Friday, February 17, 2012

Flow with the Go

I am going to be reprinting some old classic entries from my previous blog called The Angry Grappler. It will chronicle the evolution in my understanding of martial arts.
11 March 2009 @ 11:21 pm

"Flow with the go" is a term Rickson Gracie made famous in Choke. I am not sure how he meant it, probably in some mystical Rickson Gracie way. For me its a good memory device.

When I first stated Jiu Jitsu I would go for my favorite moves no matter what, and I kept going for it single mindedly. I would shoot up an armbar or guillotine and hang onto it like a pitbull. This is the annoying trademark of white fishes (white belts).

Later on through the n00b grapevine, we started to hear the secret of good Jiu Jitsu or to just overall be a good fighter. "Hey man, you know how to be good? You have to go from move to move, just keep transitioning to the next submission!" At the juvenile stages of learning, you think that must be the secret. The veil that needs to be lifted to be at that black belt level. It's as easy as that! Even Bas Rutten used to say that and Bas knows everything!

So I would let go of moves and go to the next move to next move until eventually my guard got passed or I got reversed. So I must have been doing it wrong!! Or so I thought.

But later on, much later on I learned not all transitions are built equal. Meaning even good guys, pro fighters, black belts would tell you from here, you can go to this or do this, when this guy expects this, do this instead! This may be a bold and arrogant statement, but I have to disagree with some of these more experienced fighters. I think that's a rudimentary understanding of the game. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should in my opinion. It's like when your first noticing girls and realizing girls like to dance and thinking, oh the secret to getting girls is being a good dancer? Some people even as adults may think thats the answer, and may show success from it. But its like looking at the cover of the book, not reading what's inside. For me it doesn't matter who it is, or what they've done, their opinions count, but logic and physics will always outrank all opinions for me. If it doesn't make sense or something makes more sense, I will give that a look.

Like when you take someone's back, you can transition to a lot of other moves, especially armbar. But don't! I remember watching Renzo Gracie Legacy and Daniel would do this armbar from the back. Basically Renzo called him and idiot and told him not to do that. That he would never be able to catch it in a real fight.

I remember one tournament where I blew my chance at first place because I had a hard time finishing a triangle so I went to armbar and lost the whole thing. And my friend even yelled at me, keep the triangle. But I was too brainwashed, thinking transitions = instant submissions.

But other times transitions are great! Like guillotine to triangle. Armbar to back. Cross choke to armbar to cross choke. And other times you just stick with the one move and insist on it. Like triangles or rear chokes.

So your opponents going to go, that's something you can't stop. But its your job to flow with his go. Flowing doesn't always mean changing what you are doing, it just means...flowing. That's how I use, flow with the go.
About the Author:

Sam Y. is a Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.

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