“Woah……. I’ve Never Seen That”

Every time someone comes to visit us from another school we hear that.

The weird thing is, it’s not in the Advanced Class.

It’s in the Basic Class. Christ, It’s in the warm ups for the Basic Class.

Up in base.

Yep. That’s it. That’s the thing they’ve “never seen”.


Up in Base.

I don’t even know what to say. Has BJJ been diluted to the point that teachers don’t even know how important that skill is?

How is it that BJJ teachers feel ok telling people they are learning how to protect themselves…… and their students don’t know one of the most fundamental and important techniques?

Do they not care, that their students can’t fight…… Or do they not know?

Which one is worse?

I honestly think that teachers should have to call what they do “sport” BJJ, or something. Then, people wouldn’t be going in eyes closed.

Look, I don’t mean to imply that “sport” BJJ is in any way worse….. If that’s what you’re looking for, then more power to you! Hell, I’ll refer you to some quality teachers. Really. They’re awesome at competition BJJ. Hell, I know great Yoga teachers, and Weightlifting coaches. I’ll refer you to them too, if you’re looking to do that stuff.

The difference is, if you say to a Yoga teacher “This is great, plus I’ll be able to defend myself with this”…… They’ll look at you like you’re speaking greek. Cause they know it doesn’t have shit to do with it.

Most “sport” BJJ teachers just nod in agreement. Again, either because they don’t understand the differences. Or, they know and just don’t want to say.

Whatever. Just be aware that their are three key signs that your learning sport only BJJ.

1. You’ve never been shown how to use your guard to kick someone off you and GET THE HELL UP!!! See in a fight you don’t want” to be on your back. This is called “Up In Base” and is apparently a rare sighting.

2. Pulling guard is considered being aggressive. (see above, about not wanting to be on bottom in a fight)

3. You’ve never seen how to survive striking standing up. Covering punches. Turtling. And the most important standing skill for a BJJ’er in a fight….. The Dive And Clinch!!!!! If your teacher doesn’t HAMMER the Dive and Clinch into your brain……. It ain’t fighting. Hell, I think some places don’t even talk about takedowns anymore. Really. Not even sport style takedowns. They just pull guard (see #2). Here’s the giveaway- If your plan in a fight is to take them down, and finish them…… You may want to you know….. Practice that. And if you plan on doing that when they’re punching you…… Yeah you see where I’m going.

So yeah. These things are important. Without them, you’re just doing the sport. Which is rad. But it ain’t fighting.

I hope our students will become teachers one day. I hope we’ll spread these techniques. I hope I never have to hear another long term BJJ student be blown away by the crazy techniques they just saw, like…. you know….. Getting Up In Base.

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