As a young BJJ practitioner I often found myself drawn towards the many different techniques BJJ had to offer, whether it was berimbolos, de la riva guard, x guard, etc. I believe that as a lower belt it is important to leave no stone unturned when it comes to learning techniques. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know… If you’ve never seen a triangle choke before, in a competitive setting you will find out when it is being applied and you are tapping out.
However, beyond the beginner stage, one starts to notice that there are fundamentals of BJJ which seem to go unnoticed and are seldom taught or emphasized in any sort of advanced capacity. The problem then lies in the fact that practitioners are taught in a way that creates a view of techniques that work at beginner levels and techniques that work at advanced levels, rather than learning a collection of techniques that will work across all levels.
A classic example of basics being employed at the highest level is Xande Ribeiro, who is know for having an impassable guard along with one of the highest submission percentages. The beautiful thing is that none of his techniques rely on flexibility or other physical characteristics. From the outside his technique selection appears to be what you would teach your beginner class (scissor sweep, cross choke, armbar, etc). It is important to note that not only do these techniques work at the highest level but he most recently turned 40 and still continues to dominate the adult division. Myself included lol. The key takeaway is that less is often more and as you continue your journey of BJJ, always aim to simplify your Jiu Jitsu. Not only will this benefit you as a practitioner but the people you pass it to.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” -Bruce Lee