I believe I could probably train BJJ for the rest of my life and never even be exposed to all of the techniques, let along actually learn them all, but no matter how many variations exist, they’re all based on a limited number of concepts. For example, there are many different ways to apply an armbar, but the basic idea is always the same: bend their arm in the opposite way it’s supposed to go. In order for an armbar to be effective, the arm must be isolated and controlled, but you can find numerous possibilities if you understand the mechanics, which was the focus of our Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class yesterday.
Although I think I do have an good understanding of the fulcrum and lever concept, Sir Conan has called Coach Amy “the queen of armbars”, and my husband seems to be a natural at them, so during class they helped me work on feeling for opportunities, no matter the position. They also emphasized some details that I don’t always focus on, such as extending the arm as much as possible before applying, plus we practiced some wrist locks from armbar positions.
Armbars are usually one of the first things you learn in Jiu-Jitsu, and they might seem simple, but after many years I am still working on perfecting mine. I would prefer to have a deep understanding of underlying concepts, rather then a shallow knowledge of numerous techniques, and the reason people are even able to come up with all these new things in BJJ is because they grasp the concepts and think outside of the box, so sometimes it’s good to explore deeper, because you never know what you might find!