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BJJ question

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BJJ question

Postby Kensei » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:42 am

Do all BJJ classes and organizations work in a really unstructured way? My first class seemed like it was run well, but the questions I put to the instructor were answered in a very strange way. In my Karate background and even Judo we ahve specifics that we need to work on to improve and pass on to the next level. We have a specific Kata, some specific basics and a specific Kumite set that we do. In the Jiujitus club he said he would pass a person to blue belt when they were ready. Also his senior student said the instructor was big on chokes and we basically worked possition and chokes, rairly did we do joint locks and the like. He said in free rolling you will see lots but the instructor did not go over them very much.

I personally would benefit from some kind of structure in training and a specific kind of rank requirements. the funny thing is that the club was not really structured as well. The class had a warm up, then the instructor showed us a move and we worked it but eventually we kind of morphed into soemehting else and moved on as well, it was like each senior just practiced the move three or four times then started working on other things. The purple belt I was with worked the take down and guillotine that we were working and then I ended up in a Kimura, a arm triangle and Some weird choke that he did not explaine but he slapped on me five times. Then the instructor went to show us a leg hook take down that was real interesting and we ended up doing that twice then the purple belt started doing other take downs that were not shown.

It was coas in my mind. Oh, and I hate that the club bases alot of their rank advancement on tournament success or participation. i dont intend on going to compete, I am not their for sport! So, I could get locked at white belt for ever. Now I am really thinking of finding a club that is more about the Jiu Jitsu training and less about going to a tournament and earning the instructor some kind of notariety!

My question, are their clubs not bent on forcing students to go to tournaments and that have more structure?
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Asa87 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:14 am

The one I am at is similiar to that aswell, It is with Straight Blast Gym International (dunno if you've heard of them) But basically we come in and warm up, Just stretch and try to pass gaurd, no subs. Then we'll eaither go through top, game, bottom game or gaurd. The ranking seems similiar aswell, no threshold of achievement or criteria, it's just based on skill and progression. Which I kinda like. I think to get new belts you have to participate or attend a seminar. For the last 30-60 minutes we shall free roll, at about 30%... not snapping necks and choking each other out, just rolling around doing transitions and gaining choke/lock positions, when you secure the lock/choke you let the person move out and keep rolling, so it is consistent and within 5 minutes of rolling you will have hopefully been in almost every position from gaurd to back. I like this alot, there aren't any members with a big ego at my club which is cool because i've had the problem before at martial arts classes.

All in all, sounds pretty similiar to the class you went to.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Gurre » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:47 am

Being a purple belt and an instructor, I think I can answer this question pretty well.


when we roll at my club, we start with a slow roll. Just flow, no muscles and no subs. That's the main warm up. After that, we move into technique training. The instructor, me or someone else, shows a technique which the class then does. Only 3 techniques per training, and I as an instructor don't like when people start doing other things instead of the technique I showed. This part of the training lasts about 40 minutes. The last 30 minutes are full on sparring, but we usually start on the knees or in guard (or any other position we want, not standing though.... it's all about the room on the mat. Don't want to be throwing people into other people).

and that's it.


About the Kata, it's the BJJ's soul not to have firm requierments like that. It limits the individual development of the students. You're supposed to develop in a way that suits you, not in a way some old man said is the best way. Hence why there is no kata.

When you are ready, you get a new belt from your instructor.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Kensei » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:18 am

dont get me wrong, I am starting to appreciate BJJ and its techniques, but the whole "no belt standards" is kind of confusing for me. I train with a bunch of white belts, a few blue belts and a Purple belt who is smoking good from what I have seen. No one can get him in trouble on the floor and only when he told me "anything goes" did I have a chance....he did not see the head kick coming and did not remember I had Judo and Karate on my side...and he still tapped my ass out!

Anyways, some of the white belts are really good, better than the blue belts and seem to know about as much when it comes to techniques. The Purple belt is ions ahead of us and one of his Brown belt buddies is no were near as good as him. But the Purple belt confessed to not having the time to go into tournaments and that is why he has progressed so slow. His instructors seemed to think that tournament success/participation meant they were ready for the next step.

In Karate we have a sylubus that we follow with our students. We say for your yellow belt you must be "good" at a specific set of basics, a specific Kata and three step sparring. You are basically seen as a baby in the art and even at yellow belt you are not ready to jump on and teach or even help out. My buddy, the puple belt, broke down the ranks in BJJ this way, a BJJ blue belt is like a Karate Purple belt.....knows the stuff just needs to work on it, the Purple belts are like our Brown belts, Know the stuff and can lead a class or two but really not a "instructor" yet. Might even open a small club to help learn more. A brown belt is like our black belts, Good at fighting, good starting to learn to teach really well and can run a club. The BJJ black belts are like our 3-4 Dans, Awsome at sparring, great teachers and ready to run a area/group of clubs.

But he fell short of "what they should know". Coming from a very structured back ground and a NO BS Style of Shotokan Karate, I know when I see a student that is ready for the next step and I generally gage their progress in testings by how much they know of the sylabus...which is what confuses me. i dont intend on getting a blue belt for a fairly long time if ever. BJJ is a Hobby or interest for me now, Karate is still were my heart is.....But it would be nice to know what they would be looking for to say I am learning!

Anyways, I find the classes fun, if not lacking in structur, and I am enjoying the work outs, even if it means I am tapping out every couple of seconds...especially against the purple belt. Who know their were so many ways to squeeze a neck or pull a elbow joint in the wrong direction from on your back! :oops:
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Gurre » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:36 am

well, this differs from organisation to organisation and indeed from instructor to instructor. My instructors are known for not giving away belts easy. And we do have some outlines as to what a bluebelt should have.

But a main thing that decides a belt is how well you do in training and competition. If you don't compete, you can still advance! In competition you show your class and if you are good you are ready for the next step. In training, if you do well against others with your belt, and don't get humiliated by the ones with a higher belt you are getting there too.

But in my club, a bluebelt generally needs a solid passing game. A purple needs an alrioght guard game to go with a slithly upgraded passing game. And a bronwbelt needs an all round game, including judo. Ofcourse, if there is a whitebelt with awsome guardskills but weaker passing, he can still advance, because everything is individual and compared to others in training and competition.

There is also a maturity thing. As you get a higher belt, you gain more responsebility. You are the club's face outwards and you have to stand for certain ideals etc. Meaning no stupid stuff at turnaments etc. When you get a blackbelt you are the ambassador of the sport...

Does that clear things up?
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Re: BJJ question

Postby qwerty » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:17 am

Gurre wrote:When you get a blackbelt you are the ambassador of the sport...
Does that clear things up?


So, if you have a red belt, does that make you a G*D?
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Re: BJJ question

Postby DisciplineHopes » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:45 am

qwerty wrote:
Gurre wrote:When you get a blackbelt you are the ambassador of the sport...
Does that clear things up?


So, if you have a red belt, does that make you a G*D?


my guess is it would have to!!!!!
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Kensei » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:40 am

I respect the way that your instructor and group does the ranking, My biggest issue is actually from a newbies point of view. A newbie that ran the ranks to black belt and higher in Karate and Judo. My confussion is probably common with guys that transfer training over or who take up the style from a more traditional martial art back ground. Hell even in my Kung fu training they had specific rank requirements set out on paper for you to see.

I have to say, as sore as I am getting this is great fun. I actually have used my Sambo in some grappling and my instructor did not tell me not to so what the hell. I toss guys around very well....I have even pulled out a few leg bars and heel hooks, I tried a rollinig knee bar and...it almost worked out. However 90% of the time I find myself tapping when I roll with the purple belts or blue belts. The few white belts that are training are not much of a issue. Right now I just wish I had some idea of what I should be working on more. The fact that their are no testings and I dont plan on competing is frustrating. The one guy I chat with alot who is a blue belt said he was at his third tournament when he was handed a blue belt because he did well at the tournament.

I personally dont think my training will lead to a purple belt or higher, it is recreation and fun for me...but it is frustrating knowing that I probably wont be getting ranked to blue because I wont compete. I am thinking of dropping this club and looking for an alternative at this point. The instructor does not seem to care if people dont want to compete, but he has basically told us if we dont, he wont be giving anyone a blue belt!
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Asa87 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:40 am

true^

I've met too many black belts that I could smash.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby DisciplineHopes » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:09 am

Shadow wrote:Have you brought frustration with the ranking system to your instructor's attention? If it not written down, surely they should be able to tell you what you should be working on, right...or at least, you would think so, right.

I kind of like the idea of tournament fighting to advance, to a degree. Have you ever come across a black belt that didn't know how to fight? I ran across a few in my time. I think if they did a little more fighting and not so much katas and brick breaking they would have been a lot harder. I lost a little faith in the belt system those days. Not to say, I don't respect ones belts status, which I do. In most case, the black belt stand for great achievement in an art. Sometimes, fighting is needed (outside the club-different styles) to embrass what it is to be a black belt.


well for not having any prior experience and having not started until next month period i cant testify but so much but i would have to agree as much as my limited knowledge will let me.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Gurre » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:04 am

qwerty wrote:
Gurre wrote:When you get a blackbelt you are the ambassador of the sport...
Does that clear things up?


So, if you have a red belt, does that make you a G*D?



no, red belt is an honorary belt.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Gurre » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:07 am

Kensei wrote:I respect the way that your instructor and group does the ranking, My biggest issue is actually from a newbies point of view. A newbie that ran the ranks to black belt and higher in Karate and Judo. My confussion is probably common with guys that transfer training over or who take up the style from a more traditional martial art back ground. Hell even in my Kung fu training they had specific rank requirements set out on paper for you to see.

I have to say, as sore as I am getting this is great fun. I actually have used my Sambo in some grappling and my instructor did not tell me not to so what the hell. I toss guys around very well....I have even pulled out a few leg bars and heel hooks, I tried a rollinig knee bar and...it almost worked out. However 90% of the time I find myself tapping when I roll with the purple belts or blue belts. The few white belts that are training are not much of a issue. Right now I just wish I had some idea of what I should be working on more. The fact that their are no testings and I dont plan on competing is frustrating. The one guy I chat with alot who is a blue belt said he was at his third tournament when he was handed a blue belt because he did well at the tournament.

I personally dont think my training will lead to a purple belt or higher, it is recreation and fun for me...but it is frustrating knowing that I probably wont be getting ranked to blue because I wont compete. I am thinking of dropping this club and looking for an alternative at this point. The instructor does not seem to care if people dont want to compete, but he has basically told us if we dont, he wont be giving anyone a blue belt!



you previously said that you don't train to get a belt. So why are you frustrated? If you don't want to compete, it'll be alot harder to get a belt that you don't want. Maybe you would be less frustrated if you had a clear goal, maybe you're more frustrated with yourself than your instructor...
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Re: BJJ question

Postby DisciplineHopes » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:08 am

Gurre wrote:
qwerty wrote:
Gurre wrote:When you get a blackbelt you are the ambassador of the sport...
Does that clear things up?


So, if you have a red belt, does that make you a G*D?



no, red belt is an honorary belt.


when you say honorary what exactly do you mean? like ive said numerous times im a VERY newbie. does it get any better than "red"?
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Kensei » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:18 am

Shadow wrote:Have you brought frustration with the ranking system to your instructor's attention? If it not written down, surely they should be able to tell you what you should be working on, right...or at least, you would think so, right.

I kind of like the idea of tournament fighting to advance, to a degree. Have you ever come across a black belt that didn't know how to fight? I ran across a few in my time. I think if they did a little more fighting and not so much katas and brick breaking they would have been a lot harder. I lost a little faith in the belt system those days. Not to say, I don't respect ones belts status, which I do. In most case, the black belt stand for great achievement in an art. Sometimes, fighting is needed (outside the club-different styles) to embrass what it is to be a black belt.


let me address the second part of your post first, A black belt does not mean that you know how to fight in Karate! SUre some do, but a black belt means you know the basics. THat is at shodan you should be able to show an instructor that you understand the basics. you need to know and understand the fundamentals. Oh, and I dont break bricks or wood...that is silly. The black belt is a first step in the road to learning Karate. At Nidan(second black) we focus on Kumite or fighting. This is when a student learns how to fight. So saying that some fighting is done in Karate right from white belt up, but the intent is that the Kyu (color) belts are learning the basics, the Black belt simply means they understand them.

I have spoken with the instructor and basically I get the "it is what it is" speach and that is it. I also hat that some fo the seniors were dissing my Karate back ground and my Judo...that stopped when I rocked the instructor and tapped a few of the highter levels out with knee bars and ankle locks. I have another class tonight, I will chat with him again and see were it goes.
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Re: BJJ question

Postby Kensei » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:21 am

Gurre wrote:you previously said that you don't train to get a belt. So why are you frustrated? If you don't want to compete, it'll be alot harder to get a belt that you don't want. Maybe you would be less frustrated if you had a clear goal, maybe you're more frustrated with yourself than your instructor...

you are right, I think I am making more of this than I should be. But it is one of those things that is ingrained in me from my other traditional training. I am going to chat with the instructor tonight after class and see what he thinks. Their are other issues I am getting from the class, more feelings than anything. But you are 100% right, why am I so upset over a belt I am not really worried about getting? A bit of self examination as well perhaps :lol:
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