A few weeks ago while traveling I was able to catch a purple belt in the same armlock 7 times in 10 minutes of sparring. I believe that my experience is the reason why I was able to do that. What I am most impressed by is the lack of observation on the purple belts part. After all the sparring was over I asked him, “Did you see how I was setting up that armlock?” He replied, “No,” this guy is on a mission to win and not on a mission to learn. The fastest way to win is to make learning synonymous with stepping on the mat. This is one way I suggest you start learning.
When training this week, lets do something that will give us even more insight on the submissions our training partners are perfecting.
As you spar with people who are around your level, see if you can allow yourself to be defeated a few times every match. I am very aware that you normally do not lose every match but this week you will. If you are training with someone who might normally submit you once or twice try to keep it at that number, three at most. All you have to do is lose, at least once.
It is very important that you observe the way you lose and that your training partners do not know that you are on a mission to lose. What you are doing is allowing your training partners to show you their favorite submissions and how they go about executing them. This is valuable information that anyone serious about growing in jiu-jitsu would want to know. Make sure you tap fast so you can do this through the week.
The following week, look to roll with as many as the same people and notice how you are more aware of what each person is trying. Notice that your overall awareness to submissions has increased. The jiu-jitsu game, although very complex, is actually very simple when you take the back seat and start watching. There are only a few submissions and if you keep your awareness you will soon be a master at stopping them.
This is how I KeepItPlayful