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Classic Versus Contemporary in Jiu Jitsu

Classic Versus Contemporary in Jiu Jitsu


An element of Jiu Jitsu that keeps most students attending day after day is the development and practice of new techniques. If you watch high level Jiu Jitsu matches from the nineties and early two thousand, you will see a lot of closed guard, pressure passing, and wrestling.

Today’s IBJJF black belt matches are dominated primarily by newer techniques and concepts such as crafty guards, leg attacks, and berimbolos.

Master The Closed Guard! Click Learn More below!


As with any advancement or general evolution, people, especially from previous generations, will argue incessantly that the old ways are the best ways, and there is some truth to it.

Many of today’s grapplers, especially those who have been training for 5-10 years, are sick of the debate regarding contemporary Jiu Jitsu and classic Jiu Jitsu. Many are huge proponents of the oldschool while others ignore the classic techniques in favor of new, flashy techniques.

There is a lot to consider in this debate. First, there is always a need to learn and become proficient in the foundation of whatever entity is being practiced. Would you learn how to play a guitar solo before learning the basic chords? Would you attempt to dunk before learning a layup? Would you try to execute advanced mathematical concepts before learning basic algebra? The answer should be no to all of those questions.

There will always be a need to execute closed guard sweeps and mounted cross chokes. Once those skills have been mastered to a certain degree of efficacy, every student should begin learning or even creating newer techniques.

The second element of this debate that often gets ignored is that since the old techniques have been around for so long, there has been sufficient time to for their respective defenses to be developed. Although you might be able to advance past that level of defense, it may be most time-efficient to add new techniques that might be more difficult to defend.

Finally, the last thing I wanted to say was that Jiu Jitsu should be your own personal experience. If there is a certain technique or concept that you want to learn and try, go for it. Be it a heel hook, berimbolo, or who knows what else, there is no harm in learning and adding things to your game as long as you execute them safely with your teammates.

Bernardo Faria's DVD "The Closed Guard" will instantly improve your closed guard game. Check it out here!



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