Which SUPERPOWER Is The Most Important In BJJ?Mar 16, 2021
Do you remember the feeling you had as a beginner - before you got smashed for the first time by an experienced partner? Did you think you were going to be able to defend yourself, only to have your perception of reality shattered by the reality of Jiu-Jitsu?
With time you learn that a great guard is essential, but so is timing, knowing the mechanics of a move, problem-solving, a wide range of techniques, and having the ability to predict your opponent's reactions. People who have truly learned how to master these skills are exceptional because, in comparison to others, they've developed superpowers!
It's true! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a complex game of SUPERPOWERS with indefinite techniques and patterns of movements at your disposal. But which superpower is the most important? Is it a great passing game combined with a lightning-quick arm-bar, an unstoppable back take, or a leg-lock game like Gordon Ryan's, or maybe just a killer half guard with endless options?
Which SUPERPOWER is arguably the most essential in BJJ?
Let's pick a great black belt who is a true master of the art. Let's look at black-belt and multi-world champion Rodolfo Vieira in his last UFC performance against the highly skilled purple belt Anthony Hernandez. Rodolfo possesses real superpowers. He has exceptional passing skills, has excellent cardio, and is physically much more brutal than Hernandez; however, none of these superpowers worked against his (at least on paper) less technically skilled opponent.
After seeing a completely helpless Viera forced to surrender to a guillotine choke in the second round, most people were in shock. After all, it shouldn't be possible!
This is where arguably the most important superpower in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comes into play - THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY.
Our energy is not infinite, and when we are tired, along with our physical abilities, our cognitive abilities also diminish at a great pace.
If you have ever competed, you know how hard it is to submit someone within the first minute. As the fight continues, if you are not aware of the importance of conserving your energy, you will gas out sooner than later. As in Vieira's fight against Hernandez, when this occurs, the submissions become more available.
Spend your energy wisely
Gassing out is a common occurrence among beginners; this comes as a result of not knowing the principles of movement, body mechanics, and most importantly, not being aware of the importance of conserving energy.
After all, no matter who it is, when the energy is gone, it is gone, and there is nothing anyone can do about it!
So consider this the next time you are rolling. Spend your energy wisely, focusing on your breathing and on being relaxed. By doing this, you will also become aware of more details, and your partners will thank you for it.
Don't worry! If you stay on the path of Jiu-Jitsu and devote yourself to the art, with time, you will also start developing other superpowers. After all, the possibilities in BJJ are so many that you will never be able to master everything in ten lifetimes. But from now on, let this superpower be in your mind.
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