When I first started BJJ, I couldn’t believe there were only two classes of classes:
-Blue Belt & Above
And when I first got my Blue Belt
and started attending the 2nd tier of classes,
I further questioned the wisdom of the two class system
as I was “nail” to everyone else’s hammer
for quite some time.
But I think a two class system can work quite well…
especially if the 1st tier is taught well.
The first tier should be about
-developing feel in the 10 major directions
(up, down, forward, back, right, left,
circle right, circle left, circle back, circle forward)
-going with our opponents in those directions
-learning the defensive principle of stopping,
-learning the offensive principle of stopping,
-in the 8 major positions
(standing, guard, half guard, side,
mount, north south, turtle, back)
-and in both aspects of those positions
(e.g. top (passing) guard, bottom (playing) guard)
-all strangles and locks (extremities AND spine)
With the firm foundation developed within the first 12 months of training, I believe the 2nd tier can be practiced fairly easily…
with what hasn’t been trained.
There are almost innumerable variations of guards, controls, attacks, flows, etc. I imagine an upper level class to be where students are put in these specialized positions and then approach them as they did as novices and beginners in the more general positions (side mount, back mount, etc).
As there are new elements of submission grappling emerging all the time, there is never a lack of things to practice which keeps the instructor and student body up on the current trends and the school relevant in the ever changing world of Martial Arts.