The Levels Of Understanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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I watched a great video by BJJ black belt instructor, Roy Dean where he illustrated the evolution of how we view and understand jiu-jitsu.

An armbar is an armbar, just the same from white belt all the way through black belt, right?

Not so fast!

As we gain experience, our understanding of the basic techniques deepens.

Initially, we become aware that an armbar exists. We learn the basic mechanics and drill until our bodies have some muscle memory.

Then we begin to recognize positions where we have the opportunity for the armbar. One black belt described this as awareness of the “trigger positions”.

Later, we learn about the refined mechanics. All of those small but significant details that prevent easy counters and make the technique tighter.

Next we see the possibilities and variations. That same armbar can be executed from positions such as mount, guard, and side control.

We continue to learn how to deal with our opponent’s counters, and we begin to see attacking in terms of combinations.

We develop set-ups instead of attacking with straightforward, easily defended attacks.

An even higher level of understanding comes when we make up our own armbar spontaneously in a roll. We get a grip on an extended arm and see that with various combinations of our limbs, we can make a fulcrum and a lever.

“Improvised mechanics are a signature of the advanced game” Roy Dean said of the black belt.

The path of learning jiu-jitsu is long and you will gain new insights into old, familiar techniques as your own understanding of the art deepens.

Read also on the Jiu-Jitsu Times: The Spider Ninja on Flow Rolling – Part 1


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