Glamor vs practicality: Everywhere is life we have to make a choice between an exciting, glamorous option vs a pragmatic, practical option. We have to choose between an exciting fast car versus a safe and reliable one, friends who can get you into fancy nightclubs and introduce you to to excitement and fun versus a friend who always has your back no matter what. Jiu jitsu is the same. There are lots of exciting and fun elements that get our attention and there are some that are extremely important but don’t get much attention. Probably the two least glamorous skill areas of Jiu jitsu are pin escapes and guard retention. Neither will result in highlight reels, yet your ability to perform all the more exciting aspects of Jiu jitsu is entirely dependent upon your ability to get out of bad pins and/or prevent them happening in the first place. You simply can’t play an exciting game if you’re being constantly held down and pinned. Make sure you devote a sufficient time in your training for the less glamorous but absolutely crucial aspects of the sport that may not be exciting in themselves, but which make the exciting aspects possible. Spend time getting out of pins and stopping opponents from passing – if you are starting out in Jiu jitsu I would prioritize these skills above all others