Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Speak BJJ



I notice with a lot of younger players (always ideas come from observation as is the nature of the scientific method right? Observation, theory, experiment, results, rinse, and repeat) is that they tend to start their escapes way too late.

What I mean by that is they start to escape after they have been stabilized. Which makes it much more difficult. They accept the bad position and let it happen then reset their mind and begin to try to get out. Why? Because early on they wasted so much energy bucking and were told time and time again to calm down. As if being on the bottom of cross side helped you reach enlightenment. Yes I am stuck here, let's relax, this is the Gracie way.

No. If it truly was the Gracie way they would never want to be stuck in a position where they were defenseless and unable to protect themselves from their opponents weight or strikes. That's why from bottom they invented the guard.

What makes good guys so hard to hold down and why it looks so effortless is not that they do things differently from beginners. It's that their timing is so much better that they always start the escape before you have a chance to set your weight and/or your grips. I notice too often either the younger player takes a split second to kind of admire the better players work, or be disappointed in their inability to keep their opponent away or just a mental fart. But that second you gave up doing that is when you should have started your escape.

Even when you sweep I see people admire their work and just get swept right back because they were like "oh look what I just did!" Timing. You don't have to move fast, just move when you are supposed to.

And while you are trying this you may get tapped a lot. Tapping is a good thing. Why? Whether you tap or they tap, it's instant scientific feedback that something worked or something didn't work. The more you tap the more you learn. Why would you not want data to analyze? If you tap a lot in a roll you just learned all the ways you can be put in danger and submitted and not only that where you missed your chances. If you tap them you learn all the places where you can possibly submit and the time to act.

When you roll, roll with the goal to learn. Don't roll to prove who's better. If you do you may prove you are tougher but you would have learned nothing in that roll and wasted a session. It's like the difference between an argument and a dialogue. In an argument two people argue about who's wrong or right. Maybe one person prevails but no one is closer to the truth. In a dialogue both people just want to learn and they both get closer to the truth.

Everyone should love something. Very few people love anything. And if they do even fewer love anything as much as we love BJJ. This makes our life richer than most people will ever know.

BJJ is our universal language. Our roll is our dialogue!

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