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Posted by
Dartanian BJJ
4 months ago

The path of jiu jitsu..

Hi everybody, my name is Dartanian Bagby. I have been black belt for 21 years. I am more fascinated with jiu jitsu now than i have ever been before. I think many people come to jiu jitsu to learn self defense, and it is a way for them to overcome fears. The fear of getting hurt in a bad situation is a very motivating thing and it helps to get people past the first stage of their jiu jitsu journey.

After we feel competent in self preservation, there has to be something more.

For me and many others that thing is the achievement of the rank of Black Belt. But what about after that? I tell my students that if changing belts is what makes you happy, then once you are Black Belt you will be miserable because it takes 24 years for the belt to change(haha).

So basically, in three years i will finally be happy again!

Joking aside, i feel the meaning of jiu jitsu is more than self defense. That is what brings us to it, but not what keeps us. Hopefully, we all go through the process of wanting self defense , then wanting dominate and crush everyone in our path ( in the nicest possible way, of course), and finally getting past all of that and wanting to learn jiu jitsu.

The challenge to face yourself on the mat is the ultimate attraction for me. It's a complex thing, but I feel that I face who I am in the ordeal of hard training. After 30 years on the jiu jitsu mats , a whole life time on the judo mats, wrestling in college, and teaching for 21 years, I'm still not burnt out.

There must be something to this grappling thing.

95% Upvoted
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level 1

After 21 years of teaching, I'm sure you have met a lot of different people, met different students, rolled with countless people, and dealt with many different situations. Has this experience taught you anything about human nature? If so, what?

level 2
Dartanian BJJ
Original Poster48 points · 3 months ago

HI nice to speak with you. One of the things that comes to mind is this: Everybody is doing the best they can. Sometimes you will see someone gets angry or some one who goes too hard for the level of there partner, or you are helping them and when you say "put your left arm here" they move their right leg instead. then they do it six more times the same way. In all of these situations, they are doing the best they can. People have different ways of coping with the stress of training, but we are all striving for improvement. I have found that giving people credit for doing there best helps me to frame my communications more effectively. jiu jitsu is about effectiveness.

level 3

I bet you're an awesome instructor! :)

level 3

that's an awesome response and a window into emotion and intelligence.

level 1
Dartanian BJJ |
23 points · 3 months ago

Nice to have you on Reddit professor! Now you can crush my pretenses of knowing Jiu-Jitsu online the same as you do on the mats...

Guys, I've trained at a lot of places, including some of the best academies in the world run by multiple time world champions, and this guy is as good or better than all of them. A truly unique grappling talent and an amazing instructor. (And no, he didn't pay me to say this :p )

level 2
White Belt II
10 points · 3 months ago

RemindMe! 7 Days "Did u/erangalp finally get that 3rd stripe?"

level 3
Dartanian BJJ |
5 points · 3 months ago

you mean my red belt

level 3

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level 1

This is really good news to me. I've only been training for 8 years (and still love and obsess about jiu jitsu) but often wonder if one day I'll burn out and realize that this was just a long phase. I'm always happy to hear from guys that have been in the game for a long time and still love it.

level 1

Congrats on training for so long! Have you had any major injuries? Do you have any thoughts you could share on injury prevention?

level 2
Dartanian BJJ
Original Poster29 points · 3 months ago

Hi yes I have had two knee surgeries, one foot surgery. Both due to wrestling injuries the first time(foot and knee), and then years later the second knee surgery to clean up some scar tissue. i have had many strains and sprains along the way, and i figured out how to not get injured over the years.

here it is: acceptance.

what do i mean? If my partner tries to break a grip, I let go. If a partner tries to pass with super speed and power, i let them round the corner and use the extra time to prepare my defense of their side control. I save time and they burn energy. If you want to be good at Jiu Jitsu, you have to be good at all of it. That means good at getting your guard passed and staying in the fight. That means being good at someone taking your back and staying in the fight. Some partners are good for you to practice guard retention, some are good for you to practice guard recovery. All your partner have something to offer, but if you don't accept that, then you end up in worse positions or fighting too hard to prevent something that perhaps you should be allowing and you injuries become far more likely.

So basically , I prevent injury by not fighting my partner. Instead, I change the terrain of the battle field with my movements so that their idea is no longer valid. I don't fight the move, i fight the idea.

level 3

That's a really awesome response, thank you!

level 3


level 3

I really really like that post.

level 1

Good on you Professor. While there are many different motivations in practicing BJJ, or any martial arts for that matter, I have always believed that a sense of community is primary what keeps people going. Not everyone can be a top notch competitor, some of us will be WB forever. In the mats you feel like you belong to something worthwhile. Among your friends, and it gives people comfort and take a bit of the edge of our daily grind.

It sounds like that you were able to instill that sense of community in your gym, to some people that is the most important and everything else follows.

Congrats on your 21 years sir. OSS!

level 2

Professor and oss in one post, nice.

level 1

Wow. I’m simply astonished at your commitment. I am just a white belt, and have not had the opportunity to learn much, as I can really only practice at a gym three months out of the year. That is not much room for improvement.

At home, I try to watch videos and mimic moves, but I was wondering what else I can do individually to improve, professor?

level 2
Dartanian BJJ
Original Poster14 points · 3 months ago

hello, I remember well the days when I was in the place you are in. I think of jiu jitsu like a tree. The leaves are like all the moves you can find on the internet. There are so many of them! Then there are the smaller branches, they are the variations on more general moves. After that, the bigger branches, which are the the categories like 'armbar' or 'leg attack' or' guard pass. The trunk of the tree is self defense, which is the ability to move from one situation to another effectively. So i would start there. Focus on the basic ability to change the situation from one thing to another. So if some one takes you down , focus one getting your legs in the fight.If someone passes your guard, focus on getting on your side instead of your back and facing them. As you learn to go from one spot to another calmly , you will start to see patterns in other peoples movements that tell you what is going to happen next. then you can get ahead of them and start to control some things. the trunk of the tree is your fundamental escapes from the different control positions. Learn to navigate from one escape to another so your partner can't control you in one place. As you start to be able to do this, people will have a harder and harder time trying to catch you. If they can't catch you they can't win. Good luck.

level 3

I think what you just said about focusing on getting to my side and facing them if I am taking down is going to drastically change my game. TY for that

level 1
Renzo Gracie NorCal
3 points · 3 months ago

Are you still training Judo? How do you view both arts, and the direction that they've gone over time?

level 2
Dartanian BJJ
Original Poster15 points · 3 months ago

Hello, I love both arts. Judo is an amazing journey! The techniques of judo require good timing and good body placement, as does jiu jitsu. It is harder to get your opponent off their feet than it is to fight with them once they are on the ground, so i think Judo is harder for beginners to learn. I think that good judo is very important for jiu jitsu people to learn. Judo , Jiu jitsu, and Wrestling are like three brothers from the baddest family in town. If you get in a bad situation, having having one of those brothers on your side is good, and having all three of them on your side is better!

I view the arts as something that we partake in. They are each a set of principles and ideas that we follow. Our expression of these arts does not change what they are. If I practice jiu jitsu and I implement movements that are effective for me because of some special attribute that I have, It does not change what Jiu jitsu is. My understanding of the principles is what guides my movement. If my movements are effective for me , they may not be for someone else. Non of that changes what Jiu jitsu is.

Jiu Jitsu is like the ocean, and I am the surfer. If I surf well, or if i surf badly, it doesn't change the ocean.

I respect the Ocean, I love the Ocean, I Play in the Ocean everyday, and I am thankful.

level 3
Renzo Gracie NorCal
2 points · 3 months ago

Thanks for your response professor. As a white belt in both judo and jiu jitsu, this excites me. I also have a background in wrestling (4 years in High School) which is actually what brought me to try Judo and BJJ.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

level 1
3 points · 3 months ago

I just do this so I can defeat my father some day

level 1

What a wonderful perspective. Thank you for sharing it!

level 1

Do you recommend going into BJJ for a career ? Have you used BJJ for your own self defense?

level 2
Dartanian BJJ
Original Poster3 points · 3 months ago

Hi someone going into BJJ for a career is entirely an individual decision. For me it was entirely organic. people were seeking out my advice and i enjoyed teaching. There are other considerations that one may have. I can only tell you that i have enjoyed the journey.

As far as self defense, the answer is yes. On more than one occasion, I have used my jiu jitsu defend myself or someone else. It has always worked well. I have experience in other arts, and jiu jitsu is the best one to use in order to defend your self but not really hurt the other person. There are people who need to be hurt in order to stop their attack, and in those cases, other tools are on the table. But in general, i don't feel the need to hurt someone in order to defend myself.

level 1

Man. I always enjoyed when you came by Xandes old LA place and gave us some Judo lessons as well. A wealth of knowledge

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