The Foreign Language Of BJJ

The Foreign Language Of BJJ

Portuguese? Japanese? English? We Will Figure It Out!

Jiu Jitsu Terms...

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The name itself says foreign.

Once you become interested in BJJ you are at the starting line of questions pertaining to BJJ terminology.

In your first BJJ class you most likely will hear or have heard terms that seem quite foreign to you. I know there were words I’d hear sitting on the mats that I had no clue of their meaning. Terms like “shrimp” “bridge”, and “turtle.” As common as these words are I knew they must have had a completely different meaning in the BJJ world, but what? Whether it was a technique, a set up or an escape maneuver to which the coaches were referring, the meaning was over my head but yet I’d nod in pretense of understanding and attempt to navigate around my confusion.

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Shrimping,  Easy but Ashi Garami?

Sometimes the meaning of a certain term would be simple and understood quite quickly. Shrimping for instance was one such term that after seeing it and hearing it a few times was easily comprehended and I soon found myself making my way down the mats during warm ups or attempting to escape an unfortunate position I got caught in by shrimping out! To Bridge, quickly became apparent that it was a first step of a technique as a means of escaping bottom mount of my opponent by raising my hips off the ground in order sweep them and get to better positions. Simple enough. Then there were others that were not  so easily comprehended, i.e. ashi garami (in a seated position) aka single leg x guard if your opponent stands up, was one of those brow wrinkling terms that took a little longer and a lot more research.

Google To The Rescue!

I’d come home and revisit in my mind those familiar words yet unfamiliar BJJ terms that others used so fluently. I’d Google those terms that I heard in class and I would look up videos from some of the great masterminds of Jiu Jitsu that demonstrated such techniques and it proved to be quite helpful. I now nod in understanding to quite a few more technical terms the coaches reference often during class.

Repetition Is Key

The more you attend class, the more frequent you’ll hear the same words, terms and techniques being discussed, but do yourself a favor and do some research on your own. Watch and rewatch videos of something you have questions about.  You’ll find those terms that once boggled your mind will soon be more comprehensible and not only will it help you understand what’s being discussed, it will help you follow up on that instruction during class. As you watch detailed videos or read up on the terminology in question,  as an extension of learning beyond the mats, it will enhance your execution while drilling and live rolling during open mat times.

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Time Is On Your Side

It takes time to be able to organize the files of our mind with all the new information we acquire through the years of training but it takes time and we have time. The more you go, the more you know. There’s always going to be a new term to learn or a new technique to misunderstand for a while but you have resources at your disposal to clear the fog and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You’ll find a vast variety of those videos and DVD’s that detail the techniques that define those terms of confusion from the biggest names in the sport, right here!  Check them out!

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