A Small Milestone on a Long Path

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Like most long-term endeavors, there are few significant milestones. In a sport like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where the journey from white to black belt only has 3 intermediate steps, the milestones are literally “few and far between.” In my case, with 13 years in the making of 2008 black belt promotion, simple math will tell you just how far those milestones were set apart. Much of our time working though intense athletic effort is filled with small challenges, victories, incremental growth, and setbacks.

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Our System Does Not Coddle Weak Technique

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“Never use the closed guard,” I tell my students, “unless you are stalling or waiting to die.” As I state this, I wonder about how this position became so fundamental only to be eventually thrown away so unceremoniously. Then I consider the never-ending stream of new techniques, positions, attacks, counter-attacks, and defenses generated in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling over time. I think about some amazing technique I learned years ago as a blue belt and how it has been rendered ineffective and obsolete by the withering juggernaut of a thousand athletes pounding from all angles like velociraptors probing the electrical containment fences in Jurassic Park.

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