We have all heard about the evolution of BJJ, when you compare the techniques of the past to today, it's shocking to see how much it has grown from 20 years to now, but that is kind of normal on most sports, right? What is even more shocking for me is how some techniques are develop and get popular every 6 months or a year and how passionated are the comments about than. Most popular and recent examples are, of course, how people were obsessed with 5050 and had a love/hate relationship with it: "Should be banned from tournaments" were the comment that I disagreed the most...
Right after was the Berimbolo wave, that is still popular, but a bit less...looked out of this world (and still does), it was the evolution of the helicopter (technique from 90's), but soon enough everyone got an understanding of it and to counter many start the "double pull guard" and again the passionate comments "BAN FROM THE SPORT!!! There is no use on self defense" etc
More recently the Lapel or Worm guard is taking the roll of the bad guy and people are against it again. To say it's ONLY good to stall is a very single mind view of it. Just take a closer look to see how many option can open.
I'm just very glad those negative opinions were not heard, imagine if for everything new and difficult to count we would make not allowed? (wasn't that what JUDO did and still does sometimes?) Would our Martial Art/ Sport evolve? ( Yes, I did use "/sport " and I love that BJJ has ALSO become a sport)
I Usually note that the one's who don't know the technique, don't understand, feel they are too old to learn a new trick or even worse, think they know everything that is important are the one's vouching against it. From white to black belt...
I have promise myself to at least try never to fall into one of the categories I just mentioned, but I have to say it's tiring and some times discouraging, often I catch myself think "Fu#%, here it comes another concept to be learn". But you know what? It's when I feel like a white belt again that I'm motivate...if I felt I had nothing else to learn, to improve why would I keep going?
I told almost no one about a recent injury I had, that kept me from putting a GI during 6 months, that was the longest I had to stay without a gi since 1994 (just because I was exchange student in a city that had no BJJ). Because of that I couldn't follow so much of the so call Lapel guard or Worm guard. I knew the idea from looking videos, but couldn't say I had a good understanding of it (Not sure I can say that now, but anyways).
Yesterday I had the chance to roll with a 16 years old, female blue belt that is doing the Worm guard like a pro, with many variations and giving trouble to everyone she has been training with. The fact that she is 54kg confirmed my theory that she was all about technique and minimum strength. I learned so much from her during the roll and also after, while she was kind enough to explain and teach what she was trying and looking for with each different grip. If I had the chance to look from outside, I would risk saying that was beautiful to see the Black Belt (me), learning as if he was a white belt from the young blue belt (her). I wish someone had film that. I was lucky enough to have my friend from BJJ HACKS (Subscribe to his channel, if you haven't yet, some sick BJJ stuff) there to film at least part of our training and here he shares with everyone. You can see in my face how I'm watching every movement she does, every grip change and trying to absorb as much as possible. I love this exchange BJJ allows you to have, despite of the color of the belt. So here is my advice to close this few lines:
Learn from everyone! Everyone knows something you don't, be open to that information! Once your knowledge grown, it will never go back to the previous size.
HERE is the video: