Training Philosophy

We follow a simple training philosophy based on the 80/20 principle. This can be summed up as learning the best stuff first. We spend more time on armbars and less time on gogo-platas. Our goal is to get better on the mat so our training must directly reflect that.

Horse play: Daniel Strauss applies a gogo-plata on Ricardo de la Riva

The gogo-plata is a rarely successful choke obsessed over by beginners.

BJJ is a skill that you learn by doing. Watching instructional videos, reading books and posting on forums is great to keep you enthusiastic and give you new ideas, but it doesn’t directly improve your skills. You need time on the mat for your body to learn. With BJJ, if you roll you will improve, even without formal instruction.

The real fun with BJJ doesn’t start until after you understand the ground game. When you reach this level of understanding, rolling becomes a game of strategy and creativity. Before then, your training sessions are frustrating as you attempt to force moves at inappropriate times. Our goal is to get you to understand the ground game as quickly as possible. This way, rolling is much more enjoyable for everyone.

Our training methodology is straight forward. Firstly we only focus on high percentage moves. This makes it easier for the absolute beginner as they only attempt moves that have a good chance of succeeding.

Secondly, we teach conceptually rather that technique oriented. We learn faster if our objective is to keep our opponent’s heads facing up while keeping their far elbow off the mat, compared to left arm goes here right arm goes there left knee goes here.

Thirdly and most importantly, we drill with progressively increasing resistance. This is inspired heavily from Matt Thornton’s notes on drilling. The idea is to isolate a move that occurs when rolling and practise that move with a resisting opponent. As we get better at the move, our opponent increases the level of technical resistance. Once we can perform the move in isolation against a heavily resisting opponent, we are ready to integrate that move into our rolling.