Bottom game is more difficult for most students to learn than game: When I teach people beginning Jiu jitsu I almost always them with bottom game first. The first skill they must master is pin , since in their early days they will be fighting out of bad positions for most of their training time. Once they learn to escape to guard from a bad pin, they will need to learn to hold on to their guard so that they don’t get out but then immediately put right back into the pin they just escaped from – so is the next skill they need to learn. Then they need to learn to fight effectively from their back as they can get to and hold a guard – now it’s time to attack from there. You can see all these first skills involve fighting from your back. Part of the reason this should be taught first is practical – because as a beginner with no or pinning skills you will almost certainly find yourself underneath opponents. In addition it recognizes that if you are matched against opponents you must be able to survive and fight from underneath. The other big reason is that most people find the act of learning to fight from their back more difficult than from on top. Nothing in life prepares you for the movements and techniques of bottom game. I’ve seen plenty of athletic beginners come in and do pretty well in top position on day one – but never seen that from . Instinct and natural talent doesn’t help much from bottom – you have to learn everything. As such the learning process is usually longer in bottom position than top for most people – SO START WITH A HEAVIER EMPHASIS ON BOTTOM GAME FIRST – it will give you more development time. You can always play catch up with top skills later.

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