Roger Gracie is in a unique position as one of the top contenders for being the greatest BJJ competitor of all time, if he has an opinion on techniques then it’s always worth listening to. The man is a living legend of BJJ and rightfully so, having won the IBJJF World Championships a stunning ten times while also having avoided being submitted in competition since he was a blue belt. Historically, Roger has taken on the best available competitors at every turn and has come away victorious in the vast majority of cases, including his late return to competition in a comeback match against Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.
In the below video, Roger Gracie gives a talk explaining exactly why he believes that you only need a small number of techniques in order to succeed even at the highest levels. You just need to get very, very good at that subset of techniques to the point that your opponents might know exactly what’s coming, but still aren’t able to stop it. This sounds very reminiscent of Roger’s entire career, where he made the Cross Collar Choke from Mount something that all competitors feared. The full video on Roger Gracie’s talk is below, courtesy of the Nikola Radin Way YouTube channel:
“All the top Jiu-Jitsu players are great at a few moves” says Roger. This is something you can see at even the highest levels of the game, where athletes build systems around the guiding opponents into the same submissions, or a branch of a few submissions that can be linked together. Roger explains that when you really, truly know a submission and have executed it a thousand times then you can really start to catch good grapplers with it. It’s the multiple repetitions that allow you to learn every little intricacy of the technique so that you’re performing it perfectly, every single time.
With this kind of single-minded approach to BJJ and the execution of techniques, it’s understandable why people are aching to see Roger Gracie come up against Gordon Ryan to determine who really is the greatest BJJ competitor of all time.