I started training Gracie Jiu Jitsu in late 2000. During my 15 years of training, in three different schools, in three different cities with thousands of training partners, the same question always came up. How can 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 even better, the combat I just engaged in with a different JJ player. Every once in a while in this battle I get exactly what I guess you can call a vision or a moment of clarity about my Jiu Jitsu. This week I had one of those moments and I came up with three fundamentals that have made my Jiu Jitsu better.
- Letting Go
Letting go or not caring frees you of ego. Jiu Jitsu is a Martial Art. A way of self- expression. The only thing that matters is the self- improvement and you know what that improvement is. The most important aspect I had to let go is”tapping ” or submitting to my training partner. I use to care if a lower rank/belt training partner use to catch me in a submission. After I let that go my”game” (technique) opened up and my advancement went through the roof.
- The Quicker You Move, The Slower I Move
Moving slower than your training partner might appear odd. When I first began training Jiu Jitsu I just wanted to be faster, stronger, and just plain beat any of my opponents. After training for 15 years, I finally 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.
- Always be Doing Something
I didn’t make this one up. I got this from a Keenan Cornelius video I saw. In this video he said, always be doing something with your hands and feet. By way of example if I have my hand in my opponents collar, my other hand is looking to finish the choke. While my hands are occupied my one foot is pushing my opponents knee to cancel his foundation, while my other foot is used as a hook in an attempt to sweep him. Bottom line only keep busy and”always be doing something.”