Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A brief lesson in Jiu-Jitsu

So I was sparring with my teammate Jay the other morning. Jay is like this bigass Seattle sheriff who is a purple belt and a former black belt in karate, so with the advantage in weight, experience and skill, he handled me pretty easily. There was this one moment where he trapped me in an armbar and I instinctually tapped.

He then said, "No no no. Can you still move?"

I could and told him as much.

"Then escape."

I rolled over my arm and pulled it out, somehow got sideguard, but he flipped me over and mounted me. He then quickly went for a keylock and I tapped once he set position.

"No, I haven't got it yet," he said. "Keep moving."

The rest of the session played out like that. Jay would be a few micro-movements from breaking my arm off, but would hold off at the last second. After picking up on the pattern, I would escape, get locked back in, then escape again. It wasn't the funnest rolling session.

Afterwards Jay came up to me in the locker room and explained his approach.

"You know, a lot of times in Jiu-Jitsu, we get conditioned into giving up once we recognize the position we're in. But don't let it become a habit," he started. "I mean stop if you're going get hurt. You can always start over. But don't stop just because you recognize the position. Don't give up. Escape and fight back, for as long as you can."

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