How Concepts Can Jumpstart Your BJJ

How Concepts Can Jumpstart Your BJJ

Learning BJJ with all of the positions and techniques can be overwhelming.  And there are always going to be more positions to learn and try to master.  With experience, you may begin to notice some fundamental concepts that seem to lie below the surface of multiple techniques and positions.  But this realization can take years and hundreds of hours on the mats to begin to understand.

Knowing these concepts and fundamental principles that lie behind the techniques will help you link your knowledge of many techniques and can supercharge your BJJ development.  In the video below, Judo Olympic medalist and BJJ black belt shares a few key concepts that will ensure that your closed guard is nearly inescapable.

Concept #1--Raised Hips

One of the first things an opponent caught in closed guard will try to do is use their knees and hips to apply pressure and keep your hips in place.  They will do this by shifting a knee into the center or one side of your butt.  This creates a wedge that allows them to create pressure backwards which can force you to open your feet.  By applying Travis' simple concept of keeping your hips elevated, there is no way for them to control your hip and keep you from being able to simply slip off and square back up, thereby maintaining closed guard.

Concept #2--Grip Break to Control Head/Arm

Another thing the opponent will do when trapped in closed guard is create posture, by possibly gripping your lapels and stiff arming your torso keeping you from pulling them in or coming up to them.  Travis' simple concept and remedy is to break the grip in a manner that allows him to underhook the opponent's arm and control the head simultaneously, breaking their posture and putting you in a position to attack and ideally submit the opponent.

Concepts can be the common denominator between multiple positions or techniques.  Understanding these common denominators will allow you to short cut and link knowledge of techniques and speed your progress towards mastery.

Travis Stevens is one of the best judoka's in the world, having achieved a Silver Medal in at the last summer Olympic games in Rio.  In addition to his world class accomplishments, he is also a black belt under one of the most sought after BJJ instructors John Danaher.  Under his tutelage, Travis achieved his black belt in an amazing 18 months!  Though this timeline is unlikely for must of us, we can benefit from the distillation of Travis' knowlede and in his new series "Fundamentals and Concepts", we learn the key CONCEPTS that lie behind the techniques we are learning.  The four volume set is available now from BJJ Fanatics here in On Demand and DVD formats.

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