited time, I need to learn the underlying concepts, in order to learn the types of techniques that will work with those concepts the best, and focus on them.

    As opposed to coming to class, trying to learn 4,000 moves and hoping BJJ will sink into my bones by osmosis.

    Who knows, maybe I'm too cerebral about it all. We've heard most black belts talk about how "mat time" is how you really learn BJJ. I don't doubt that.

    But what if all your mat time is spent trying moves with a shaky foundation? Tons of fancy moves ... yet no true understanding.

    Good post, Sam.

  5. Yes Daniel, you get older and more efficient and less time indulging on all the acrobatic stuff.

    Kevin, thanks for your response. I hope you don't mind me using your comment in a future post, I wanted to expand upon your idea and use it as an example.

  6. So - who can explain BJJ concepts? Even some of the basic moves? Is there a hierarchy?

    1. Any BJJ player with a certain level of proficiency who also has a certain level of proficiency in mindfulness. Mindfulness you can't categorize by belt rank, you would just have to have a conversation with them.



Affiliate links are used and I may receive a commission if you click.

Inner BJJ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to