View Full Version : Thoughts on BJJ

06-10-2000, 05:58 AM

well, i've just finished my first week of
BJJ. it's a lot of fun, though it could take
a while before i'm comfortable enough to use it.

the class is structured a bit differently than the way that Ginsuedog described his class. although i'm sure that sparring is a big part of BJJ, we don't actually spar during the class time. instead, my instructor shows us techniques, which we practice. then he shows us some more, and we practice those. (ex. one guy takes the other guy down a couple of times. then they switch.)
sparring is done after class, when there is open mat time.

i don't know if this goes against the 'we spar from day one' mindset of some individuals, but i've decided not to engage in sparring until i can execute the techniques very cleanly against a cooperating opponent. hopefully, that won't take too long.

The instructor has is set up so that every week focuses on a different set of techniques. The week that i started was a takedown week. that also means that it was very much a wrestling week, as we were doing single leg takedowns a lot (wrestling, right?). i wasn't previously interested in learning wrestling because i'm not a big, muscular guy but my instructor was a former wrestler and i guess their takedowns are supposed to be better.

oh, yeah. my thoughts on BJJ. since my first week was a bit wrestling heavy, i don't know how much i can say about BJJ. my first day was actually from the previous week, however, when they were working on techniques centered around knee on stomach (knee mount?). it was really cool, because it seemed that all of the techniques that were being used on the ground were very effective and not strength dependent. i love that armbar.

06-10-2000, 06:02 AM
"but i've decided not to engage in sparring until i can execute the techniques very cleanly against a cooperating opponent."


06-10-2000, 06:39 AM
Great! I enjoy BJJ very much. I have only been at it since last Oct, but I have a background in wrestling so i felt pretty comfy on the ground. There were a few things I had to get used to , but I really like it. My Gung Fu teacher has also started going. he has been training internal gung fu for 30 years, but really didnt have a clue once the fight got to the ground. He is now turning into a real grappling fanatic.

06-10-2000, 07:14 AM
Good luck and I hope everything works out for you. I recommend putting in as much mat time as you can, just let the out guy know your pretty new so he goes easy on you.-ED

06-10-2000, 09:08 AM
>>I've decided not to engage in sparring until i can execute the techniques very cleanly against a cooperating opponent. hopefully, that won't take too long.<<

My advice to you is jump in the fire. when I first started out I thought I could hold my own by virtue of my wrestling background. I was so naive, my arms hurt for 3 months. My tapping technique was excellent though LOL. Anyhow, I wouldn't go back and do anything different, mat-time is the best thing you can get, even if you are being dominated, you will begin to develop sensitivity, mat saavy, timing and mental toughness. Just remember to breathe and RELAX, one day you will go to class and you will be the one dominating. It's a cool feeling. I started to see a difference in about 6 mos. anyhow good luck and welcome to the brotherhood!

06-11-2000, 12:48 AM

when i said cooperating i meant drill type exercises. that is, when i do a takedown the other guy doesn't try to prevent me from taking him down. then we both get up and then we do it again. just developing technique and muscle memory. it's not sparring.

sparring would be where i try to take him down, and he laughs at me while doing something very painful to me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

GinSueDog and JJJ,

after reading what you guys had to say i might have to reconsider my previous decision not to spar. i was worried mainly that i would develop some bad habits by trying the moves before i really knew them. on the other hand, sparring could be a real quick way of letting me know what i'm doing wrong.

it's cool that a kung fu sifu is willing to put aside his pride and ego to learn something new.

As a minor sidenote, i'm going to have to talk to my instructor about the proper way of falling. i was trying to tuck my chin in while falling, but when i hit the mat my head did, too. my neck still hurts and i don't have full range of motion right now. probably just a bit sore, but something i should figure out. also, i somehow bruised both of my elbows after our takedown session. i was trying to use my palms to lessen the impact,but it seems my elbows hit the ground first.

06-11-2000, 09:34 PM
Two weeks ago was the first time I didn't get tapped out, I didn't tap anyone out but I was able to hold my own against the blue belt I was sparring with. It was a pretty cool feeling. BTW, I get bruises all the time and have no idea how I got them, especially on the inside of my arms and ribs.-ED

06-11-2000, 09:47 PM
good to see you enjoy it ,bst way to learn,if i were you i'd try the sparing (as long as they dont rip your arm off lol)good luck

dan downard
07-27-2000, 02:37 AM
You should be going like 50% during drills.Then after drills go 100% and try to use them.You have to train with "aliveness".Otherwise you are just doing forms.Learning a bunch of stuff and then trying to put them together under presure for the first time wont work too well.Learn to use each technique at 100% then start learning the next tech.The best way to teach someone nothing at all is to try and teach them everything at once.Get one down against a resisting opponant.Then go to the next technique.After you get the basics down,then you will naturally start to put them together as you already know how to apply them at 100% resistance.This is how you learn to flow.If you are constantly having to think about everything you will be slow.Get them down one at a time so that when the opening comes you take it without thinking about it.

07-27-2000, 04:58 AM

Get on the mat and roll as much as you can pal! Don't worry about getting submitted. It'll be that way for a little while. You are right about trying to refine technique, but there's no better way to get a feel for grappling techniques than to get on the mat. The more mat time you get, the easier it will be for you to get the proper "feel" for grappling. Once you get that feel, then the techniques will soon come together. The techniques will only make sense if you know the feeling of dealing with an uncooperative adversary.


07-27-2000, 11:36 AM
As some one alluded to above the three keys to BJJ success are:

1. Mat Time
2. Mat Time
3. Mat Time

Glad you enjoy it!!!


07-27-2000, 01:07 PM

I wrestle with BJJ guys somtimes, to get some ground skills. All I can say is spar. And spar against guys better than you. Do your forms and stuff, and practice with willing subjects, but SPAR. There is no better way to increase your reflexes, adaptational abilities, and technique than to spar with someone who kicks your ass, and then gets up, shows you where you went wrong, gives you suggestions, and lets you try them out. For any art to be effective, it has to be second nature. It can't be, "oh this guy is throwing a punch at me. Well, I think I will block and then sweep his legs. I think I will do that right about..........now" Can't be like that. See? Maybe I am full of ****.........its possible

Paul DiMarino
07-27-2000, 06:33 PM
It's starting to look like Mousel's around here... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I have to agree with these guys. Mat time is the key. Don't even worry about being submitted because it will happen a lot. Just be focussed and have a goal everytime you go out there. I'm wrapping up my 5th month in about a week or so, and I'm just now starting to notice some big improvements. Developing the sensitivity and timing to pull these techniques off on a resisting opponent is a necessity.

08-02-2000, 01:55 AM
well, it seems like someone's been digging for old bjj threads. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I seem to recall
posting this thread around two months ago.

Anyways, just letting everyone know that I do respond to my threads. I was away from computers for a few weeks and didn't get to access the internet.

08-02-2000, 02:04 AM
now for a real reply:

thanks everyone for the input. i've decided to put any future bjj related questions and comments of mine onto this thread. let's start with a few right now.

My bjj school has put me under a
6-month contract. is this normal?

I want to learn bjj for self defense more than for sport, but the class i'm taking focuses on sport bjj. i think that this class will still give me a decent base for incorporating striking later. does anyone agree or disagree?

does anyone know of a BJJ instructor/competitor named Greg Nelson? He's a purple belt under Pedro Sauer and my instructor. I think he's legit, but i'd like the confirmation of various faceless internet entities. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

08-02-2000, 06:08 AM
Roll man,roll!You need to get on the mat and semi sparring immediatly.Try starting in the opponents gaurd and working from there.Once you pass the gaurd get back in it and try again.You can moderate the level of intensity,but bjj is much less effective without this kind of practice.A fun drill we used to do was the line drill,where you start with a guy in your gaurd.He tries to pass for two minutes,then a fresh guy comes in and tries to pass your gaurd etc.if you have 3 people rotating in and out youll learn a LOT about efficient use of the gaurd.There are innumerable little drills you can do .Good luck!

Paul DiMarino
08-02-2000, 06:52 PM
I don't know about your instructor, and contracts or even chasing people for money is unheard of at my school, but I can help you out with the self-defense question. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Basically, after minimal training in BJJ, you dominate the avregae Joe on the ground pretty easily. Everyone on this board knows I'm not a BJJ worshipper. I'm just talking from experience. I've only been in BJJ for 5 months now, but I blow away and toy with my friends if we wrestle or even just to mess with them. Hehehe. Also, we had a first timer in class the other day who outweighed me by 55 lbs (not that hard) and had 5 years of previous stand-up MA training, but I pretty much was just having my way with him. To me, this is proof that a little training in BJJ can be a huge factor when you're on the ground.

I'm not saying that you should attempt to take a fight there on the street, but for all practical purposes, if you hit the ground, then BJJ is an excellent self-defense tool to get to a superior position and pummel your opponent. Be it sport training, vale tudo training, or self-defense training. I'm not saying that BJJ is the end-all, be-all. However, I do beleive that BJJ is an excellent way to round yourself off if you are a primarily a stand-up fighter, and it is also a great base art if you have never practiced martial arts before.

dan downard
08-02-2000, 07:55 PM
During a sport bjj match the points awarded are for being in the positions to strike.Knee in belly,mount, back mount,head and arm are good places to strike from.No points are awarded for attempted and failed subs.But holding a position long enough to get in strike is what you get points for.So yes,it is still good for the street.