Turn Toward Trouble (A Jiu-Jitsu Lesson)

Our only hope for overcoming our troubles is to turn toward them. One of the most valuable lessons we learn, as we practice jiu-jitsu, is that our troubles do not go away when we turn our backs on them. In fact, the more we train, the more we discover that, by turning away from our…

The Consequences Of Overextension (A Jiu-Jitsu Lesson)

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, we learn over time that overextending ourselves has very real, even painful, consequences. One of the greatest benefits of jiu-jitsu training is the near-immediate feedback we receive from rolling (grappling for submissions). When we make mistakes, if we are rolling with someone of equal or greater skill, there are consequences in the…

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…

Grappling Is Measured In Irimi

“Whoever controls the center, wins.” —Ellis Amdur Grappling is essentially a negotiation for space, space that one person is attempting to occupy to the detriment of the other. Takedowns, throws, pins, strangles, and joint-locks, are really all variants of taking space so that we are in control of it and our opponent is not. In…