Sometimes the old way works fine

by Peter Marus

I was thinking about "old vs new" school in BJJ.  I train under one of the "old school" guys (who in his life trained with and under both the Gracie and Machado families-like going to Yale and Harvard) and he is set in his ways, but he has techniques that are rock solid and work.  He has won numerous tournaments with a basic, but technically sharp, style. 

Many champions in all sports succeed by the same way-basics that are perfect but some flair or personal touch. I read and see videos now of a lot of the "new school" BJJ fighters who claim to have some "innovative" technique.  I call bullshit on that because I know some guy in the deepest part of the Amazon probably came up with the same technique surviving an Anaconda attack, he just didn't have marketing like todays's fighters.  Some of the "new and innovative" BJJ looks like a bad choeographed Lucha libre fight, where one guy cartwheels over and the other pops and locks like a breakdancer and neither gain anything.  When someone comes to class with one of these moves they saw on YouTube.  It's great comedy to see them try it, and an old school guy stuffs it, smashes the guy and teaches him the move, though legit, isn't totally applicable.

 Another example of old school is my razor. I switched to a safety razor. I wanted to see if it's better than the multi blade razors.  After assuring my wife I won't look like shark bait and/or pass out from bleeding, I tried it and loved it.  I do have a couple thoughts on it:

-Use a lot of shave cream/gel.  I'm not a "soap in a cup with a brush" guy, that's a bit much.  But a good amount of cream or gell works fine.

-getting the angle is a learning process but will come natural in short time (hold the razor like a pen works) .

  -No flex in the head, which means you may need to go over parts that are bumps in skin or dents in skin.

 -Safety razors last forever, but need to be cleaned off by hand a couple times as you shave (open the head and wipe the edges with paper and rinse).

-Nice and easy, no pressure is the safest way to use it.   

Just two examples of how, with technology and marketing, people forget the old ways work just as, if not better than the new ways.  Granted, sometimes those who hold onto old ways end up in groups with peers and they all sound like pretentious cunts, much like most of the hipster/snowflake population today in parts of Brooklyn that "wasn't" mob-ran (if there was ever a Mob obviously...)