I began training Gracie Jiu Jitsu in late 2000. During my 15 years of instruction, in three different schools, in three different cities with thousands of training partners, the identical question always came up. How do I make my Jiu Jitsu better?
During training I hit this Zen like mind-set. I don’t think about the outside world and the only thing that matters is my training, or better yet, the battle I simply engaged in with another JJ player. Every once in a while during this battle I get what I guess you can call a vision or a moment of clarity about my Jiu Jitsu. This week I had one of these moments and I came up with three fundamentals which have made my Jiu Jitsu better.
- Letting Go
Letting go or not caring frees you of ego. Jiu Jitsu is a Martial Art. A means of self- expression. The one thing that matters is your self- improvement and you know what that improvement is. The most important aspect that I needed to let go is”tapping out” or submitting to my training partner. I use to care if a lower rank/belt training partner use to grab me in a submission. Once I let that go my”game” (technique) opened and my progress went through the roof.
- The Quicker You Move, The Slower I Move
Moving slower than your training partner might appear odd. When I first started training Jiu Jitsu I just wanted to be faster, stronger, and just plain beat some of my opponents. After training for 15 years, I eventually get the 3 fundamentals Grand Master Helio Gracie highlighted: Assume your opponent is bigger, faster, and more powerful than you. So slow down, do the correct technique and wait. The Jiu Jitsu will operate.
- Constantly be Doing Something
I got this from a Keenan Cornelius video I saw. In this movie he said, constantly be doing something with your hands and toes. By way of example if I have my hand in my competitions collar, my other hand wants to complete the choke. While my hands are occupied my one foot is pushing my opponents knee to offset his base, while my other foot is being used as a hook in an effort to sweep him. Bottom line just keep busy and”always be doing something.”
These are the three principles I came up with this week that I feel helped my Jiu Jitsu.