Thursday, May 23, 2013

Evolution Of BJJ

A lot of things have changed in BJJ, things that used to work years ago no longer work. And it's not because people lost touch with the basics, or they never learned the true invisible jiu jitsu.

It's because in the past, if you trained 4 times a week, it was a lot. I remember in early 2000, if you trained 3x or more a week, it was a lot. Unlimited training was very rare and twice a day was only for Gracies.

So the game was different and people created systems around what was available at the time. Meaning guys got tired, they would get tired from picking people up, they broke the guard open from the knees. They got tired of standing and smashing and passing so they began passing from the knees. They got tired and started sitting in peoples closed guards. Or they got tired and just held half guard. So many schools teach you moves based on the idea that you are starting from the knees, or he will willingly enter your guard, or pass from his knees because its too tiring to stay standing. And its why when they compete, objective reality hits them in the face. They have no way to get a person into their guard unless they jump guard, and if the top guy doesn't just sit their on his knees and let you set up your grips, you are at their mercy.

So do all the moves you learned in the past not work because the game has gotten too sporty? Or do they no longer work because there are a lot of guys who train all the time and they don't get tired in a 5 minute match let a lone a 10 minute match?

Who can pick you up over and over even though they are same weight as you. They can spend 3-4 minutes on one pass attempt without their knees ever resting on the ground. People don't need to go into half guard to stop a pass, they can go inverted over and over and recover guard. How many times have you gotten swept just because you were tired or your legs gave out? Well that was a legitimate point of strategy back in the day.

So many of the moves we learned from closed guard are hard to do because its so hard to get someone into your closed guard in the first place. Even trying to hold them in your classic open guard with feet on the hips is difficult. And now you are trying to stop passes where they don't tire and they are putting an incredible amount of pressure. In the past the guy on top would get tired because they are up, where the bottom guy is lying on his back and can conserve energy. Now neither guy gets tired.

Rubber guard was so brilliant because it exploited the 90s and early 2000 habit of sitting in peoples guard, and all the half guard sweeps exploited people sitting in half guard. That's the era Eddie learned BJJ. Now people don't pit stop anywhere, they go go go and don't get tired and don't willingly enter your guard or half guard. There's so many brilliant moves I've seen from rubber guard, I have not seen a lot of good ways to get an opponent into your rubber guard against an unwilling opponent.

A lot of the old BJJ relied on people getting tired. Modern BJJ realizes people won't get tired so they have to come up with innovative ways to scramble to make things happen. It's a mistake to think things are changing because its just diluted or its jiu jitsu being too sporty. Things are changing because the pioneers were too used to fighting guys and other martial arts guys who had cardio that would last 1-2 minutes like in a real street fight.

Against an opponent who doesn't get tired, its a whole new ball game. Its one of the major reasons BJJ has kept evolving.

MMA changed when Frank Shamrock, followed by Tito Ortiz emphasized good cardio. It became the new Zuffa era, then GSP and Benson Henderson and everyone else is a cardio freak. Same thing happened in BJJ. I remember hearing about these technical wizards of BJJ who would kill champions who visited their school but in BJJ competition, they would do great initially, get tired and lose. Same thing when some of them entered MMA.

When you have out of shape BJJ guys, or older guys, you learn the basics and you start believing oh, I get smashed by these young guys because my basics aren't good, I am missing key hidden details, it does a lot of save face and ego. To think its because you are out of shape does something to you mentally. So people love that, its because I am not technical enough and need to focus more on the basics not because I am just training 1-2x a week and I am gaining weight. And practicing basics won't wear me out but has a high return on investment! I CAN catch up to these punk kids. YES! Better technique always helps but so does better conditioning.

In health people always want to know the secrets to weight loss. There are no secrets. Same thing with anything. People who look for secrets don't succeed.

It's why all sports change, better athletes change the strategy. The greatest Gracie was Rolls during one era, he was also the biggest and strongest. He died and the greatest Gracie was Rickson, who we think had effortless jiu jitsu, yet he also happened to be the strongest, biggest, and most athletic of the Gracies of his era. That's no coincidence, when conditioning enters the picture along with skill, everything changes. Now the best Gracie is Roger, who is also the big strong and athletic Gracie. You guys see a pattern here?

1 comment:

  1. if all this is true, then why do very well conditioned, athletic, push the pace jiu jitsu guys like galvao (as recently as 2009, when rickson was 50) claim that rickson was able to tap him multiple times without galvao able to attain a single submission?



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