Efficiency is Intentional Nonresistance

Force against resistance begets more resistance. While the goal of grappling, whether manifested as a throw, a pin, or a submission, is ultimately to impose our will on another person, this is much more easily accomplished if we can create circumstances within which our opponent actually gives us we want, instead of having to take…

Committing Sincerely Without Overcommitting

One of the things that grappling teaches us is that people can sense a dishonest setup and, if we are to make actual progress toward our goal, our approach has to be sincere. When setting up a throw, a pin, or a submission, we must be prepared that our initial attack may be countered and…

Find Your Dynamic Center

One of the common themes among all grappling arts is a focus on stability as a fundamental principle. Whether called base, root, center, balance, or even frame or posture by some people, stability is an integral component of any grappling-based martial art. Whatever name we use for the concept, what we are talking about is…

Grappling Is A Competition For Freedom

“In a fight, only one person can be comfortable. Your job is to transfer the comfortable from your opponent to you.” —Rickson Gracie The goal in grappling is to maintain and protect our own physical freedom, our ability to move freely and unhindered, while taking away the same in our opponent. Posture, balance, and dynamic…

A Willow in a Snowstorm (Jujutsu and the Transcendence of Violence)

Does your jujutsu (jiu-jitsu) propagate violence or transcend it? The Japanese word jujutsu (柔術) is often thought to translate as ‘gentle art.’ Gentle implies a lack of force or lack of strength. Anyone who has ever done any form of jujutsu knows that there is nothing gentle about being thrown, pinned, joint-locked, or choked. In…