About

Lets face it.  This is just another BJJ blog by another brown belt.  My name is Paul Elliott, I teach a BJJ fundamentals and advanced classes at American Top Team Watertown in Watertown, NY, and I do reasonably well in competition.  I’ve got a core of students that I’m trying to help to become great blue belts and beyond. Simple.

My basic philosophy in jiu-jitsu is all about keeping things simple, and making things simple.  The tagline for this blog, Do The Simplest Thing That Could Possibly Work, reveals me as a software engineer since this is a common phrase in what’s known as “extreme programming”.  That sounds much more “X” than it really is, but it turns out that it’s also a good principle for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Fancy things tend to have a lot of moving parts and dependencies, and while it may be fun to do fancy moves, the proper situations for those moves don’t come up all that much, while the scenarios for simple things come up all the time.  Once you start to see the core mechanics of a particular hold or submission, you realize how simple it really is, and how you can apply those principles from all over the place if you are just aware of the common mechanics.  So I look for abstractions and commonalities, and I hope to communicate those things in the simplest and most direct way possible to my students, training partners, and maybe some people around the world.

If you are a black belt (or at least better than me on some topic), and you see something on here that just doesn’t jive with your knowledge of the art, by all means, make me tap.  If I am wrong about something, I’d rather be made right than to win an argument.  I’ve learned a lot of jiu-jitsu by getting submitted repeatedly by upper level guys, and I look forward to every submission, despite trying to avoid them all.  So feel free to correct me so I can correct my students.

Finally, as a general disclaimer, this is a site for people who are training jiu-jitsu under qualified instructors.  It’s meant to be supplemental to your primary jiu-jitsu education.  If you think you are going to read this site, hurt yourself, then come after me saying I have shoddy teaching and somehow I’m legally or financially responsible for your stupidity, consider this your warning that you won’t get anything from me.  If you think I’m responsible in any way for your jiu-jitsu problems or injuries, you shouldn’t visit this website and I invite you to stop reading, get a good psychologist, quit jiu-jitsu, and pound sand.

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