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Updated: May 6, 2020

Concepts. Love them? Hate them? Never heard of them? They’re a thing.

Sometimes I feel that jiu jitsu is just too darn difficult. Too many options. Too many variations. New techniques coming out each week it seems.

How about taking our training back to basics? I mean REALLY basic. So basic we’re not thinking about any actual techniques, only generalizations.

A concept is easier to remember than a specific technique and you will instinctively implement it with your own personal twist.

Sure, you need technique, but it’s my belief that concepts underpin everything.

I’ve had some success using the concept, “Keep it simple.” I've had trouble taking my opponents back. I tried a bunch of different ways to do it but many of the techniques have a lot of steps to them, each one giving my opponent an opportunity to escape or flatten their shoulders to the mat.

How would a 2-year-old do it? What about just lifting their upper body from the ground then sliding yourself underneath them or pulling them right up on to you? How simple is that? Not too many steps involved either. 

Once I simplified the approach and took jiu jitsu out of the equation my success rate increased. 

Here are some other concepts and general rules.

Give them consideration to see if you can work them into your game.

  • He who controls the space dictates the movement.

  • The right technique at the wrong time is the wrong technique.

  • Use circles to improve your sweeps and to deal with opponent's frames.

  • An off-balance opponent is a weak and distracted opponent.

To know but not yet to do, is not yet to know - you can watch all the instructionals in the world but nothing beats actual mat time.
  • Chain submissions, chain escapes.

  • You’re not safe until you’re past their knees and have controlled their hips.

  • Sometimes you're the antelope. Sometimes you’re the lion.

  • Blokes will never find the butter in the fridge.

- Peter Subritzky

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