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How Jiu Jitsu Changes Your Perception of Time

How Jiu Jitsu Changes Your Perception of Time

How Jiu Jitsu Changes Your Perception of Time

The one thing you’ll always hear a higher belt say to beginners is: “Don’t rush.”

Why? Because rushing only slows down your progress.

When I’ve sparred with white belts who’ve thrashed about like a fish caught in a net, gasping for air and sacrificing their balance for what they think is their one shot at a submission–they almost always fall.


While sparring with one of the teenagers who regularly does bouts with us the other day,he achieve the mount, but was so exhausted that he put all of his weight smackdown on my head and chest, trying to crush me like a WWE wrestler, and leaving his hips as light as a feather. It was easy enough to bump him off balance with my hips and quickly begin to edge out from under him.

The blind desperation that initially clouds your judgment when you’re being dragged by the pants of your gi across a sweaty mat is very real, especially if that person is heavier than you. And initially, panic is the only thing that goes through your mind. More than once, say, a thousand times, you’ll try the same dead-end trick that never works. But the more you spar, the slower time seems to move, and that’s because eventually, thankfully, you begin to go from panic to quick analysis when being pinned (or doing the pinning) on the mat.

As time slows down, it means that you’re finally beginning to trust yourself to connect the dots in between jiu jitsu moves. You’ll stop rushing because you’ll be able to visualize the transition from armbar to triangle choke, sweep to mount, and everything in between.


You’ll be better off once the pattern of jiu jitsu clicks in your brain, because you’ll realize that there’ll be no way of getting out of a hold by wildly scrambling. Instead of always trying to “win”, understanding the mechanisms of your body and learning how to obtain (and keep) positions of control will become of paramount importance.

A brown belt I once knew joked that jiu jitsu was for lazy people, because the longer someone’s been practicing jiu jitsu, the easier it is for them to find an opening that lets them escape an otherwise uncomfortable position. He called it the easy way out, and in the long-term, it is. Jiu jitsu helps you develop the instinct of strategy, showing you trapdoors for submissions that you previously never knew existed.

Ideally, the process of fitting together the puzzle pieces of jiu jitsu in live action teaches patience, balance, and foresight. Jiu jitsu is a long road that requires time and commitment, but as frustrating as it can be, you’ll begin to reap the rewards within just a couple of months if you  truly throw yourself into the sport.


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