A while back I was sparring with Rener and I remember being in danger of a choke. His attack was relentless. I tried every technique that I knew, but the choke kept getting deeper and deeper. Seeing no other option, I abandoned the idea of pure technique and used everything I had to twist free from the choke. Let me be clear… I was more than close to losing the battle. What kept me from tapping or sleeping was not technique, but a strategic explosion.
When you find yourself in a bad place or in danger of being submitted, try to find a technical solution to the problem. If the technique is not enough, it’s OK to use extra energy and explosiveness in a last ditch effort to survive. But, there’s a better way – simply observe the jiu-jitsu that is happening to you, allow yourself to fail, and accept the “defeat.”
The way I exploded out of danger with Rener is a very common behavior on the mat when technique fails – it’s neither wrong nor right. You basically have two options: 1) go crazy, twist, move and jump in whatever direction you think is best or 2) accept that you either lacked technique and/or timing therefore you are defeated.
The value in the second approach is becoming more and more clear to me. When we explode out of danger we lose awareness. Maybe when we are in the most danger we are the most aware. When we accept defeat our awareness increases and with greater awareness we are able to pick up information that we would not have otherwise noticed.
Accepting and observing your defeat serves as a strategic way to gain intel on a situation such as your opponent’s steps, timing, and weight distribution. Doing this often enough will enable you to use this new intel to adjust your technique and/or timing. This new information will make you more comfortable, moving you one step closer to being a more efficient fighter. When I exploded out of Rener’s choke I won that small battle, but I lost an opportunity to study his technique and lost a few steps in the pursuit of bettering mine.
Q: Is it better to be technical and lose or explosive and survive?
A: Its more efficient and a better investment of your time to be technical and lose. There is value in exploding out of bad situation to safety, it helps you understand what you are physically capable of. Be aware of the risk of injury , worsening the position and most of all running away from learning the intricacies of jiu-jitsu. -Ryron
The KeepItPlayful Movement – Ryron Gracie