Stripping away choice: The essential nature of Jiu jitsu can be explained very easily. At the onset of a match both athletes can move as they please. As a result they each have many thousands of options as to what they may do. The second they come to grips that number of options drops dramatically as now they have to move in ways that account for the grip and control of their opponent. As one athlete gains increasing dominance in position the number of sensible options for the other athletes diminishes further still. As the positions and grips become still more dominant those available options for the defensive athletes fall down to less than a dozen. By the time a real finishing hold has been achieved the options can be counted on one hand. Your goal is always to reduce the infinite number of available options at the onset of the match to two options that signals the end of the match – submission or the physical consequences of refusal to submit. Starting to see the game as a the battle to reduce an opponents options is a big part of your development. This is the mindset that enables you to see an opponents future actions – not because you have some superpower to see the future, but simply because you know the limited options he will have available ahead of time.

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