Old School VS New School- Who Is Right?

What's up guys! In the Jiu Jitsu world you may or may not have noticed that there seems to be a couple dividing topics. These topics seem to create "teams" if you will. No gi vs gi is a big one but another one that isn't as prominent is "New School vs Old School". 

Old School Mentality

You only need the bare bones basics to become a World Class Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Self Defense seems to be high on the list of importance. You hate new school guards and techniques such as Worm Guard and Berimbolo. 

New School Mentality

The new technique are pushing the Jiu Jitsu world into the future. Lapel Guard and tearing peoples legs apart are your jam and is leaving the old school guys in the dust. Self Defense isn't as high on your list of importance because you know if a street fight were to happen you could handle yourself regardless


Who's right?

No one is right and everyone is right at the same time. Clear as mud? Jiu Jitsu isn't about what everybody else is doing. Old School competitors have proven time and time again that you only need the basics to win. Roger Gracie can take you down, pass your guard, then Mount X-Choke you. Basic but effective. Keenan Cornelius will pull guard, wrap you up with your own lapel, take your back, and choke you. Not as basic but just as effective.

What makes one right over the other one? The goal in Jiu Jitsu is to subdue your opponent and make him give up, right? So if I can do that with the most basic of technique or the fanciest of all techniques then I've accomplished my goal. I guess I would be more so on the New School team but I see the importance of the bare bones basics. I love Lapel Guard but love the Closed Guard as well. I've told my students many times that with Jiu Jitsu you're not going to learn everything. It's absolutely impossible. Once you get to about purple belt level it's like choosing your major in college. You have to find what you enjoy and what you're good at. If you don't enjoy it, what's the point? So in the end you do you and don't worry about what other people think. I do believe you have to at least know about the mechanics of the new school techniques to be able to deal with them. Especially if you plan on competing. The Jiu Jitsu scene went through a period where the majority of the matches were stuck in 50/50. It's a completely legal position in IBJJF competition but it made for some very boring matches. Competitors would get unwarranted sweep points and win matches that would put insomniacs to sleep. I don't like the 50/50 personally but I now know how to deal with it when I end up there. 

Long story short, keep doing what makes you happy. No one has to roll like you and it's actually a lot better if you're rolling with people with completely different styles. Hope to see y'all on the mats!


Brent Smith

Cauliflower Ear Family


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