The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Every person that learns BJJ I think is like a explorer in a undiscovered land.  Rather poetic isn’t it.  Why I say this is as of late I’ve been seeing progress in my Jiu Jitsu.  I am finding myself in situations where I have been trained what to do but I’ve never been in them often enough or at all in a match.  For example the other day I got a white belt in a arm bar from mount.  I just don’t get arm bars that often.  I guess I haven’t been looking for them or I fight opponents higher then me that don’t leave themselves open.  What ever the case this white belt grabbed a hold of his arm forming a rectangle.  I tried to break his grip but he was far too strong.  I decided it was silly to try using muscle anyway.  BJJ is about technique.  So I tried a prying / cutting technique I had been taught long ago.  I didn’t get the technique correct and it had no effect.  The white belt now tried to sit up with his arms still locked.  I was now in real undiscovered country.  I didn’t know what to do to keep him down.  I instinctively pushed with my legs and knocked him back over.  I didn’t realize that the leg on the head was my control and thought he had fallen over because he was off balance.  When he tried again he managed to get up and stack me.  I was upset with myself for letting him out of a sure submission.  This isn’t the only situation where I’ve found my self in a dominate position or so near a submission and blown it.  I’ve decided its a good thing.  I went home and started practicing what I would do in that situation again on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  If I didn’t find my self on the verge of or in undiscovered frontier most of the time then I wouldn’t feel I’m learning.

The Jiu-Jitsu Learning Curve – What to Expect

I blogged about the slump I was in the other day (Jiu-Jitsu Mind Block – In the Slump).  In it I noted how I was doing so well and then all of the sudden I got the equivalent of writer’s block.  I just found myself hanging on in closed guard with no game plan and unable to formulate one.  I talked to my instructor or sensei at last nights class.  He explained that what I was feeling was the natural progression of learning.  We take two steps forward and one back kind of thing.  It can also be summarized as graph.  You hit a high then fall back below that high as you learn more.  In time you exceed or surpass the previous high.  He helped me to understand that what I was experiencing was proof that I was continuing to progress and grow.  I didn’t need to worry.  I just need to keep working at it.  He suggested that when I go blank I should just move.  If I just freeze nothing will happen of course.  I need to just go for it.  I feel I worry to much about losing.  I need to remember I am there to learn.  With all learning failure comes with success.