Control is The Essence of Jiu-Jitsu

A while back I posted "What Do I Want from Jiu-Jitsu, Sport vs Street".  I was concerned that my Jiu-Jitsu was too focused on the sport part of BJJ.  I got into BJJ for the practical street application.  One of the comments to my post was that Jiu-Jitsu is about control.  Your ability to control your opponent applies to everything you do with BJJ.  I understood what was being said but I really internalized it at last Monday’s class.

I had a co-work and good friend join me Monday for a introduction to BJJ.  My friend had wrestled in high school.  Yes, he was out of shape from years of sitting at a computer but that was why he was interested in starting BJJ.  Just like me 2 years ago when I felt I had to make a change.

I teamed up with him for our drills.  One of the drills for that day was holding side control for 2 minutes, resting 1 minute, and then repeating after switching sides.  I realized during those drills how much I had changed in the last 2 years.  My friend put tremendous amounts of muscle into everything.  He strained and held his breath.  He felt rigid and stiff.  In two cycles of the first drill he was winded and tired.  He didn’t even start the next drill.  He thought he had pulled a muscle and was spent.

During that time with him I realized that control truly is the essence of Jiu-Jitsu.  As he fought with muscle I felt like water flowing around him.  I felt submissions from everywhere.  I held dominance.  If I had been in a street fight with him it would have been like child’s play to choke him out or hyper extend a arm.  I don’t say this to embarrass him, I say it to express my new understanding of what Jiu-Jitsu means to me.  I’m not longer worried so much about whither my BJJ is street or sport.  Its core is applicable everywhere.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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