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Jen >> All this talk about basics.....


5/22/09 1:58 PM
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Bolo
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We now hear all this talk about the importance of the basics. I think it is important for many people to remember what the mentality of the majority was several years ago. At one time it was all about "the newest moves from Brazil". Most new instructional video releases and seminars constantly promoted the idea that in order to me competitive on the mat, it was essential to keep up to date with, and add into your game, every new innovation that came from Brazil. "Old school' techniques were out of style and considered ineffective against this supposed new wave of innovation. Now, "old school" techniques are were its at.

Myself and a very small numbers of others advocated the importance of the basics back then. I also said that innovation was not limited to a geographic location as innovation occurs everywhere, not just Brazil. On top of that, I said that you can't be absolute sure if something was "new" as it would be very presumptuous that no other human being anywhere else on the earth throughout the history of mankind did not figure out the same thing. I also felt it was impossible to remember (and make functional) every new innovation in existence. Back then, the majority was extremely aggressive and hostile to the ideas that a small minority advocated.

Why do I bring this up? Because I am starting to see the same aggressiveness and hostility to new ideas of a minority. I'm not saying whether these new and differing ideas are correct as only time will truly reveal which which ideas end up being more accurate. However, it is important for the majority to remember that they have been wrong in the past. I'm also not saying the differing opinions of the minority shouldn't be examined and debated, but that the majority should decrease the hostility and keep an open mind, just in case history repeats itself.
5/23/09 12:16 PM
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Radd
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A lot of times the aggressive behavior is the result of immaturity and misplaced and misdirected anger. Many people are drawn to the martial arts to develop their self-esteem and this process is a long one. More than likley, the anger directed towards you was the result of you upsetting their comfort zone about the "powers" they were developing. Don't let it get to you.

When it comes to the shysters selling new moves from Brazil, I find their actions very distasteful. They know damn well that without a strong foundation in the fundamentals of the game, it is impossible to develop skill. If this were the case, then mount/sidemount escapes, armbars, basic closed and open guard passes could be easily eliminated from one's training. Clearly, they cannot be elimninated. Many of the people selling new moves know that the concept of new moves is a way to separate a beginner from his or her money and they do so with a smile.
5/23/09 12:31 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/23/09 3:37 PM
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There's no anger being directed towards me (at least not right now :) ). However, at the moment, I see it being directed towards other people who happen to have a view that is in the minority. One thing to keep in mind that is that whatever the majority believes in tends to be the popular belief of the present (and at times, the past) rather than the differing ideas that sometimes shapes the future.

I do believe your guess on why this type of behavior occurs does have validity.
5/25/09 6:04 PM
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laqueus
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I like finding a middle ground, new variations of old techniques. I'm finding the rear naked choke the way it's normally taught isn't working too well for me because people know how to defend it, but going to an olympic grip with one arm along the spine is a lot harder to defend. It's a reasonable choice between one or the other, but I prefer to stick with the one people haven't quite figured the defense out to, than one which people have been training against for years.

Armbars are similar, with the way they're taught traditionally I find them very easy to escape, I figure it makes more sense to teach them in a way that's much harder to get out of from the get go, than to teach the basic, but not so effective version first.
5/25/09 6:35 PM
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m.g
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Here is an interesting thing Royler said in a video interview. Royler's point wasn't a direct statement about this topic but it is an interesting point of view.

Royler said he had been involved in Bjj for over 35 years. He said there will ALWAYS be different variations to a technique or more details to know and learn or areas to improve. Royler essentially said since there will ALWAYS be something more one can know, do or learn in Bjj one should NOT get lost in it all.

In regards to Iaqueus point...Mario Sperry, years ago, in his Bjj video series made the point about "cycles" in the life a bjj skills and techniques. A certain way or variation of a technique may work effectiviely today because people haven't figured out a way to defend against it. BUT once people develop effective defenses against the technique then, naturally, the technique either changes or falls out of use. Once the technique changes or falls out of use then naturally peoples defense against the technique changes or falls out of use. A continuous cycle emerges where variations of a technique are developed along with defense to those variations.
5/25/09 9:17 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/26/09 12:14 PM
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Everyone has made interesting points.

I talk about this not to stir up the "old versus new" debate, but rather to examine the dynamics between view of the majority versus the view of the minority. For example, with the majority, I find that for them, who says something is often more important that what is said.
5/26/09 2:21 PM
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m.g
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Bolo,

The "majority" actually suffers from the "mob mentality" as you stated many times.

It is very clear to me that many people on these forums don't really even think things through. Not only do alot of people here don't think things through, they also don't take the time to independently research any subject, including any view point or angle, well enough to intelligently comment on it.

BUT what can we expect considering this is the "internet"?
5/26/09 3:00 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/26/09 4:20 PM
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Well, I wouldn't say that people aren't intelligent, but rather than I find that people are swayed by emotions very easily and a false logic is sometimes built around that initial emotional response. By the way, let me re-emphasize that I am not saying that the minority view or my view is always correct, nor am I saying that there aren't any people in the majority who think logically. I am definitely guilty of some of things I have observed and my comments are just stating a general behavior pattern that I had noticed, especially when debates tend to get "heated".

I guess I would have thought that the majority would be a bit more understanding since they once held a view similar to that which they are now debating against.
5/26/09 3:52 PM
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Hunter V
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I think people need to give up on the idea of old vs new techniques and instead focus on the principles. As long as whatever the move is doesn't violate principles per se, you should be all right whether doing something "new" or "old". It seems that moves that shift away from the solid core principles are what get you beat more often than not, and there are plenty of moves that were made up 20yrs ago that are as low percentage as some "new" moves are now.

Still, this doesn't mean that we can't change/update things, its just that doing it for the sake of change instead of doing it to make us better shouldn't be the right direction.
5/26/09 5:00 PM
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Bolo
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What I also find interesting about this talk about basics is how some people take it to the extreme and end up with an attitude similar to traditional martial arts. I find it ironic since BJJ tends to have an attitude that is quite contrary to traditional martial arts.
5/26/09 5:05 PM
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Hunter V
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Bolo - What I also find interesting about this talk about basics is how some people take it to the extreme and end up with an attitude similar to traditional martial arts. I find it ironic since BJJ tends to have an attitude that is quite contrary to traditional martial arts.



Actually Bolo, it seems to me that alot of bjj people have a frat boy mentality at best. If you are a independant thinker, then man you are going to take a LOT of shit.

And funny how most bjj people bitch about the strictness of traditional martial arts but act just as bullheaded over some of the same issues.
5/26/09 8:50 PM
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laqueus
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A lot of people do want to train whatever they perceive the best martial art to be. Once they've made their decision and put the time in, they're set on that and argue against anything that isn't what they've been training. It's more that I think than frat boy mentality, since you get it cropping up in every martial art.

I also wonder if the majority now is the same as the majority then. Certainly some people have been around here for years, but a lot of people have left. How many of the people now arguing in favour of basics actually were arguing against them 5 years ago?
5/28/09 8:16 AM
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JasonKeaton
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I know I am in the minority with my style. For example, I attack from bottom of mount. Most tell me that is stupid but I do it anyway. People armbar me but it is so easily countered. i tap and they let go. Then I am out!

So if they get back mount or mount, I feel I am winning. I really take my time. i wished tournament rules were different and gave me points for those positions but I feel it is bias against my personal style

Many people say I am wrong and that I do many bad things.
5/28/09 10:04 AM
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laqueus
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What are you trying to get at?
5/28/09 12:15 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/28/09 1:03 PM
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I'm not sure how such wise cracking comments contributes to the discussion at hand.

With that being said, I think it is important to keep in mind that all innovators, in every field, always dabble outside the established norm of the majority.
5/31/09 9:38 PM
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m.g
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Edited: 06/02/09 3:49 PM
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Bolo,When I say that I think alot of people here don't think things through and don't take the time to independently research any subject well enough to intelligently comment on it I am not saying people are not intelligent.

I am sure there are alot of intelligent people on these forums just like there are alot of intelligent people in society in general BUT even intelligent people can succumb to fits of emotion, like you stated, and temporary lapses of common sense.

Again, I don't see it as a problem of a lack of intelligence but rather a lack of thorough and careful research in the subject matter most people here tend to have a view and an opinion about. Also people here tend not admit how subjective their view points often are. I also think it is ironic how often people here complain about traditional martial arts but often are more traditional than many of traditional martial arts.
6/1/09 12:39 AM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/01/09 12:56 AM
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Agreed. I think we've all been guilty of it at some time or another and some more than others. I know I definitely have, so I'm really trying to be more understanding and patient when discussing or debating issues. I'm also trying to be much more aware of presenting certain things as my opinion rather than fact.
6/4/09 10:29 PM
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cincibill
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"I'm not saying whether these new and differing ideas are correct as only time will truly reveal which which ideas end up being more accurate."

There are so many ways to play the game, how do we establish what is or is not accurate?

Its been a long time since science class, but I believe ideas are put on a pedestal for all to take their pot shots. Those that withstand the test of time are considered theory, and eventually fact. So it seems to be only a natural part of the process that we have these debates.
People change their minds on war, wives, presidents and everything else under the sun, why not a little healthy jiu-jitu debate to pass the time till all is revealed and we can start the argument anew.

What can we agree upon, can we agree that there is no majic and it all comes through a lot of hard work?
6/5/09 2:55 AM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/05/09 4:24 PM
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I'm not saying that people shouldn't debate these issues. I was just saying that this thread was not about me wanting to debate and, instead, pointing out to those who hold opinions of the majority to keep mind what has happened in the past so as to hopefully decrease hostility when they choose to debate just in case history repeats itself.

Personally, there are some issues I feel aren't worth debating about. It's like debating religion; there are some topics you're not going to change what someone believes no matter what you say. I find that personal experience speaks louder than words, so I believe the time and experience will reveal the personal "truth" for each individual.
6/10/09 11:23 AM
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The Gimp
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Many people feel the need to differentiate themselves from the masses - to be unique or special somehow.

For example you see kids dressing as punks, goths, etc to set themselves apart from the mainstream and to put themselves into a subset of society that is considered non-mainstream by most people.

I think it's the same in BJJ in that a lot of people want to have their own techniques for reasons of self-identity. And those people generally want to have unique techniques that nobody else does.

Of course, there is no such thing as a unique technique that no one else does, but these people feel that the newer, crazier, and wackier "their" techniques are, the more it sets them apart.

It's another example of ego/identity winning out over being the best BJJer you can be.
6/10/09 12:59 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/10/09 1:08 PM
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That's an interesting perspective. In the past, I definitely saw such a mentality, when we were debating the "basics vs. all the newest moves from Brazil". However, now we see the debate more along the lines of "traditional basics vs. redefining and/or refining what a person considers the basics." I don't believe, for the most part, this new trend is motivated by the same intent as the old trend.

To play devil's advocate, it can be said that such a mentality does not always produce a negative result. For example, let's look at judo. From my experience, Russian judo has noticeable differences from Japanese judo in both technique and training method. The Russians have a different mentality than the Japanese and that resulted in a different style of judo. The Russians were also so "anti-Japanese judo" that they even created sambo (Igor Yakimov told me that the leglocks, no chokes, etc... rules were created simply to be the opposite of judo).

Some people may argue that the Japanese are the most dominant in judo so that proves that the Japanese style is superior. I would argue that the Japanese do so well because their society sets up a system that fosters the learning, training, competing, and support of the judo lifestyle starting from a very young age.

Igor Yokimov said that Russian judo was much better when Russia was under Communism. However, once Communism fell and commericalism crept in, he said that the quality of Russian judo players went down dramatically.

Though the Japanese are extremely successful, in my own judo experience, I felt that the Russian method was much easier to learn and functionalize. I also saw this in other students. So even though the Japanese may bring home the most Olympic metals, it didn't change the fact that the Russian method was much easier for me and many other beginners to learn.
6/10/09 3:20 PM
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laqueus
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I get the impression though that they weren't solely different for the sake of being different. They thought about what they'd keep the same, and what they'd change. It's not like they dropped randori because that was the main differentiating feature of Judo from Jujitsu, so if you wanted to be different from Judo for the sake of being different, I'd expect that would be one of the first things to go.
6/10/09 3:24 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/10/09 3:57 PM
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As far as judo, the Russians dropped a lot of things they felt were impractical and did not have a direct correlation to winning. Randori has a direct correlation with winning. They wanted to throw out all the things that were tradition, but had no practical use in helping them win. The Russians, for example, don't do uchi komi's the same way at the Japanese do. Igor described the Japanese way of doing uchi komi's as "dancing" as he felt that was not the way you would move when doing a throw for real in live action. The Russians also hate judo kata. Kata is done as a form of punishment. When I was doing judo, I noticed that many traditionalist tended to not like throws/takedowns that had a wrestling influence. The Russians seemed to embrace those methods.

As far as sambo, Igor said that the changes were made specifically to be the opposite of judo.

The point wasn't to really discuss the history of judo around the world, but rather to point out that the Russian style of judo had noticeable differences from Japanese judo. The Russians redefined "the basics" of judo for themselves and I don't think those changes were for the worse.
6/10/09 7:16 PM
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laqueus
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How do the Russians do uchikomi?

Also, Kata as punishment is pretty funny. I think I'd hate that a lot more than pushups too.
6/10/09 8:43 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/11/09 3:26 AM
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First, from what Igor told me, they don't do uchi komi's using grips they don't use in competition or randori. Many of the grips that Igor used were very non-traditional. Second, every throw has many different versions, he said that he wouldn't do versions he don't use in action. Third, with every rep, they lift the opponent off the ground and then put them down.

Igor said that, when punished, they would ask for exercises to do rather than kata.

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