Jean Jacques Machado on the Pyramid Principle's Role in BJJ Techniques, MMA Techniques and Submission Grappling
How does the gi factor into the timing, leverage and momentum considerations of Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques? What happens when submission grapplers and mixed martial artists train in uniforms? Jean Jacques Machado sounds off!
From a technical standpoint, Brazilian jiu-jitsu serves as the foundation for submission grappling in general because the gi allows for the largest volume of techniques. Not only does the student of BJJ techniques have nearly limitless options at his disposal, but also he has to learn how to defend against an opponent who is intent on controlling him using the same grips. This makes for slower, more methodical matches. As a result, a BJJ techniques practitioner has to use patience, timing and momentum as part of the overall strategy. To someone new to submission grappling, this is an accepted part of the learning process simply because the student has nothing to base his experiences on. However, this can be a frustrating time for an experienced grappler who is new to training with the gi because the pacing of BJJ techniques is decreased, the training is more methodical, and the grappler has to worry about defensive and offensive positions that they never had to before. The gi creates new challenges for the practitioner that forces a modification in their approach to submission grappling.
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4 Submission Escapes From Jean Jacques Machado
Which Approach Is Best: BJJ Techniques, MMA Techniques or Submission Grappling? We are not endorsing any of these styles — BJJ techniques, MMA techniques or submission grappling — as the best way to train. That is a personal choice. We are simply providing the information as a means of exploring the relationship among the three. If you are a beginner, this information can greatly assist you in deciding which style is best for you. If you are an experienced grappler, this information will assist you in successfully adjusting your technique and strategy when crossing over to a new style. The Pyramid as a Symbol The pyramid is the same shape as a triangle, which is a universally recognized symbol in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Academies specializing in BJJ techniques worldwide use the triangle as part of their school logo, and there are several reasons for this. First, the triangle symbolizes the perfect three-point base. Regardless of which way you turn it, it is always stable and maintains perfect balance. This follows the Brazilian jiu-jitsu training methodology, which encourages practitioners to be flexible and free flowing while always maintaining a solid base. Also, because the triangle symbolizes balance, this is an attribute that submission-grappling practitioners strive to attain not only on the mat but also in life. So its importance extends beyond the technique and crosses over to the emotional and spiritual side of your life. The pyramid also reflects the symbolic nature of the martial arts journey you are embarking on. The wide base signifies the foundation you are laying down as you gain technical knowledge. Once you have your base, the pyramid begins to narrow as you work toward mastering the physical application and develop your individual style. Reaching the top means you can effectively execute your techniques in any setting and have a complete understanding of any situation you find yourself in. About the Author: Jean Jacques Machado is the author/co-author of:
- The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques (book)
- The Grappler's Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense (book)
- The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques (3-DVD Set)