One thing I’m learning from Jiu Jitsu is to attack the strategy of your opponent. That’s a thing you can always do– attack strategy. This is not as simple as it sounds. Usually we’re fighting the tactics– defending a choke– trying to win a game that our opponent has chosen. This is about figuring out what the game plan is, then interrupting it.
It’s about understand that if you fight tactics, even if you win, your victory is defined by the fact that you’re reacting against someone else. The fact that you were stronger might be enough, for now. It means you’re focusing your efforts in a lot of directions, it’s wasted energy, unnecessary movement and avoidable resistance.
Tactical victories are fierce. They usually involve expending more power than your opponent, playing a strength game. Do you really think there is a chance that you can always be slightly stronger, or a little bit more athletic than your opponent? That’s the resistance strategy– they’ll guard pass hard, so I will resist, harder.
Attacking their strategy is a better long-term plan for Jiu Jitsu. It’s about getting inside and disrupting. Instead of fighting my opponents moves I am trying to look at my Jiu Jitsu through this prism- “what is their strategy?” and “can I go around it, disrupt it or nullify it?”
Attacking strategy is not only the most productive channel for your resources, but it’s the most authentic path you can take in Jiu Jitsu. When it comes to the game of Jiu Jitsu your positioning is crucial. The best possible position to be in is your own, so play your game and refuse to be determined by another’s.
“Never work against Mother Nature. You only succeed when you work with her.”
All around us there is a natural way to things. You can tap into that. My Professor talks about the flow, some call it the current–all those descriptions we use to articulate a certain freedom. Freedom of movement. In Jiu Jitsu I think it means a freedom of mind. It’s about letting go, freeing control and realising that momentum can carry you further than all your panicky scrambling. When you start to feel that, and when you stop trying so hard, you can let your unconscious mind do what it needs to. There you can have greater outcomes than you do in the useless battle of wills, or fight over control.
You can’t change human nature any more than you can change the essense of water. So, instead of throwing muscle into it, it’s more efficient to explore out how to channel that power instead. To go with the flow.
Stay mighty on the mats,
The Four Basic Principles Behind the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Journal
The depth of knowledge and wisdom held in BJJ is so vast it sometimes feels like you're lost in a library. Journaling the process helped me track my progress and led me to develop a journal and structure that other people have used too. This is a post introducing the main concepts behind the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Journal.
1. It works for everyone, no matter where you are in your BJJ journey
The journal was originally designed for new students but enthusiasm from advanced students and masters has shown the process works at all levels. I first came up with the idea as a white belt because I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information input coming from each class. I credit the process of journaling for my progression in BJJ.
2. Building a BJJ game plan
Often, when starting out I would see a technique and forget, or vaguely half remember it. I didn't always understand where and why the technique would fit into a BJJ game plan or when to use it during rolling. It felt like ripping one page out of each book in the library, putting them all together and expecting it to make sense. Disorganised, lost and forgotten information was inevitable.
3. Internalise your technique lessons
If the basic goals of BJJ are to gain a submission via choke or joint lock and control the posture and position of the opponent, I found that I could keep track of the various pages I was taking from the BJJ library through journaling. The lessons and techniques my training partners and professor were giving me were written down and I found I was beginning to 'internalise' my Jiu Jitsu.
4. Be mindful of your success and achievements
Here's what's more important: week after week while rolling I started to observe and analyse the techniques I was using the most and was having the most success with. Gradually I began to grow a game plan, and an appreciation of where each page fits in to the library that is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
I hope that writing down techniques will help you commit them to memory and understand each step faster. We have created a simple structure in a book you bring to class, one that you can update as soon as your training session ends and the techniques are still fresh in your mind.
I wish you good luck on the mats. Oss