When practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu and progressing through the weeks, months, and years of training, it can be easy to get caught up in wanting to do the more advanced, cool-looking moves seen on Instagram or YouTube. The greatest fighters in the world do them, so they must work, right?
It’s true that there are many advanced techniques that can impact your jiu Jitsu game beyond a simple takedown, sweep, or submission. Learning new guards and leg locks can help lead to a win or show how you’ve progressed. But, as complex and constantly evolving as jiu-jitsu is, every technique will always come back to the basics.
Similar to how cannot run before you walk, you cannot learn the flying armbar before mastering the five-step armbar from guard; you cannot learn squid guard before mastering regularly closed guard or De La Riva guard; you cannot learn heel hooks or toe holds before mastering the straight ankle lock. So many high-level techniques stem from a more basic technique, and without mastery of the basics of jiu-jitsu, you may try to move too quickly and stunt your growth into a well-rounded jiu-jitsu practitioner.
Don’t be intimidated or feel inferior to anyone else on the mats. Everyone goes through this journey at different paces and that is okay. There is no shame in taking a little longer to move on to the next belt or struggling with certain techniques. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re behind; it could be about someone else’s martial arts background or how often they come to class. Take this journey at your own speed and enjoy every moment.
Sometimes students feel like they are not progressing fast enough, or that maybe they are wanting to spend more time on a specific topic that was covered in class. one of the best ways to do this is to set up a private lesson with an instructor to help SUPERCHARGE what you are already learning. If this is something that fits your needs and your schedule, we highly recommend taking the time to make sure you really understand the movements that you are performing.