How To Avoid Learning Rubbish Techniques

In this wonderful world of modern technology, you have access to a world of BJJ information at your fingertips. You can get the answer to any question or learn from the worlds best BJJ practitioners with a quick search of Google. However, this access to information also leads to a problem…

…there is a lot of rubbish out there.

Anyone regardless of level or experience can grab a phone, record a video, and upload it to YouTube in less time than it takes to say Gogoplata.  The number of times I’ve had students come to me and say, “I saw this technique on YouTube and…” from that moment on I’m bracing myself for what’s about to come.

For a long time, my stock answer was if I haven’t seen it used at high-level I then tend not to trust it. But that answer doesn’t really go far enough. I’ve seen high-level competitors do things that are incredibly high risk and low percentage.

A good example is the baseball choke (aka suicide choke) from the bottom made famous by Magid Hage. If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out the video below:

Magid’s victory started a craze of people trying the baseball choke from everywhere, regardless if they gave up position or not.

This is where my argument of “if I haven’t seen it used at high-level then tend not to trust it” falls down.  So I’ve been trying to think of a better set of criteria to assess techniques by and allow my students to do the same.

Yesterday, I found it!

I stumbled on a comment by Wim Deputter on a friends video that perfectly sums up how I asses techniques. In case you don’t know Wim, he’s the head of Brasa Belgium and a top European BJJ competitor. Anywhoo, here’s Wim’s criteria

1) Has the technique a statistically high chance of succeeding?
2) Can I follow up with another statistical high chance technique if defended?
3) If the technique fails, can I easily recompose?

If you answer all three questions with a yes, then a technique is effective.

On top of these three criteria, Wim also adds two more to decide if he’ll use a technique. Personally, I think these extra criteria are the most important:

1) Is it safe to execute this technique on my opponent?
2) Is it safe to execute this technique for me?

If you answer NO to either, only use it in competition or if you have no other option, and even then in moderation.

It’s a very simple, but by following these ‘rules’ you’ll only focus on high percentage Jiu Jitsu techniques. And if you’re just stating BJJ, following these criteria will save you a lot of frustration and pain.

Happy training!

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