If  you train long enough then you’ve come across this scenario: Theres this young white belt , maybe even blue belt, whose pulling off all these dynamic moves, like the rolling guard, using the 50/50 guard like a pro, pulling off the flying triangle, etc…

At first you think to yourself  “This guys a natural!”, but its only after training with this person that the truth comes out , and comes out quick. Its when you pass their 50/50 guard or whatever move they excel in, that what they lack comes to the surface. Like all these type of players , once their top move fails , they’re just dead in the water because they have spent more time drilling the flashy move then drilling the core basics of  Jiu jitsu.

What usually happens after  you have bypassed their  great move is that  they either desperately try to get up or push you away or just go flat letting you gain a superior position in the hopes that they might get a chance to, once again, use that one great move.

I once had an blue belt that had a great spider guard try to restart our match because i had passed guard. As he put it “Your going to tap me anyway because my cross side escapes suck, so lets just start over.” because he so heavily relied on the spider guard and had beat lower players with this he did not have confidence enough to use his basic cross side escapes which he hardly ever drilled.

What these type of players are doing isn’t necessarily bad , rather they are working in reverse. Any good Bjj instructor would tell you the same thing; learn the basics, always drill the basics, then, when you reach a certain level you can start adding all the new and albeit fancier moves to your arsenal.

The basics are the building blocks of  a Jiu jitu players foundation, as is DNA to the body. They fill in the gaps to your game.  They were designed to be there for you when you get into trouble, be it the mat or the street.

To this day I still go over the basic moves, and still learn something  new  that makes them that much more effective. If you still need even more proof of how important and effective drilling the basics can be, then look no farther than Roger Gracie, he won the 2010 worlds by using the basic mount to cross choke in almost every match.

So my advice is this, always learn new moves, but never stop drilling the basics for the rest or your Bjj career .

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