Monday, June 10, 2019

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We are ‘pattern spotters’ …


We are hardwired to seek and out and recognise patterns … in all facets of life. Some people see the virgin Mary’s face in a loaf of bread or in a slice for toast - there is nothing divine about this of course, it is just that ‘facial recognition’ is crucial to human/infant survival - and so we grow up very, very sensitive to finding ‘faces’ of all kinds, in nature, even in hot cross buns and clouds.

It naturally follows that we spot patterns in things/areas/landscapes that we are interested in. 

I like seeking out the patterns that exist in BJJ. Without such patterns, BJJ can seem like a huge pile of unrelated techniques - very messy, very, very confusing - particularly for the novice (but actually for many black belts as well). In fact very often, the more people learn, the greater their confusion becomes. 

Once we identify certain patterns, certain concepts, a lot of the confusion goes away and things ‘fall’ into place.

For example: Take knee-slice passing - there are many, many variants - true - But all sprout off a single simple idea - we pin the leg to the ground, whilst avoiding the natural knee-shield defence - whilst also finding a way to keep the opponents back flat on the ground (not allowing him to turn on his side. We can keep him flat a lot of ways, head control, collar/choke control, the obvious under-hook, pulling the nearside arm up, hip pressure, etc. And that is where the variants come into play. If we keep the central idea in mind - and realise that most of the variants are just that - slight ‘variations’ that just give us more options to get the job done. The real work is not in being ‘distracted’ by the variations - but rather, getting to the ‘sweet spot’ (the knee-pin and our ‘elbow-knee-wall’ in place to prevent the knee shield). And we need to be able to get to the ‘sweet spot’ from as many different ‘guard situations’ as we can - Butterfly, Half-guard, De la Riva, etc. 

So that is just one example of hundreds - but when we get it ‘organised’ in this (or another) fashion - it begins to makes much more sense. It also then becomes much, much more easy, to ‘connect’ and ‘combine’ one idea with other ideas with - passes, attacks, etc.

Seek the patterns … organise our thinking. Doors and understanding will open.

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