One of the most interesting things about Jiu Jitsu is the way that beyond the fundamentals one must know (front shoulder rolls, back shoulder rolls, break falls, hip escapes, etc) every individual must discover for themselves, their own unique style. As a thought experiment for a beginner practitioner, ask yourself what you want to be known for in 10 years. Do you want it to be armlocks, impressive takedowns, positional dominance, leg locks or being a well rounded fighter. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide, and I urge you to allow your Jiu Jitsu to take form in the way that best fits you as a person. Below are some athletes who are known for creating their own style that they would go on to be known for.
Marcelo Garcia – X-guard, guillotines, butterfly guard and rear naked chokes.
Xande Ribeiro – Known for an impassable guard and “Classical Jiu Jitsu”.
Rafael and Gui Mendes – The birth of the mainstream use of the berimbolo and leg drag.
Gordon Ryan – One of the most well rounded styles of Jiu Jitsu with a complete standing, bottom and top game that earns him one of the highest submission percentages of any current fighter.
Keenan Cornelius – One of the most decorated Americans out there known for his “Worm Guard” and other lapel variations.