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The Importance of Fundamentals

The Importance of Fundamentals

Great Foundations Build Great Grapplers!

In my early years of practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I was often keen on quickly moving through the fundamental techniques of the curriculum to progress to complicated techniques and weird guards. The grapplers I watched mostly, the Mendes brothers, made all the advanced techniques they used in competition look so easy that I naïvely thought I was capable of them as a white belt. I vividly recall attempting berimbolos against my Jiu Jitsu mates and even in competition and was humorously unsuccessful.

You Are Never Past The Fundamentals! Click Learn More below!

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The dilemma of the apparent dullness of some old school basic techniques and the desire for Jiu Jitsu practitioners to learn the coolest and greatest moves is something we all go through. Ironically, it is usually in the early stages of our grappling development that this occurs. Although I do think it is important for all students to expand the realm of their ability in creative ways, it is vital to have a proper understanding of the fundamental techniques.


Although different academies vary a little in what the fundamentals are and how to do them, the idea behind the techniques is still the same. The closed guard scissor sweep is a technique that I’ve learned in multiple ways, even outside of the US, in which each differed in some way. Every time I learned this technique, however, the basic movements and concepts are still the same. That is one reason why fundamentals are crucial; they teach us concepts and ideas that make Jiu Jitsu as effective as it is as a martial art.  

The Basics Are What Works Best! Click Learn More below!

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I previously mentioned how I would attempt weird techniques such as the berimbolo in my white belt days. A problem I faced every time I swept someone with this technique was I didn’t know how to properly finish the pass, which was a simple and fundamental technique. This is important because the basic techniques will have to be used in every rolling session regardless of experience level, and if one is not well equipped with the proper fundamentals, they will often find themselves unable to finish the techniques they were in a rush to learn.


So how do you know if you are learning the proper fundamental techniques? Ideally, all competent Jiu Jitsu instructors should be able to teach these movements with great detail. The problem is not actually proper instruction but drilling these moves often in the early days and repeating them as you gain in experience and learn more intricate and complex techniques.


Alliance Black Belt Bernardo Faria is getting ready to release a DVD set on the Foundations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I can assure that he is an excellent instructor and will provide a great amount of detail that can benefit everyone of any experience level. Get his DVD here!

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