In this video series BJ explains that the secret to his meteoric rise was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu basics. In the video below he goes so far as to say that his entire game is basics.
For a fledgling white belt (and blue belts like myself), it is tremendously easy to get caught up in the flash of today’s BJJ. There is so much dynamic maneuvering going on and the advent of new and exciting guards, that it makes it difficult for a white belt to simply focus on the armbar from closed guard.
However white belt, this is a game of patience. There will plenty of time down the road to get as flashy as you would like. Take it from BJ Penn, fundamentals are your best friend!
I highly recommend reading his book Why I Fight: The Belt Is Just an Accessory
It is an incredible story if you are a Jiu Jitsu lover. BJ tells all about rising up from his struggles growing up in Hilo, Hawaii to going on to becoming the first American BJJ Black Belt to ever win the World Championship (Mundials). Check out that match here.