Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The zero point

To me, one of the most hindering things that can happen in my jiu jitsu progress is when a technique starts to work too well.

A lot of times it will work because my training partner reacts just the right way for it to be the right moment for that technique to work. And while it’s good to know how to recreate that magic, I think it’s more important to know when that magic isn’t there.

Almost every time I feel myself start to force a technique it’s because I’m focused on a time it did work. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve held on to a triangle when it was slipping off because I was remembering the times it didn’t slip.

It seems like it becomes more important to remember why things were successful and to be completely honest with myself when they’re not. I’m trying to temper my ego in situation where I know a quick movement or a little more “oomph” would make the technique “work”

I remember a long time ago when Rickson talked about the idea of getting to a neutral or “zero” point where he had no expectations of his opponent and he was “connected with the variations.”

It reminds me of when I took acting classes years ago. Our teacher always told us to do as much preparation for the character as possible and to know our lines backwards and forwards. But when it came time for the cameras to roll, he said we had to throw all the preparation out and see where the moment leads. We couldn’t go into the scene with any preconceived notions as to what we were going to do or the other people in the scene were going to do because that would come across on film as disingenuous. He’d always remind us that, “the camera never lies.”

Jiu jitsu never lies either. There is an answer to every situation. It takes a certain type of discipline to fully acknowledge that verses trying to make a situation something it’s not. This inevitably turns into fear and panic, especially if the situation becomes further complicated.

For me this is the next step in my jiu jitsu. I am most effective when I am relaxed, but right now this is limited to certain situations. I want to adapt this to all situations. It’s a lifetime project so I better get started now!


  1. I am a 36 year old lifetime athlete and BJJ practitioner for last few years with a rotator cuff tear currently rehabing and scheduled for prolo. I want to know if you feel the prolo or PRP has worked ? Thanks

  2. I've had good results and not so good results with both. Definitely worth a shot although I'd say it might be worth doing PRP right away as it's more powerful and effective