It wasn’t long before I became disillusioned with BJJ. It started in class. I saw college wrestlers (some, but not all D1) come in and mop up the floor with everyone Purple and below as well as a good percentage of the Browns and Blacks. Once they knew submission defense, they beat all the Browns. If they took off their Gis, the Black Belts couldn’t get them.
I saw this same trend in MMA. For the most part, Black Belt BJJ fighters can’t get wrestlers to the ground, or keep them on the ground, sweep, or submit them once they are there. Wrestling has proven itself to be the dominant Martial Art.
So what to do? “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?” Should we take off our kimonos and put on a singlet?
I think we should take off the Gi, but I don’t think we should necessarily become wrestlers. But I do think we should specialize…Specialize in answering the curious problem wrestlers pose.
We’ve got to shed the maximum amount of BJJ philosophy and practices that aren’t helping us against them. We’ve also got to adopt the minimal amount of wrestling we need to defeat them. We’ve got to find a way to get the fight to the ground, keep it on the ground, learn how to sweep them, and submit them.
If we can do this, we can reclaim the top spot in both grappling and MMA. But make no mistake, wrestlers are #1…by a big margin. We’ve got our work cut out for us.