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The beauty of jiu jitsu means that there are countless choices in any one moment in time. From each position, you can pick and choose many different options to move forward. And with every second of motion, these choices change.
In HSC Economics we got to test theories and discuss events under the assumption of ‘ceteris paribus’ I.e. everything else being equal, and held to a constant. If you’d like to explore how one aspect affects the rest, you need to hold other factors at a standstill. Otherwise everything is going everywhere and you can’t ever determine what’s affecting what.
Techniques can be practiced when your opponent isn’t intentionally resisting them. It’s because it’s easy to block a move when you know it's coming. This is also why your attempts to prove a technique wrong means you learn nothing. It doesn’t help you, or your partner get better.
Dissect the Parts
Use your time instead to inquire how the move can work best. Look to find the essential mechanics in the techniques. Be a scientist and test and uncover the aspects of the technique that make the magic happen. This is how you'll find the counterbalance. When one thing pushes another has to pull. When one force goes up, another must come down. This is physics, which is nature.
For example, a quick, efficient double leg takedown may be the aim.
When you break it down into parts, you'll feel the balls of your feet press against the ground as your pelvis thrusts forward, and under your opponent’s base. You'll feel how you come through your opponent, not down to them. Without length throughout your spine, force from the ground can't flow through you, and the whole process loses efficiency.
This is the benefit of training; you get to pull apart each technique, seek to understand, make each part better, and put it back together again.
Uncover the Patterns
Mechanics aren’t unique to each technique. They vary, but they’re also similar. So when you uncover the mechanics in one movement, you’ll find a bunch of other techniques that also rely on same mechanic. You can use your new found knowledge to make those better as well.
Soon you see that amongst the countless techniques within jiu jitsu, there are a numbered amount of concepts that underlie them. And when timing aligns with motion, sparks fly and jiu jitsu happens. Not by force, but by nature. This is how you can turn your study of jiu jitsu into a science.
Test the Results
Eventually there comes a time when the study is put aside, and you get to put your learning into practice. It’s when your thinky brain stops buzzing in thought, and the feelers come out instead. The mouthpiece comes in, the fist bump happens, and it’s time to work.
When there is a situation of conflict, or a higher intensity roll, there is no time to think. Instead you rely on your training, and your ability to feel the right thing at the right time. This only happens with deliberate practice.
That’s why it is important to approach jiu jitsu not as a fight but as a study. When you fight you panic. When you study, you observe, you offer counterarguments, and you always look for the way of minimal effort. This is Seiryoku-Zenyo - the way of the martial artist.
Do it for Life
This is also how the martial arts can infiltrate life outside of the dojo too. When you are used to forcing your way through jiu jitsu, you will also be forcing your way through the world. After some time that becomes tiring and unsustainable. Work with things. Take your time to understand them, because it’s this search for understanding that helps to discover the gold of jiu jitsu, off the mats, and in everyday life.