Light Bulb Moments In Jiu-jitsu

Team Ironside / Flickr Creative Commons

From the time when we start out in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with our ill fitting gis and improperly tied belts to when we have some “mat cred” there are many small revelations along the way.

As we gain more experience and consolidate all of the new information we experience numerous “light bulb moments” at various times.

We progress through different stages of understanding as illustrated in the graphic below.

It is really gratifying for the instructor to see a student experience a sudden, new understanding of jiu-jitsu.

Example 1: In the class we have learned the collar choke from the guard. Later from the mount. And then I show a variation from the back.
The beginner often sees these as totally separate techniques.
But then after seeing a new variation they crinkle up their brow and turn tentatively and ask “Hey…isn’t this kind of like the other chokes we learned from the mount and guard?”

An expression of sudden epiphany (look it up mat rat!) comes across their face and they have just connected all of the 3 seemingly unrelated techniques.
All collar chokes work kind of the same.

Another piece of this puzzle called Bjj has just clicked into place.

Example 2 : How many times have we heard “don’t use so much strength” when observing a new student’s rolling?

An old training partner is fond of calling this the equivalent of yelling when having a conversation.
Easy to say “don’t use strength” but FAR more difficult to put into practice.
Especially if the student doesn’t even realize that they are inefficiently using their strength.

I pointed this out to a student after rolling with him and he thought about it.
The next week, after rolling with another student who was trying to Incredible Hulk out of things he said to me:
“We were rolling and I stopped struggling for a moment and noticed that my opponent was REALLY using a lot of strength, so I relaxed and let him waste his energy!”

Light Bulb goes on!

These light bulb moments can happen well into your jiu-jitsu learning.
So many times I will make a “new” discovery in my jiu-jitsu only to realize that my head instructor had told me that YEARS ago.
My brain was just not ready to process and internalize the message when it was first delivered.

read also: Escapes: The Symptom vs The Cause


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here