Now that most gyms in the world are open again, I wanted to take the time to name two things that are often forgotten to be taught in Jiu Jitsu schools. I have trained in many Jiu Jitsu schools around the world and the two things below are the ones almost none of these gyms taught, even though they’re fairly crucial for Jiu Jitsu.
Even though most of Jiu Jitsu’s techniques take place on the ground, stand-up fighting is still a big part of Jiu Jitsu. While you can generally avoid getting thrown/taken down by pulling guard, there are still many possible situations in which you need to know how to fall (or break a fall) properly (i.e. elevating sweeps). Furthermore, being thrown onto the mats is highly
dangerous, as you can often not control how you land or with how much force you hit the mats. In Judo, every white belt learns how to break a fall properly. However, in Jiu Jitsu, I still see purple, brown and black belts that cannot fall properly. Additionally, especially for children, being able to break a fall is a very important skill to have.
#2 Grip Fighting
In training, I often hear sentences like “I can’t pass her/his guard because she’s/he’s holding my gi!” or “I can’t get free because her/his grips are too strong!” Conversely, I often hear coaches scream stuff like “Just break her/his grip!”, while their student obviously has no idea how to do that. And it’s not only lower belts that say stuff like that… Obviously, some people have ridiculous grip strength and they can give you a really hard time. However, there are actual techniques for breaking all kinds of different grips, no matter how strong the person is. (Gi) Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that depends on grips. You need them to control your opponent, to defend yourself against your opponent and to set up techniques. Furthermore, you need to get rid of grips to free yourself and/or to be able to do your techniques properly. Thus, I don’t understand why a lot of gyms don’t teach actual ways to break/fight grips.
If you want to learn more about the importance of grips, check out this article.