The higher you go

Jiu Jitsu

The higher you go in the sport of jiu jitsu, the less you will concern yourself with the standard techniques of the sport. Your first challenge when you begin jiu jitsu is to develop strong skills in the basic operations of the game - to develop skill in the basic MOVES. So for example, you work hard to develop a good arm bar, a tight triangle, a reliable elbow escape etc etc. By the time you get to a good level you will come to realize that in the majority of cases, THERE IS NEAR UNIFORMITY IN THE ABILITY OF MOST ATHLETES TO PERFORM THE BASIC MOVES OF THE SPORT. If you watch the current world champion perform a basic move, say for example, an arm bar from closed guard, there is little to distinguish it from a local black belt. At the higher levels, IT IS MUCH MORE ABOUT YOUR ABILITY TO OUTPERFORM OTHERS AT THE SET UPS AND PRECURSORS TO THE TECHNIQUES RATHER THAN THE TECHNIQUES THEMSELVES. Among competent black belts, EVERYONE has a strong arm bar, a strong kimura etc. What makes one stand out from the others is mostly about the small and subtle skills and tactics that enables him or her TO GET INTO A SITUATION WHERE THEY CAN ACTUALLY APPLY THAT MOVE. Due to the fact that the vast majority of your opponent’s defense to any given move comes from the integrity of his stance, the single most important skill at the higher levels becomes THE ABILITY TO SUBVERT, NEGATE AND DEGRADE YOUR OPPONENT’S STANCE - only then will you be able to actually apply the basic moves of the sport. Beginners must focus on moves, but as you gain in expertise, YOU MUST SHIFT YOUR FOCUS TO BREAKING YOUR OPPONENT’S STANCE AND STRUCTURE - only then will the opportunity to apply those moves arise. My teaching reflects this fact - moves are taught in great detail, but always embedded in a coherent system of preliminaries that make them work in competition.