Sometimes this question comes up, and sometimes I can tell people are trying to ask about this without sounding impolite.
Folks who aren’t all that familiar with jiu-jitsu run across a short video clip of someone demonstrating a technique where they end up standing on their head, and the viewer gets curious. Sometimes (…sometimes), I get curious myself.
I’m not out to demonize those techniques, as they can certainly have their place, but what I’m concerned about is that folks see those videos and use them as a definition of what goes on in a jiu-jitsu class.
Not the case. Or, at least it’s definitely not a requirement.
The primary goal of what gets practiced at both our schools and the ones that we’re associated with is – Get to the top position, assert control, and stay there. And if you can do that, submissions fall into your lap.
No other art that I’m aware of covers the scenario of being on your back and working your way to a top position like jiu-jitsu does.
Now – Some practitioners may play the bottom game and use those inverted techniques as their preference or as a way to have fun in the art, but not one Coach worth his salt says “First things first, lay down.” when the context of the discussion is a fight of any kind.
Dear Reader, you’re going to see far more videos of people doing weird things and associating those things with jiu-jitsu than you will the basic techniques that get covered every day, because those flashy moves and positions are what draws attention. The stuff that you’ll use every time you’re on the mat, from day one until the journey ends, ain’t click-worthy.
Maybe those videos caused you to get interested in jiu-jitsu, and if they did, that’s great! Hopefully they didn’t send you the other direction with the impression that jiu-jitsu is something that either you can’t or don’t want to do, because of what you saw there.