I have told a story long ago about a young black belt who thought he created a new move in jiu-jitsu. This story often comes to mind when students of mine training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Redondo Beach tell me they have a new move to show me. Jiu-Jitsu techniques are always being refined and advanced in some way. Strategies are changing, sequences are modified, and variations exist for sure. However, coming up with a NEW move that you created is very different! Somewhere there is a student that made the same move in some small academy, or it was shown in a lost martial arts manual from the 1950′s or filmed on video many years ago only to be seen today on a youtube clip you haven’t watched just yet. But…once in a great while, a new move is created, which is another story. Nonetheless, the story I want to share goes like this:
Many years ago, after a lesson with Prof. Joe Moreira, pictured above – currently, an 8th-degree red and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & 3rd-degree black belt in Judo, a young black belt was eager to show Moreira a new move he said he had created. Joe said, “Let me see this technique?” The young black belt tightened his belt to demonstrate the technique to another student as a few classmates observed and as Prof. Moreira watched with great detail. The young black belt showed the new move with excellence and amazing timing. The group of students was so amazed at this new trick because no one had seen this before. Prof. Moreira had a smile on his face and told the young black belt that he had a very nice technique. However, the professor was not as excited or as amazed as the group of students.
When all the students and the young black belt had left the room, a brown belt asked Moreira why he was not as surprised as the group of students and his thoughts on the technique. Prof. Moreira told the student that he said the technique was very good in front of the young black belt because it was. However, with a big smile, Moreira also said he had seen this technique 20 years before! Why even mention this to the group…
Prof. Tony Pacenski
2nd Degree Black Belt
BJJ Revolution Team
Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Redondo Beach
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