Val Worthington wrote about an interesting article over one Breaking Muscle about your jiu jitsu kryptonite– the person who seems to shut down your technique, even though you are successful with the same technique against someone else the same size and relative skill level.
Really, it’s one of the great and infuriating things about jiu jitsu- the sport is fluid and accommodating enough for all ages, sizes, and interpretations among all kinds of people. Unless you have someone that is really attempting to be a copycat, no two students’ games will be exactly the same. Sure, there will be common themes due to what’s taught in the academy and the person’s body type- but sort of like viewing art or listening to a orchestra piece, each student can come away with a different interpretation or focus on some element even though technically everyone attended the same class, heard the same instruction and went through the same drills.
So honestly it’s not terribly surprising that one person can thwart your game when you usually have no problem with someone else who is the similar in size and rank: they may just have a different interpretation, figured out a different piece of the puzzle that other students just haven’t gotten to yet.
While dealing with these kryptonite students may be frustrating, my response is just take a deep breath and try a different approach. Just like dealing with a jigsaw puzzle- if a piece doesn’t fit, you don’t keep attempting to slam that one piece in (for very long, anyway). You look for different pieces, rotate the pieces to continue forward with the puzzle.
Those are just my thoughts- let me know what you guys think!