Most jiu-jitsu students place some value on developing a complete jiu-jitsu game. Or even if they don’t do it in practice, they are aware that they need to pay attention to all areas of jiu-jitsu.
That said, most of us deliberately ignore certain parts of BJJ for a few valid reasons.
It is not often that we see purple and brown belts drilling a lot of the basic self-defense curriculum. In most BJJ academies, students will learn self-defense early on in their study of BJJ and then turn their focus onto the techniques of sport jiu-jitsu.
One black belt said, “I know the self defense techniques. Where I live the chances of getting in a street fight are low. So, I practice what I like and have fun in jiu-jitsu.”
BJJ mastermind John Danaher has said (I’m paraphrasing) that defeating an untrained individual is ridiculously easy for the BJJ athlete with thousands of hours of mat time under their belts. Once practitioners reach a solid purple belt, they feel confident that they can handle the majority of street encounters.
2) Competitive Focus
If you are an active competitor, you will wisely concentrate your training efforts into those positions that are most effective in the rules of your sport.
Rightly or wrongly, you won’t see many competitors spending hours training their judo takedowns. There is little reward for takedowns in many competitions. It is more expedient for them to pull guard immediately to get the match to the ground. Along with that idea, your opponent can effectively negate your years of wrestling by immediately pulling half guard.
Leg locks not legal in your belt category? Little time will be spent perfecting your leg game. Realistic competitors will allocate their efforts to maximize their results in competition.
3) Your Individual Game
After a few years training jiu-jitsu, you will most likely have a well-defined “A Game” that will reflect your physical attributes, your aesthetic sense (you just think certain techniques are cool!), and possibly the game that your academy is known for.
If we look at some of the top BJJ competitors, we will see a near total absence of certain positions in their games.
How often do we see Roger Gracie or Marcelo Garcia hunting a berimbolo or the Miyao brothers shooting for a massive double leg?
Guys at this level no doubt understand these positions. They just decided not to use them in favor of another game they prefer.
We can see there are valid (laziness is not a valid reason) reasons to ignore certain BJJ positions in your game.
Which positions and techniques do you ignore in your own jiu-jitsu?