GB Student Question “How many techniques are there in Jiu-Jitsu?”

This is a pretty common question asked by new students of Jiu-Jitsu. And the answer is…nobody knows. Hundreds, possibly into the thousands of sweeps, takedowns, escapes, chokes (both gi and no-gi), arm bars, leg locks…and the list goes on.
To further complicate matters, there are different ways to execute that same guillotine – for example. And… there seems to be a new guard style or lapel technique or leg lock entry unveiled after every major competition each year. Jiu-Jitsu is not static. It is ever evolving.
So where does this leave the bewildered and overwhelmed new student of Jiu-Jitsu?
Fortunately, there are 2 aspects of Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu that help organize this incredible amount of information:
The Gracie Barra Curriculum and Gracie Barra Fundamentals. Let’s briefly talk about each of these essential parts of the Gracie Barra Method.
GB Curriculum
The standing and ground positions are divided into logical groups and taught as a week module. The way the weekly lessons are set up, over 16 weeks, the GB student will cover all of the positions and the techniques suitable for their level of experience.
If you are contemplating learning – say 100 techniques – where do we start? At week 1 of the Curriculum. The Curriculum was designed with the input of the most experienced Gracie Barra instructors and shared universally among GB schools.
One of the most positive comments I’ve heard from new students who began training at a Gracie Barra school is how much they benefited from the curriculum. They felt for the first time in their training that there was a structure and organization for them to follow in learning Jiu-Jitsu.
If you were looking to learn a foreign language, a well designed course would structure the hundreds or thousands of words, grammar and pronunciation skills into a curriculum. It is simply the best way to learn a complex subject.
GB Fundamentals
To continue with our comparison with learning a language, there are thousands or words in the English dictionary. However, interestingly 80% of our speech in a day is comprised of around only 100 most commonly used words.
This means that to become competent in basic communication, we only need to focus initially on those 100 most useful words. And so it is the same with Jiu-Jitsu Fundamental techniques.
The truth is that your early improvement will come not from knowing as many individual moves as possible, but by instead focusing on those 100 (or so) most important fundamental techniques. This is the thinking behind the GB Fundamentals. These fewer, but essential techniques are the focus of the GB Fundamentals program.
The other, more advanced techniques are great and may be the best solution for specific grappling situations, but those techniques can be explored and added in the GB Advanced curriculum. Distilling all of those 1000+ Jiu-Jitsu techniques into a Fundamentals class helps us get on the best route to learn Jiu-Jitsu.
Let’s end with a great quote on fundamentals by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
“I’ve always been a fan of the basics. After you have a good solid foundation of Jiu-Jitsu, the rest comes by instinct. You create, invent. The rest is easy. The difficult part is the beginning.” Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
See also on Gracie Barra : The 3 Types Of Training Partners We Need
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia