Curriculum for Learning Brazilian Jui-Jitsu

RGSJ’s BJJ Modular Learning System

Our BJJ curriculum at Ralph Gracie BJJ in San Jose runs 10 modules of BJJ content over a 12-week quarterly period (some modules repeated more frequently). There are several purposes behind our module system of learning. First, it helps the student mentally organize and analyze during the learning process of vast jiu jitsu techniques. By its nature, BJJ is a combination of both mental and physical facilities, and organizing specific class sessions in the modular system sets a structure of expectations for learning. And it allows students to comprehensively identify areas of strength and weaknesses in technique knowledge. Second, the entire dojo from Gracie Kids to Adults and Women’s Self-Defense, all focus on a single position and set of skills, in order to expose different styles, nuances, and to experience a collective deep dive of the subject matter.

Our in-house system is not a commercial curriculum purchased online or enforced from far away, but instead is based primarily on 100 years of shared Gracie family BJJ tradition in a customized structure. Our local system was developed and continues to grow from the collective experience of 8 active black belts with 100+ years of BJJ mat experience. After a rotation of 10 modules, the same module may have an entirely new set of techniques. The public version is listed below.

BJJ Module of the Week

There are a total of 10 modules. Each module is a one-week deep dive into one of the main positions in BJJ. Under this practice, the entire academy, kids, adults, beginners and black belts, all focus on the same concept in order to get the most synergy from the large bank of experience on the San Jose mats. Individual module curriculum includes A) Techniques, B) Transitions, C)Strategies and D) Drills from the module of the week.

Fundamental Mondays are the first day of each module week and instructors will typically cover the basics for the position. As the week progresses, so to the the sophistication of moves from the module position. An individual module will teach different skills on each rotation. For example, Module #6 Escapes from Side Control during the week of 11/4/19 emphasized basics, but the next rotation will cover half-guard the entire week.

Module Listing

  • Module #1 – Attacks from Closed Guard (9/30/19)
  • Module #2 – Attacks from Mount (10/7/19)
  • Module #3 – Attacks from Side Control (10/14/19)
  • Module #4 – Attacks from Back (10/21/19)
  • Module #5 – Passing from Closed Guard (10/28/19)
  • Module #6 – Escapes from Side Control (11/4/19)
  • Module #7 – Attacks on and Passing from Open Guard (11/11/19)
  • Module #8 – Defenses from Mount (11/18/19)
  • Module #9 – Defenses from Back (11/25/19)
  • Module #10 – Niche Positions (12/2/19)

Module Schedule

  • 11/11/19 – Module #7 – Attacks on and Passing from Open Guard
  • 11/18/19 – Module #8 – Defenses from Mount
  • 11/25/19 – Module #9 – Defenses from Back Mount
  • 12/02/19 – Module #10 – Niche Positions
  • 12/09/19 – Module #1 – Attacks from Closed Guard
  • 12/16/19 – Module #2 – Attacks from Mount
  • 12/23/19 – Module #3 – Attacks from Side Control
  • 12/30/19 – Module #4 – Attacks from Back
  • 01/06/20 – Module #5 – Passing from Closed Guard
  • 01/13/20 – Module #6 – Escapes from Side Control

Individual Module Detail

Below are examples of curriculum covered on the mat during class sessions. An individual module is different each rotation. Content within the module is separated in four categories: A) Techniques – deep dives into a specific BJJ technique typically submissions or sweeps, including body position and movements, and where and how to apply force; B) Transitions – series of movements to move from a first position to a second position; C) Strategies – set ups, considerations for competition; and D) Drills – warm up exercises, across the mat movements, and partner drills.

  • Module #1 – Attacks from Closed Guard (9/30/19)
    A) Techniques – arm bar; triangle; cross-collar choke; simple sweep; posture; omaplata
    B) Transitions – guard pull; from side control; to open guard
    C) Strategies – when to release to open guard; sweep set ups; hand & grip control
    D) Drills – arm bar-triangle-modified arm bar sequence; guard pass drill
  • Module #2 – Attacks from Mount (10/7/19)
    A) Techniques – CPR arm bar; paint brush; seated triangle; cross-collar choke
    B) Transitions – from side control; from knee-on-stomach
    C) Strategies – hi mount & low ‘grapevine’ mount controls;
    D) Drills – CPR arm bar drill; arm bar & triangle rhythm/entry drills; bear crawl
  • Module #3 – Attacks from Side Control (10/14/19)
    A) Techniques – near side arm bar; far side arm bar; knee on stomach; paper cut choke
    B) Transitions – to north-south; to mount; to knee on stomach; from guard pass
    C) Strategies – when to release to open guard; when to pull guard
    D) Drills – arm bar-triangle-modified arm bar sequence; guard pass drill
  • Module #4 – Attacks from Back Mount (10/21/19)
    A) Techniques – rear naked choke; collar choke; body triangle; bow and arrow; arm bar
    B) Transitions – from turtle guard; to closed guard; from side control
    C) Strategies – lifting chin & choke finishes; grips
    D) Drills – arm bar-triangle-modified arm bar sequence; guard pass drill
  • Module #5 – Passing from Closed Guard (10/28/19)
    A) Techniques – knee up; knee through; knee-over-shoulder; bull fighter; standing
    B) Transitions – to open guard; guard recovery from side control
    C) Strategies – when to release to open guard; half-guard passes
    D) Drills – guard pass drill; walking guard recovery; eskrima
  • Module #6 – Escapes from Side Control (11/4/19)
    A) Techniques – bridge; sweeps; guard recovery; arm bar defense
    B) Transitions – to guard; to back mount
    C) Strategies – opening space from side control; half-guard sweeps
    D) Drills – side control isolation drill; snake moves
  • Module #7 – Attacks on and Passing from Open Guard (11/11/19)
    A) Techniques – tripod sweep series; butterfly guard sweeps & passes
    B) Transitions – from closed guard; pass to side control; sweep to side control
    C) Strategies – when to release to open guard; push-pull concepts
    D) Drills – guard pass drill; open guard isolation drill; tripod sweep sequence
  • Module #8 – Defenses from Mount (11/18/19)
    A) Techniques – oompa; snake move; arm bar escapes
    B) Transitions – to side control; to closed guard; to half guard
    C) Strategies – surviving choke attempts; creating space
    D) Drills – arm bar-triangle-modified arm bar sequence; guard pass drill; snake move
  • Module #9 – Defenses from Back Mount (11/25/19)
    A) Techniques – choke defense; shoulder to the ground escape; foot lock; turtle position
    B) Transitions – to turtle position; to bottom side control
    C) Strategies – when to release to open guard; when to pull guard
    D) Drills – arm bar-triangle-modified arm bar sequence; guard pass drill
  • Module #10 – Niche Positions (12/2/19)
    A) Techniques – leg locks; 50/50; take downs; half guard; turtle; self-defense
    B) Transitions – Berimbolo; to x-guard; lapel guard
    C) Strategies – competition strategies; macro sequences including guard pass to side control to submission; parallel track submissions concept
    D) Drills – single leg; half guard isolation

Leave a Reply