Deconstructionism & Jiu-Jitsu Progression

Posted: September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized
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If you want to understand something completely, study its inverse. This is the idea behind reverse engineering and can be seen in so many things we become proficient with, if even subconsciously. More simply put: if you want to be a good writer, read a lot. If you want to be good at winning, you have to be prepared to lose a lot.

Jiu-Jitsu is a beautiful illustration of this principle because the more you get caught in chokes and locks, the better you become at them. When you get caught in a certain choke 5, 10, 200 times, you tend to notice the patterns of what lead to it and what your opponent did to secure it. Next, you notice that you get caught less and less by that choke. Finally, you begin to notice where you have opportunities to set up the choke yourself. Eventually, you become proficient in the execution of that choke. Beautiful!

Many things work like this. I imagine that if I (with admittedly no mechanical inclination or aptitude) were to dissemble and reassemble a car enough times, I would be able to troubleshoot it issues with that car and take measures to improve its performance. So I could become a mechanic in that way. Or exchange “car” for “human” and I could in that way, given enough time and resources become a medical professional. With instruments, a musician; with paints, an artist, etc.

Why jiu-jitsu works as such a brilliant elucidation of this, however, is that there is a sense of urgency that makes your mind and body fire rapidly, enhancing this experience and fast-tracking the analysis process. The techniques and positions with which I am most proficient were all born out of necessity and repetition, whether voluntary or involuntary.

So what to do with this information? What I have learned to do is tap. If I want to get better at a move, I find someone who can do it and let them catch me, with me offering different levels of resistance or defense to the move. If I want to be adept at a move that no one around me is versed in then I have to go old school and rep it out, initially feeling my way in the dark with it. But then, I plant seeds. I show everyone I can my new pet move, let them play with it and return later to that person in hopes they will try to catch me with it. And when they try…I let them.

This is reason number 1 million, why ego is the biggest obstacle to progress in jiu-jitsu. But if you have learned to relinquish your ego, train selfishly and selflessly, and have a true desire to get deeper into the essence of the technique and not just ride the superficial wave of victory vs defeat, then maybe try this method if you haven’t already.



And now a poll…


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