Anyone who has been doing Jiu Jitsu for any amount of time will tell you that simple, attribute free Jiu Jitsu reigns supreme, it is why this martial art is so effective. Simplicity does not denote ease, and the reality is that abandoning ones attributes is impossible. However, learning not to rely on them is tantamount to learning Jiu Jitsu and that is why doing so is both difficult and simple.
A simple concept in BJJ is building frames with your arms and legs. A column of bone can support a lot of weight and if you can wedge your opponent up with a column of bone (be it your arms or legs) you can support far more weight than you can normally and comfortably lift. Framing however is often counterintuitive as are many of the simple mechanisms put in pace by Jiu Jitsu.
Ultimately grappling should be effortless. You should be able to have rolls that last indefinitely and not really be breathing hard at any given point. The only way to do this is to limit your movements and only do what is necessary and effective. Good Jiu Jitsu is at its core lazy, it is the action of working smarter, not harder.
Why is this so important?
The value of Jiu Jitsu is not in its potency against smaller or weaker opponents but rather its efficiency and ability to address larger, stronger and more aggressive assailants. A person on top of their Jiu Jitsu game should be able to apply their Jiu Jitsu against anyone of any size for any period of time and while they are in any physical condition.
The purity of it is in the lack of effort. Any move that requires effort to do is of less value than those that require none and the key to mastery of Jiu Jitsu is learning to operate entirely using movements that require little or no effort. People, however, naturally want to use physicality when engaging in physical activity so this is not a trivial ideal.
For these reasons, attribute free Jiu Jitsu should be an idea for which we all strive. If you find yourself breathing hard or tired after rolling, chances are youve exerted yourself and used your attributes. Every effort should be made to limit exertion. These efforts will inevitably fail but the action of making these efforts is in and of itself fruitful.
Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj and www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer