How To Be More Effective At BJJ

How To Be More Effective At BJJ

The answer is that a deeper knowledge of the simple techniques gives more effective Jiu-Jitsu.

Developing a deep knowledge and skill of a smaller number of basic BJJ moves and their underlying concepts is far more effective than constantly chasing new techniques but not really having a deep understanding of their usage nor developing them into a reliable skill of unconscious reflex.

Early on in learning Jiu-Jitsu, It’s easy to get caught up in the constant search for newer and crazier techniques and your approach to Jiu-Jitsu often becomes an arms race to find something new your opponent hasn’t seen before. 

The problem with this approach is you’re relying on beating your opponents by constantly surprising them with something they have never seen before. So it is short lived as they will soon figure out what you did and then you will have to go and find something new to surprise them again.

Focus On Fewer BJJ Techniques And Train Them To A Deeper Level.

Effective Jiu-Jitsu

Much better is to take the concept of a BJJ move and develop it by using and studying it again and again till you develop it to a deep level of skill, understanding and effectiveness where the person may have seen it before and expect you to use it but they are still unable to stop it. 

If you have a deeper understanding and skill of a move or concept than your opponent has of its defence then its application will be successful.

If you have spent longer studying and practicing the usage of a BJJ technique and concept than your opponent has spent studying and practicing its defence then they will be unable to stop it.

Spending time studying and practicing a BJJ technique or concept you already know on a basic level might seem like a waste of time but each time you practice and study it, the neural pathways relating to its use in your brain grow in size, if you imagine these as cables that get thicker with every use, you can see how each practice gives a larger bandwidth as it allows more information to travel along it at once, increasing your performance and physical intelligence of the movement. 

The larger these pathways become the less mental effort it takes for you to perform their corresponding skills eventually allowing you to perform them without thought, this is the reason why things that are made into a habit are generally easier to do.

When used in the heat of the moment, whether in sparring or in a fight, you do not often have time to think much about what move to use, by the time you have thought about it the specific window that opened at that time has closed and it is too late. Techniques and concepts must be developed to the level of an unconscious reliable physical reflex and and this can only be done by investing generous amounts of time into them.

By studying a BJJ technique on a deeper level you also move beyond a simple understanding of how it works in terms of its basic mechanics and gain a greater understanding of why it works and the concepts behind its effectiveness that allow it be successfully applied, allowing you in turn to apply these to a multitude of varying situations adapting it as you need in the moment.

This gives you a far more effective and lasting solid skill that you can rely on long term and do not need to replace.

Basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques Are More Effective.

Effective Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The more basic BJJ techniques and more importantly the concepts behind them are the best ones to focus on and develop as the more complicated a move is, the more specific the circumstances that are required for its use become and as such the less often they will occur and the less broad ranging its possible application becomes.

Also the more complex a move is, the harder it is to perform under pressure. When under stress, especially with the occurrence of adrenaline, such as in a competition or self defence situation, the areas of the brain in use change, and areas related to intellect and intricate thought close down in favour of the areas related to basic physicality.

Small motor skills, (detailed, complicated fiddly movements requiring finesse and concentration of thought to perform) become more difficult to perform and gross motor skills (large, simple, powerful, general physical movements) are easier to perform. Therefore the less complex a BJJ move, the easier it is to perform when you actually need it.

Quality Not Quantity Makes More Effective BJJ.

Improve BJJ Effectiveness

Invest time and thought and delve deeper rather than wider into your basic BJJ techniques and concepts and you will create far more effective jiu-jitsu than someone who is playing with a new crazy technique every 5 minutes and rather than just understanding HOW a technique or concept works, understand the reasons WHY it works, as this is where the power of Jiu-Jitsu is found.

Credit to Joe Watson Photography for the great Photos of the cub.