One step at a time

One step at a time

A feature of most of the moves of jiu jitsu is that they can usually be divided up into sequential steps. Until one step is successfully completed, the next cannot be made. In most cases, when a step fails, one has to abandon the move and either start again from the beginning or try something else. This step by step feature makes teaching and learning rather easy. As you go higher in the sport you must learn to use this step by step character to your advantage. Once you begin the first step, a knowledgeable opponent will have a good idea of what you will want to do next. The step by step nature of the sport makes many of our moves predictable to BOTH players. It is important then, that you use subterfuge on occasion to make yourself unpredictable. I will often enter the first step of a given move with aggression to try to elicit a predictable defensive reaction from an opponent who now expects the usual second step of the sequence - and then apply an unexpected second step that slips past whatever defensive structure the opponent built for expected next step. When you first begin your jiu jitsu study, the step by step approach to learning is a great learning aid; but as you advance it can become a liability insofar as you become predictable. Make sure you constantly look for ways to disguise your real intentions by committing strongly to a given move and then having several alternative second steps quite different from the usual one. In this way you will always be an unpredictable and tricky opponent, but at the same time have the solid foundation of a strong step by step game.