Jiu-Jitsu Letter

It's Not Always What It Feels Like

It’s different than what you feel, or think it looks like from the outside.

A few weeks ago, I had a round with someone who typically taps me two or three times with the same submission. I sometimes stay in a defensive cycle for longer than I should.1 But in this round, I was defending attacks and forcing him to change positions a bunch.

It’s still better to escape, but sometimes it’s your escape attempt that gives your partner an opening to attack. So while it’s generally not good to be “stuck” on bottom an entire round, it’s not always as bad as it feels.

You may be on the bottom an entire round, and think you look really bad. But if you’re “comfortably” avoiding submissions, and your partner is frustrated, you may actually be the one that’s dominating, just in a different way.

  1. This is a bad habit I picked up as a blue belt when I interpreted Ryron Gracie’s “Keep It Playful” message incorrectly. ↩︎

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