Right up there with patience, timing I feel is one of the hardest things to teach in jiu jitsu. You can show someone techniques, how to turn, how to grab here, place the foot there, so on and so forth, but it’s timing that pulls the whole thing together and changes a series of what seem to be movements with no rhyme or reason into something effective and in some cases, quite beautiful.
The hard part in teaching timing isn’t so much the explaining part, even though that is a little challenging: it’s getting the student to fully understand the concept of timing in the situation the technique would be best applied. We don’t want to train people to respond in only one way to particular moves, but there are some common reactions, based on past experience and pure body mechanics. It’s those reactions, those opportunities we address and take advantage of, with our own positions we find effective from past experience and body mechanics.
It’s difficult, but immensely satisfying when someone finally gets the timing down. It may look a little different than how we do it, or how we do it, but the technique and timing are down, and the person may have adapted the technique for their game, which is pretty cool to watch.
So while timing may not be everything, it’s a pretty large part of jiu jitsu.