Oct 06

The Game of Inches in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Competition

The Game of Inches in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Competition

I have a little story to tell you.

Several months ago, I had the opportunity to be present when Tom Brands gave a talk on the Iowa mindset. There were many gems of wisdom in that speech, and I’m going to focus on one of them today.

It’s the idea that the distance between 1st and 2nd can be very small but it’s also very large.

Another way to say that is that it’s quite possible to win or lose by the barest of margins but the fact remains that you either won or lost. In a sense, the final outcome is all that matters.

There is no decrease in legitimacy when your margin of victory happens to be slim. Nor is there any comfort in focusing on the slim margin when you lose.

Winning the Close Ones in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Few things are worst than knowing that you could have changed the outcome of a match if only you had done things just a little differently. I’ve felt that way many times, and the most recent example was at the no-gi pan.

I’ve also experienced the other side where I’ve won very close matches. Sometimes they came down to the wire, and I was able to just barely snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Obviously, we all know which one we rather do. If the match is close, we want to win. Hell, we want to win all the time.

How do you win? You prepare.

That’s obvious, right? You have to suffer the pain of discipline if you want to avoid suffering the pain of regret.

Let’s get a little more specific though. I’m going to share with you a training method that I’ve often seen used at Camp Springs to ingrain a focus on pushing as hard as possible in those last moments when a match can be won or lost.

It’s a simple situational match but it has one important twist. Conditions are set to simulate the last few minutes of a close match.

An example would be if you were told that it was the last minute in the finals at Worlds. In the match, points are tied and you are down by one advantage. You then have one minute to snatch victory.

It’s a great mindset exercise, and I’m planning to start incorporating it more when I teach.