Tuesday, 29 October 2013

What are fundamentals..?

I often talk about fundamentals in class and we even have a fundamentals class on a friday here at Phoenix (6-7pm with Siroos).
Ive had a few people however ask me what exactly a fundamental is.
A fundamental must meet at least 3 basic points:

1- It's something everyone who plays BJJ needs to know how to do.
2- It's something everyone who plays BJJ will do in essentially the same way.
3- It's something everyone who plays BJJ will need to do without conscious thought while rolling in order to play the game well.
Those of you that have trained with me know that my entire coaching philosophy is based on the importance of solid fundamentals.

So as an example, not everyone who doess BJJ at a high level plays berimbolo. 
So I would not consider the berimbolo a fundamental.
This does'nt mean that some black belts will not use it as a core part of their own game (ie: Mendes brothers), and it certainly doesn’t mean Jimmy or I wouldnt teach a berimbolo class. But it does mean that you can be a perfectly good black belt, without berimbolo. The same can be said for inverted sweeps, DLR guards, rubber guard, and a whole bunch of positions and techniques.
Compare the above example with an elbow escape. Every black belt on planet Earth has a solid elbow escape (or should).
The mechanics behind the basic motion won't change much; the physics of the movement remain the same regardless of age, weight, etc. And it's one of those things all good players start to do as a natural reaction, without having to stop and think about it.
The funny thing is that the more you veer away from just core fundamentals, the more I believe you actually stifle much of your growth process.
While the more you stick to just fundamentals, the more room for creativity, play, and unique games on the mat.

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