The 1st fundamentals level is called the foundational template because it is the most important stage of your learning, where you develop the overall basic structure your Jiu Jitsu will grow on over time. Building your foundation correctly will allow you to progress your skill level much more easily and reach an effective level much sooner.
- Get used to doing cooperative repetition drills for muscle memory.
- Be very confident in your ability to get back to your feet from the ground.
- Have a basic general idea of how Jiu Jitsu works in self-defense, i.e. closing the distance, controlling the spine, taking away their instinctive weapons, general helplessness on the ground of the majority of people = our unfair advantage.
- Be very confident in your two basic takedowns from the bodylock, front and back, and your ability to pummel for underhooks and achieve the bodylock.
- Develop a general attitude of discipline and mental strength about your training, seek to push the limits of your comfort zone. Make it your goal with your Jiu Jitsu training to build mental strength over time and to see the benefits in your life.
- Familiarize yourself with the basic movements of Jiu Jitsu (Groundwork), bridging, shrimping, rolling, technical stand, etc. with many, many repetitions. Understand the importance of flexibility and balance. Flexibility and balance are at least as important in Jiu Jitsu as strength and endurance, if not more. Recognize this from the start – Movement training is key to our program.
- Be able to escape the worst positions on the ground: Escape mount, side control, back control, and the rear-naked choke and recover guard quickly.
- Be able to get off your back in your guard and build up to a sweep or get up to your feet.
- Be able to sweep when they are holding you down in your guard using your seat-belt clinch elevator sweep, using grapevine hooks to dramatically capitalize on posture control in the guard. This is a key strike-control element that makes Jiu Jitsu more realistic and effective in a self-defense situation or an MMA fight.
- Be able to sweep an opponent who stands above you. (Tripod/Double Ankle Sweep)
- Know how to open the guard on your knees and do a basic pass to the knee ride position, from knee ride to side control, from side control to mount, and take the back when they expose it.
- Be able to fluidly apply 3 basic submissions with familiarity and confidence – Americana from Top, Kimura from Bottom, and the Choke from Back Control.
- Learn how to memorize techniques with visualization and verbal recall (terminology).
- Most importantly, commit to contributing to the training environment being a safe and friendly atmosphere to study the art and get in shape. The goal – lifetime sustainable practice for everyone. We want to recognize that staying inwardly calm and controlling our emotions is key for self-defense, competition, and technical energy efficiency (which stems from being relaxed). Effective timing comes from inner calm, so we should be practicing this skill every time we roll in order to master it and be able to use it in a real situation. *
* Especially when we’re the bigger person in the roll, that’s when we need to be the most aware and stay under control the most (because smaller people get hurt and the big ones never know).