Importance of Fundamentals
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the fundamentals are the most important part. There are so many fancy sweeps, submissions and back takes but if you don’t comprehend the fundamentals, learning flashy advanced moves is pointless. For instance, what is the point of learning the berimbolo if you can’t maintain back control? If back control is an issue for you, check out our article “Taking the Back, Keep the Back.”
So what are the fundamentals? The fundamentals are learning to understand the basics of passing guard and holding the positions, understanding how to finish basic submissions, and having a basic comprehension of the guard and passing. Simple right? Not so much, this can be much easier said than done.
Maintaining the Pass, Fundamental Positions
It is very difficult to make this short, but basically, the positions you should understand as fundamentals are side control, full mount, knee on belly, back control, and north south. All of these are positions you will use to solidify a pass. Passing is the most difficult part of bjj and many people that jump strait to passing can’t even maintain the pass.
That is why it is essential to be able to maintain a pass and start attacking from passing positions. Check out this submission sequence from side control below. Also, check out our article “White to Blue Belt, the Most Important Step.”
Finishing Basic Submissions
One thing you will find as you progress through your bjj journey is that there are certain submissions that you will repeat from various positions. Instead of spending your time learning one specific arm bar from closed guard, just learn how to properly apply and finish an arm bar. That way whether you do it from closed guard, mount, or back control, you will be able to finish it.
This applies to many submissions that can be done from many different positions such as the triangle choke, guillotine choke, kimura, and more. Check out this video showing a simple arm bar below.
Basic Comprehension of the Guard
Learning how to play guard can be one of the most difficult things to do when learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is always wise to start by introducing yourself to the half guard and closed guard. These guards will introduce basic and effective sweeps to you along with submissions. Not only will you learn sweeps but these are some of the best guards for self-defense.
Passing is also a very important thing to understand as a fundamental. What is passing and what are the most important elements of passing? You need to control your opponent’s hips, legs, and be able to solidify position. Check out this simple and effective back take from closed guard with Gregor Gracie below.
If you want to accelerate your fundamentals to the next level than you should definitely get your hands one Luis Heredia’s DVD set, “Pure Jiu Jitsu.” Luis Heredia was known as Rickson Gracie’s “Hitman” whenever there was a challenge in his gym he would give them to Luis Heredia. He is one of the most accomplished black belts and has an extremely deep knowledge of the fundamentals of bjj.