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Some Thoughts On Fundamentals

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I’ve been talking about this in class often recently, and thought I would go ahead and add it to this blog section.  Although, I will continue to beat this drum in class, I think it is important enough to put on paper (well, sort of on paper).


Lately, we have been going into great detail on fundamental positions, postures and submissions in our Jiu-Jitsu.  Things like, how to maintain mount, how to posture in guard, how to generate pressure, ect. It is through detailed understanding and development of these fundamental details that we will develop solid Jiu-jitsu foundation, that we can use in any situation –sport, self-defense, etc.   Additionally, through mastery of basics, our jiu-jitsu will be with us for a long time.  I will admit, when I was competing a lot, I tried to learn the newest flashy submission, sweep, or whatever, if X champion was doing it, it must be good.  However, as I have aged (which we all do) and as I have suffered through injuries along the way; some of the flashy crazy techniques are no longer an option for me.  I’m not saying they are bad, and I’m not saying they will not win matches; what I am saying is I want Jiu-Jitsu that  I will be able to do 10-20-30 years from now, against bigger, stronger and younger opponents.  For me, the answer isn’t drilling “advanced” techniques, but more of an advanced understanding of fundamental techniques.  For example; when I was competing, and now watching competitions, I see many players avoiding the mount. We all know mount is supposed to be the top of the hierarchy of positions, but why don’t people always try to establish mount?  It could be that they have go to submissions from side control; and thus can finish before establishing mount, which is fair I suppose.   Or perhaps they don’t have takedowns (which I will talk about later), and have developed great guard submissions, which is also fair.  I did see people, somewhat regularly, exit mount to side control, and I have to wonder why?  What I think the problem is, is that they didn’t spend the time to develop their mount, and as a result, it was easily escaped; so rather than working through and drilling maintaining mount, they took to abandoning the position for another.   To each their own, I suppose, but for me, I want to get to mount, and I want to keep it until I get the submission; but who am I? That too is a fair question:   So I’ll show fundamentals in action by people who are somebody(s) in the Jiu-Jitsu world.


In this link, we will see Rickson Gracie, finishing opponents with fundamentals in MMA matches:



In this link, we will see Kron Gracie, finishing opponents with fundamentals in IBJJF tournament:



In this last link, we can see older footage of our Professor, Master Sauer, beating a larger stronger opponent in a challenge match, using…… fundamentals.



I hope you enjoyed the videos, and more important, I hope this help[s you keep your focus on the mastery of the fundaments.  All of Jiu-Jitsu is fun, even the dynamic sporty stuff, and there is nothing wrong with doing it; but if you want to have a longer lasting game plan; master the basics and you can’t go wrong.



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