Part 2 – “Old School” Jiu-jitsu or the New Bjj 2.0?

Part 1 of this discussion provoked much debate and many shares.

Thank you to all of the jiu-jitsu times readers who commented and shared their opinion!
At Jiu-jitsu Times we LOVE to hear from you the readers!

The question comes down to:
Do you train “old school” self defense / basics centered jiu-jitsu?
Or are you a proponent of the “berimbolo” & lapel guards and other techniques popular in sports bjj?

Judging by the comments, overwhelmingly the “old school” philosophy of jiu-jitsu was favored by Jiu-jitsu Times commenters.

Most commenters mentioned that they felt that many of the positions and strategies that are effective in winning under sports bjj rules (and there is NO doubt these Bjj 2.0 ARE efffective under sports rules) are departing from the original purpose behind brazilian jiu-jitsu.
That is to win a physical confrontation against a larger, stronger opponent.
This is the reason why most people walk into an academy to try a martial art in the first place.

There are several world level competitiors who have been very successful with an old school game (ex. Xande and Saulo Ribeiro, Kron Gracie and Roger Gracie).
So called “basic positions” that oyu could learn in your first week of classes performed with razor sharp precision.

Watch this superfight with Roger Gracie and Comprido Medeiros (both Bjj Absolute World Champions)

Roger dominates with what appears to be a very basic strategy.
Any one here not know closed guard? Take the back? Collar choke?

But beyond debating about sports competition effectiveness, many commenters mentioned the self defense / real fighting aspects of brazilian jiu-jitsu in danger of being lost through over emphasis on competition strategies.
Some traditional martial arts have lost their original effectiveness due to “watering down” the techniques for sports competition and have endured much criticism from MMA fans.

I am reminded of an anecdote that I heard about the legendary trainer of champions Carlson Gracie Sr. that sums up the old school philosophy nicely:
Two students were drilling a deep half guard position and the student on top asked Carlson “How would you counter this deep half guard?”

Carlson responded “I would just punch him in the face!”

The student replied that they were learning the technique for sports competition rules and not for “vale tudo”.

Carlson replied bluntly “Why would you want to learn a technique that could get you hurt in a real fight?”

One of my favorite quotes about style of jiu-jitsu comes from Carlos Gracie Jr., the founder of Gracie Barra:
“I don’t get this obsession with all of the acrobatic guards.
They are efficient, sure. But they’re fleeting. Your body has difficulty understanding them for too long.
I say this from my own experience. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time.
Jiu-jitsu is for your whole lifetime, and by that line of reasoning you can rest assured that the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abadndon us.
At 70 we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility.
That can’t be said of the tornado guard or the berimbolo.”

There is no definitive answer to the question, but the spirit to keep a strong basics centered bjj is alive and well!


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