Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dead Weight

I have been putting a lot of thought into this. I have discussed connectedness already. The concept I want to piggy back off of that is, dead weight. I said when you are connected, and things are tight to your center, it stays tight to your center. Especially with flat things, flat things stick to flat surfaces. Because of the lack of space to pry or release the forces of gravity.

So in essence space is the enemy of connectedness. So then it becomes harder and harder for you to pass my guard if you are far away from me, and easier for me to stand up. My job in passing, stabilizing, mounting, is to connect you to me as quickly as possible to initiate my control because eventually I want to get chest to chest. Not knee on chest, or my side on his chest, or sit on hip, but chest to chest.

What he will do is use his legs as a defense, to create space and openings, you then must connect his legs to your center. If you try to fight his legs with your arms, you will be the one getting tired, and lots of space will be created so you have to get as close to him as you can as quickly as you can. So connectedness. Connect to his legs. From there, settle down like you are dead weight. Not only does this conserve energy, it naturally makes you heavy and will find all the weaknesses and gaps in his tension. Your center though is naturally always the heaviest.

We make the mistake of tensing up or flexing or rising or pushing when we are trying to get heavy. But what does a kid do when they don't want to get picked up? They become dead weight, meaning their body sags with no counter tension, so as to find all the gaps and weakness in the tension created in the person trying to pick the child up. Like a 5lb brick is a lot easier to pick up than a 5lb blanket, its just becomes cumbersome.

Same thing here. As I explained, space is the enemy of the passer. So when you do pass, smearing him onto the mat, and you stabilize and hold your position, if you flex, lift your butt high in the air, lift your head up, knee on belly, hold him down in a scarf hold, bring both knees close to his side, etc. there is a lot of space created. Your opponent will take that space and create more space with it. A little space will become exponentially more space until possible you are both standing or he has swept you. So literally smear or smash someone, you have to become like a crashing landslide, rolling pin, or whatever your analogy is where there is direct constant pressure on everything as it moves forward. You can't do that with just putting pressure on certain areas at a time. That's like trying to flatten dough only using your fingers and not your palms or a rolling pin or a flat bottom surface.

When you are dead weight, your body will naturally find and plug up all the natural space, gaps, and crevices. When they say Roger is very heavy, or like a blanket, its not because he is squeezing, or he is arching his back or flexing or getting onto his toes and driving down on you or whatever people do to try to be heavy. Because none of those are like a heavy blanket. A heavy blanket is weight that is evenly distributed and a perfect example of dead weight, it has no tension so its always gonna find the gaps and fall into it. He will then pass you like a mudslide.

You look at Roger and not only is he technical, he is also very strong, and has a good BJJ body. Meaning long, and though he is not a very big and muscle bound guy, he is wide. Meaning the from front to the back of his shoulders may be smaller than other men, from one shoulder all the way to the other shoulder is very long. Like a sheet of paper or like a blanket, flat and wide. With the gi and his length it becomes amplified.

So flexing doesn't make you wide, it lifts you up. You want to be wide and spread out. BJJ is a teritorial game, thats why they even have positions and they have point value. Because like a war game with points, it is a game, and you want to occupy enemy terriory. Being as wide as possible allows you to take up as much territory as you want. If there was a pile of money on the ground and whatever amount of money you could grab you could keep, wouldn't you lay flat on it also and act like dead weight? Or there was a hundred dollar bill under your chest and you wanted no one to steal it, or for that matter under your back, what would you do? Become as flat and as dead as possible.

Think about it. The ground is flat, your opponent in the middle, to flatten him between you and the ground, shouldn't you also be flat as well? Like a press? Imagine how hard it would be to hold someone down on an uneven surface, when also you are not flattening but trying to use speed and just pressure on different areas at a time, like his knee, his hip, his chest, his arm, his neck, etc. Rigid things are easier to maneuver, its why we use trays to carry things in as opposed to sheet of paper.

It's very common sense and practical. But like I said sometimes with the mystique of martial arts, common sense goes out the window. I may not be a black belt in BJJ, but I am trying to be a black belt in life and attain black belt common sense.

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