Ever since I can remember, in my past-decade of experience doing Jiu Jitsu, I have always met those who scoured the Jiu Jitsu ether searching for “secret moves” than their opponent didn’t know.
I must admit, as a white and blue belt, I too fell victim to this thinking. The thinking that the more tricks I knew, the better I would fare against my opponents.
What I didn’t know at the time was that there was a massive problem to this way of thinking. While it is important to continually expand one’s knowledge base, tricks will not work against the best Jiu Jitsu fighters. Of course, if your purpose of training Jiu Jitsu is to beat suckers… Well, maybe you’re the sucker.
Those of us who are long time practitioners of the gentle art of Jiu Jitsu know that Jiu Jitsu is problem solving with an intense physical component where you can get limbs broken and suffocated if you refuse to tap out. This requires that the knowledge you have of solving problems, be applicable to a wide variety of positions and transitions varying from very basic holds (mount, back mount) to more complex versions (grapevine mount, body triangle).
The fault of seeking “the secret moves” is they neglect to develop the basic foundations of positions that Jiu Jitsu practitioners will find themselves in 9/10 times, especially at the lower ranks. So, rather than spending a majority of their time learning how to escape the basic holds or submissions and how to apply them, their time is devoted to finding obscure attacks that are less widely known.
A better approach might be to spend time on the techniques which have been around for hundreds of years and continue to be effective to this day, such as an armbar. Only then will you, over time, find yourself not only skilled at the application of these powerful basic submissions but also well versed at escaping them, one of the most underrated skills in the Jiu Jitsu world.