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Are concepts more powerful than techniques? Applying the 80/20 principle to jiu jitsu.

There is no right or wrong technique. Jiu jitsu is an art, and art is subjective to the viewer. You cannot say Leonardo da Vinci's technique was any more correct than my local artist, because it is simply his preference. His solution to an equation. Now let's get back to jiu jitsu. A technique is simply one persons solution for a particular equation. But! Jiu jitsu is unlike any static mathematical equation you've seen before, it's far more complex. It's closer to advanced algebra. Imagine a mathematical equation that is self aware. Aware not only of itself but also of the fact that you are trying to solve it. It doesn't want to be solved! So what would it do?

It would simply attempt to confuse or deceive you. It would change its form constantly. The moment you find a solution, the equation changes itself, requiring a brand new solution. We see this all the time in jiu jitsu. People change small variables in their guard for example, to confuse and keep their opponent at bay, or allowing themselves time to execute their own attacks. So to become attached to one particular solution is to hinder yourself, for the equation is ever changing and so shall the solution be. Additionally, if you run out of solutions (techniques) you are going to lose! It's not that this style isn't an option. It is and it works well for some people! But it's a much slower progression to the eventual realisation of the impossibility to master all the "techniques".

drill to kill vs concepts

Therefore limiting one to a handful of "favourite" techniques, will lead them to having to force these on during live rolls. Why do they have to force it on? Because they become predictable! Eventually people will become aware of them and have ready efficient counters for them. In this case the attacker must work on his fitness and strength to force his will on his opponent. For his timing has been compromised due to his telegraphic nature. You are much better to free yourself from your attachment to any favourite techniques and become extremely familiar with the formula.

What is the benefit of understanding the formula?

With the internalisation of the formula you can actively discover new solutions in the moment. So as the equation changes itself to hide the truth from you, so will the solution. But NOT the formula. The formula is always true. If followed honestly, the solution will work. This is why formulas (concepts) are so much more powerful than solutions (techniques). I say this because I believe the race for perfection of technique is one that has no finish line. It does not exist! Thanks to this fad of drilling, amplified heavily by social media using flashy unrealistic techniques that wow new jiu jitsu practitioners, they're sucked into this void of accumulation of techniques.

This is rather inferior, in my honest opinion, to the understanding of movement, timing, body mechanics, concepts, philosophy and psychological warfare. Substituting the 80% of jiu jitsu (as just mentioned) for the 20% (the techniques), results in such slow progression through jiu jitsu. It is my honest opinion that it should take no longer than 5-6 years of training once a day to be able to hold your own against top level practitioners, instead of what we generally see now which is around 10-12 years. I am constantly searching to improve my jiu jitsu formula. If you are interested in speeding up your jiu jitsu progress, I did my very best to compact the power of concepts into the Art of Learning BJJ. Let me know what you think! 

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