Our fundamentals classes are thriving. They have quickly proven their worth and become an essential part of what we do at Triccs. I decided to take this opportunity to look at the rationale behind our fundamentals program.
While students are welcome to more or less any class, gi or no-gi, it is in the Tuesday and Wednesday classes held at James Alleyn's Girls School (JAGS), at 7.30pm and 7pm respectively, that we work with our newest members to equip them with the technical foundations of our art.
Jiu-jitsu is a vast, complex, and , importantly, living martial arts system. It is about actual rather than stylised combat. At times jiu-jitsu can also appear vast; so vast that you can get lost in it. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming.
So in our fundamentals classes we take deep dives into key positions and techniques, often combining this with specific positional sparring so we can match theory to practice. This Tuesday, for example, we looked at the mount position: how to maintain it, how survive it, how to attack from it and how to escape from it.
Each week we try to follow a similar process so that people can start to understand and connect different positions. So that they can begin to navigate their own way through the maze of techniques and, eventually, begin to find their own 'game' or style and express themselves through the art.
Note that world championships in BJJ, submission grappling and MMA are rarely won with flamboyant or exotic techniques. This is even more acutely the case for real physical confrontations where the stakes can be life or death. It cannot be overstated that everybody needs the fundamentals and time spent on them is never wasted, regardless of your belt colour.
So what does win?
The answer lays in the percentages and can be seen in the games developed by the giants of our art. The Roger Gracie's, the Demian Maia's and the Jacare's. A solid mount. A simple guard pass. A well-drilled sweep. A properly executed choke.
Simple, mechanically sound basics. Precisely what we cover in our fundamentals classes.