The art of jiu-jitsu includes LOTS of techniques. There are so many different armlocks, chokes, leglocks, sweeps, guard passes, throws, transitions and escapes.
So the question then becomes, what’s the best way to learn these moves and to incorporate them into your game?
Back when I started jiu-jitsu, there was a very standard class format: a long warmup, then you’d be shown two or three new techniques, and then you’d spar.
Inevitably the techniques you learned in class would never work that day, and by the next time you stepped on the mat, you’d have forgotten half the details of what you’d learned the last time.
Techniques are important of course, but you know what’s even more important? The training methods you use to develop those techniques.
If your training methods are correct, then you’ll eventually arrive at the right techniques.
Gamification is the process of adding aspects of game-playing elements to other processes. It makes learning fun, and it bypasses the tedium of rote learning.
And if your games are properly designed, they allow you to focus on very specific aspects of jiu-jitsu and get WAY more reps in than you would if you were just rolling.
For example, let’s say that you want to work on the arm drag. If we spar and you successfully hit me with an armdrag, then you’re probably going to spend the rest of round on my back trying to finish me as I’m trying to escape.
So you got a grand total of one arm drag repetition that whole round. That’s NOT a lot.
But instead if we play a properly designed arm drag game then you might get 10, 20, or 30 reps of the technique against live resistance. And, conversely, I might get 10, 20, or 30 opportunities to recognise and counter the arm drag.
So we get many more reps in against live resistance and have much more focus on our learning. We both win.
In the new BJJ Games instructional there are over 25 different games and drills that focus on different areas of jiu-jitsu.
Each of these games also has variables that you can adjust to increase or decrease the complexity so that you’ll always be challenged even if you’re going against someone with a different amount of experience.
This is one of the coolest instructionals I’ve ever seen, and honestly, it makes me a bit sad.
I’m sad because I think of how much better I could have been if I’d incorporated games like this into my training right from the beginning instead of wasting so much time on antiquated training methods.