In my many years of training and coaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I can tell you that the one major thing that holds so many back is the lack of encorperating elements from other grappling styles.
That major sin is not looking outside of BJJ for new ideas.
Styles like Judo, Wrestling and Sombo have plenty of not only techniques but also concepts that any BJJ’er could use.
The sad truth is that most BJJ students hate the very idea of working on stuff like Wrestling takedowns, or Sombo leg locks. Whether people admit it or not, there’s useful stuff to be found outside of the BJJ universe.
I think those who make it to the top are the ones always looking for that edge in their training. Lot’s of times that edge is found by going outside of your comfort zone and trying something new.
I know for me when I first started learning Judo I was anything but good. Terrible would be a good work one could use for my overall skills in Judo.
However, although i sucked, that Judo training did open my eyes to many new things I hadn’t thought of in terms of technique, training, mindset and so on.
If I hadn’t checked out Judo none of that learning would have taken place. Then who’s the real loser? I would’ve been.
Grappling is grappling. You’ve got different styles and all sure but at the end of the day they all complement each other in some way, shape or form.
A good example of this would be BJ Penn. When he was competing in major tournaments down in Brazil and around the time he won the worlds, he was training on the side with the local college wrestling team.
It showed because he used lot’s of fast and effective single leg takedowns from the De La Riva guard. In fact, if you watch his matches from the 2000 worlds you’ll see the use of wrestling skills throughout.
After he won the title he credited the training in wrestling as a huge contributor to his success.
You’re goal of course shouldn’t be to replace your BJJ game but rather use stuff like Wrestling and Judo to complement your already established skill set.
That’s my rant for this fine Sunday night. As a bonus, I’ve included some pretty kick-ass wrestling and Judo videos you should check out.
Remember, the day you stop learning is the day you die. Otherwise, keep your eyes (and mind) wide open