The single biggest problem that beginning jiu jitsu students face

Jiu Jitsu

When people begin the study of jiu jitsu they often see it as a matter of learning a sufficient number of moves in sufficient detail to be able to hold their own on the mat with their classmates. Certainly there is a lot of truth to this. When coaching however, I see the main problem a little differently. The human body has some fundamental and very important ASYMMETRIES. An obvious example is the left side/right side asymmetry. People are either right handed or left handed and will be stronger and more coordinated on their strong side. Another extremely important asymmetry is that between UPPER BODY AND LOWER BODY STRENGTH AND COORDINATION. We are all much stronger in the lower body than upper body. If I asked you to walk several times across the dojo you could do this easily and with little effort. If I asked you to walk several lengths of the dojo on your hands in a handstand, even if you had the balance skills to do so, it would be a strenuous and tiring workout. If I asked you to sign your name on paper with your hand, you would do so easily; if I asked you to sign your name holding the pen in your toes it would be a real struggle. HUMANS ARE MASSIVELY STRONGER AND LESS COORDINATED IN THE LOWER BODY THAN UPPER BODY. This has clear ramifications for jiu jitsu. We must learn to grapple predominantly with our lower body (legs). This means we have to overcome the lack of lower body coordination that most of us bring into the sport. As a beginner, YOU MUST PUT YOUR PRIMARY FOCUS UPON DEVELOPMENT OF COORDINATION AND DEXTERITY IN YOUR LEGS SO THAT YOU LEARN TO GRAPPLE PREDOMINANTLY WITH YOUR LEGS IN ORDER TO MAKE USE OF THEIR SUPERIOR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE. You must overcome the natural beginners tendency to grapple with the upper body and learn to let your legs do most of the work. Every time you drill moves, BE MINDFUL OF LETTING YOUR LEGS DO THE MAJORITY OF THE WORK INVOLVED. There is no shortcut here - it will take time; but let me assure you that FORMING A STRONG CONNECTION OF YOUR MIND TO YOUR LEGS (knowledge to action) WILL BE THE SINGLE BIGGEST DETERMINANT OF YOUR PROGRESS IN JIU JITSU