Where Does Your Jiu Jitsu Come From?

I understand this is a pretty odd question, but something you should think about while training now and again. To be clear, I’m not talking about what school you belong to, your lineage in the whole jiu jitsu family tree: I’m talking about mentally and emotionally, what is the driving force to your techniques? Where is your jiu jitsu coming from? It can vary from day to day, and different stages in your jiu jitsu adventure (yes, I still prefer to call it an adventure rather than a journey).

For some people, particularly for lower belts, it can be fear or panic. They are primarily reactive or at a standstill- they know things are happening to them that they don’t like and don’t quite have an extensive enough skill set to do much about it at the time. Or, when they do move, they blast through techniques at a lightning fast, spastic pace- probably because they are afraid if they go too slow that their efforts will be thwarted. I’m not saying this as a condemnation- trust me folks, we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. It’s through drilling, sparring and (personally, I think) competition we can get past this panic. After some time you realize really the worst thing that’s going to happen is you lose- you then get up, dust yourself off and try again.

For some people, anger can be their driving force-which as you can imagine has some some (sorta) benefits, but definitely more detrimental than anything. That anger could be directed towards their opponent or training partner, or turned inward at personal frustrations. Again, not judging, we’ve all been there. Sure, you may feel you have more speed, strength, whatever to get the technique done but it’s sort of like tinder in a fire- it burns bright, but runs out quickly- leaving you exhausted and no where near the end of a match.

Sometimes jiu jitsu can come from a place of curiosity- what happens when I attempt this, put my leg here, choose to go there. Sure, it leaves you more than ever in a vulnerable position but can also assist in discovering new positions and helps you think outside of the box.

Finally, sometimes jiu jitsu can come from a place of peace and happiness. Personally, this is my favorite way to train/compete/whatever. Keeping calm, relaxed, and in a good place leaves you open to any opportunities that come your way, and I think gives you a better chance to figure things out even when a position gets a little wonky.  Granted it’s not a place we can always reach, but something I really think we all should strive for: to be calm, confident in what we’re doing when on the mat.

So, think about your training recently- where has your jiu jitsu been coming from? Do you think there’s another place your jiu jitsu can come from so to speak, and if so where? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Where Does Your Jiu Jitsu Come From?

  1. My mentality (usually) is trying to walk as close to out of control as possible and still regain the controls. Like a teenager with a fast car, only in this case I run it into the ditch, I can always tap. With folks as good or better than me, I just do my best to stay on the road.

  2. Interesting question. I’m in some ways the opposite of JB: I’m all about control. My jiu jitsu mainly comes from an academic mindset, so I guess it comes from a place of academic investigation if it comes from anywhere.

    I pick a handful of techniques and work on them for as long as possible, ideally several years. I’ve always found that focusing on improving technique – “hmm, if I put my hand there, this happen, so I’ll try putting it here. Ok, now if I turn this way” etc – results in far less frustration than “why can’t I beat the other person, I’m rubbish!”

    Of course, it’s easy to fall into the other mentality if you’re not careful, but I normally manage to avoid getting sucked into that too much. 🙂

  3. I would love to get to that point! As a white belt, I’m usually at a standstill and very hesitant. When I’m executing some sort of submission (which is super rare), I do go at it super fast (which destroys my technique)…and I’m trying not to rush it, but staying calm is hard!

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