Improving your Jiu jitsu game is a never-ending quest – like trying to find someone who eye fucks me more sexily than Wes Welker. So, I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve mine. The Art of War helped me in ways, and because of that, I was turned onto a book, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Mr. Greene has some great laws that help you to gain power or guard against it in many aspects of life…which is nice.
Here are some laws taken from the book (if you haven’t read it and all the laws, I highly suggest that you do) that will get you in the right mindset and keep you in good with your peers.
LAW #30 – MAKE ACCOMPLISHMENTS SEEM EFFORTLESS
- Nobody likes the guy that catches a senior guy in a triangle then instantly jumps up and screams, “Aw yea boiii! You like that?! UH! Caught your ass!” What everyone does like, is getting tapped, then slapping hands, bumping fists and moving on to the next roll – it’s development, not a tournament.
LAW #35 – MASTER THE ART OF TIMING
- Jiu jitsu is technique and timing – it’s opportunity. You create submission opportunities with positions, you create positions from timing and technique. If you don’t have the “T’s”, you don’t have anything.
LAW #42 – STRIKE THE SHEPHERD AND THE SHEEP WILL SCATTER
- Don’t think of this so much as prison-rules (find the biggest, strongest guy and knock them out for respect), think of it as techniques. While The Art of War states that you should use your strength against weakness, it should also be stated that taking away an opponent’s will to fight will ultimately lead to victory. By dominating their strongest position (the Shepherd), you’ll make them fear the inadequacies of the rest (the sheep), thusly, giving up their will to fight.
LAW #46 – NEVER APPEAR TO BE TOO PERFECT
- Jiu Jitsu and judo are about mutual benefit. If you’re high-level and rolling with a new practitioner, dominating feeds your ego, not the benefit of both people. Even if you can dominate the other, put yourself in bad positions, there’s always something to work on.
LAW #48 – ASSUME FORMLESSNESS
- Bruce lee said it best, “Be like water.” Jitz is about the flow. When he pushes, you pull, when he breathes in, you breathe out, when he reaches, you retract…stick by these and your opponent will feel like he’s rolling with jello…a dangerous jello.
LAW #3 – CONCEAL YOUR INTENTIONS
- I want to pass your guard on the left, but you keep giving me an option to the right, so I’m looking to take that…or maybe I’m looking for that ankle you keep out there like a juicy steak, so I’ll try a standing pass with no intention for the pass…get it?
LAW #21 – PLAY A SUCKER TO CATCH A SUCKER
- leave an arm out there and prepare for their reaction so you can counter. They know you’re not that dumb? Then leave the arm out there a tiny bit…enough to bait them…maybe they think you’re smart, but made a mistake. But you didn’t did you?
LAW #16 – USE ABSENCE TO INCREASE RESPECT AND HONOR
- Take some time to rest, take some time away from the gym…when you come back, people will be better and they’ll also get unfamiliar with your game…this will give you some “fresh eyes” and help to improve.
LAW #17 – KEEP OTHERS SUSPENDED IN TERROR: CULTIVATE AN AIR OF UNPREDICTABILITY
- If you always pass the same way (or attempt to), and always try to mount then cross-collar, I probably know that, and I’ve probably countered you before you’ve even gotten there.
Used under section 107 of the US Copyright code, “fair use” for purposes of education and critique.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
The Art of War by Sun Tzu