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The Arms Race

Updated: Jun 20, 2019


In your Jiu Jitsu journey you will find training partners with whom you are progressing at a similar rate. You will roll often as you are evenly matched. They will learn your game and you will learn theirs until a kind of equilibrium is reached. You know all their tricks and have answers for them, or so you think…

One day they throw you a curve ball. Your favorite move becomes their victory. Your kimura becomes their arm bar. Your triangle their guard pass. They have jumped ahead. You ponder how to deal with this. You ask your professor, you go on YouTube, but for a time their tactic continues to foil you. Much like bacteria against penicillin you are helpless unless you evolve. The process of evolution can take hours, days, weeks, or even months. However, if you are persistent you will find a way to counter, avoid, reverse, or nullify their tactic or technique. When you do it will be your turn to bring a new weapon to the fray, and it will be their turn to evolve.

Over the years, I have had many arms races with many training partners. “My darce vs Donny’s choke defense” or “My top half vs Yannis deep half” to name a few. The one thing they all have in common is they lead to an extremely deep understanding of a particular positional engagement in my Jiu Jitsu. Whenever, I found myself in that situation in a tournament or with another training partner that deep study paid off. I had already seen everything they threw at me due to the arms race with my training partner. I challenge you all to keep evolving and treasure these arms races as valuable training tools.

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