After rolling, many ideas and stories about BJJ are exchanged between instructor and training partners. This is one of the best parts of our experience of going to the jiu-jitsu academy.
Talking to a few experienced blue belts who are working towards the goal of purple belt (the belt that some say shows that you are really serious about BJJ!), we were talking about what they should be working on.
I gave the opinion that at their level of experience, four to five years, that they should be mostly self-directed in their training. They should be teaching themselves largely, with the instructor offering a tweak here and a tip there.
They expressed surprise at my minimizing the primary role that their BJJ instructor would be playing in their later development.
I explained “By now, you guys don’t need any more new moves. There are no longer any revolutionary moves that you have never seen before that are going to significantly change your game.”
For those seminal first two years of BJJ, the students are primarily building a vocabulary of individual moves. Learning techniques to employ in specific positions and situations in a match.
After four to five years on the mats, you’ve seen the vast majority of the individual techniques you need to know to be a black belt. You are less dependent on your instructor to directly teach you new moves in class.
I asked one of the blue belts about his study of back mount who had spent several months focusing only on the back mount and it was by far his best position.
Now that he had gained a respectable level of skill in one area or position in jiu-jitsu, he had a model for how to learn other positions that he was interested in adding to his game.
I reminded him how he had approached learning the back position. The blueprint for his learning back mount looked something like this: