Trusting Your (Other) Senses While Training

So during our competition team training yesterday, we went through kind of an interesting exercise: we put eye masks on (like the kind some people sleep with) and trained our preferred takedowns, some positional training and even did a couple of full sets of training.

First, it was a great lesson in creating muscle memory. During the takedown practice only one of the partners was blindfolded, and my teammate mentioned how creepy it was that I not only executed the technique correctly, but I ended up stepping in just the right way to put myself exactly in the same spot on the mat to start over again, all while blindfolded. I was weirdly proud of that, but more importantly it shows the importance of drilling a move over and over again: you should be able to trust that your body will execute the same movement regardless, so you can use more brain space on looking for opportunities, rather than obsessing over correct execution.

Second, it was a great reminder that you need more than just your sight for jiu jitsu, and there are also definitely times when it’s actually better not to use your sight. Sometimes you need to feel your opponent’s pressure, and not let your eyes trick you into thinking that they are headed in one direction when you can feel they are headed in another.

So, while you don’t have to head onto Amazon right now and order an eye mask (unless you want to- totally not here to judge) it might be beneficial sometimes to close your eyes, or rather intentionally shift your focus from what you see to what you feel- you might be surprised by what you discover.

Just some thoughts to chew on- have a great day everyone!


Filed under bjj, jiu jitsu, Training, women's bjj

2 responses to “Trusting Your (Other) Senses While Training

  1. Thanks for the read.
    Someone just sent me a link to this post and asked me what I thought about it.
    I am fully blind, and somewhat deaf, and have been training BJJ for the passed six years or so, and this is so great to keep in mind as you move along in BJJ.
    As I’ve stated other places before, feeling what your partner is doing is great. Your partner is never going to use all four/five limbs for every move every time, and this is something you can use. If they are on mount, you can start to feel when they start to lean forward, so you can start to target their legs, you can feel when they start to lean left to right, so you know which hand they might post from, giving you the chance to go after the arm with the least weight on it, ETC, ETC. They are telegraphing their intentions not by sight, but by feel.
    Have a great day, and keep up the posts! 🙂

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