BJJ Tips: The Science of Luck in Grappling / BJJ part II

In a previous post I introduced the concept of Probability and how it may relate to success in Grappling / BJJ. I briefly talked about how the interplay between “p”, the probabilities of making the right choice and “q” the probabilities of making the wrong choice, can ultimately effect the final result of the process (the sum of all decisions). I concluded with the advise that to move away from a grappling game of pure luck you need to focus your training on the technical aspects of Grappling / BJJ, thus increasing the value of “p”, decreasing the value of “q” and generally having a chance at taking the process of grappling with an opponent to a favourable absorbing state (a.k.a. a submission).

In this part I will tell you more about the interplay between “p” & ”q” and in part III, I will introduce to you yet another very important variable and give you a mathematical formula that will hopefully help you tie all these ideas together and provide focus to your training.

First, some rules.

In probability, p + q = 1. Always. In other words, the sum of the likelihoods of success and failure is 1.

So, everything you do to increase your chances of success will automatically also reduces your chances of failure and vice versa.

This is so important that it's worth repeating:

You cannot spend any time improving your chances of success without it trickling over into reducing your chances of failure and, vice versa, you cannot reduce your chances of failure without it increasing your chances of success.

because their sum is constant,
 if you affect "p", you affect "q".

I know I know it may sound dead obvious but it isn’t, at least not to the majority of beginners (and some not-so-beginners)

Translating this to Grappling / BJJ speak:
  1. Everything you do to improve your escapes will ultimately improve your positional dominance and submissions*.
  2. Nullifying your opponent’s guard game will raise your chances of passing.
  3. Denying your mounting opponent control over your neck will raise your chances of escaping his mount.
  4. Working on your guard pulling will help you improve your guard passing
The list goes on. It's your job to sit down and figure out the rest of the list. It's your homework. Here's an example of how to work on the technical parts of using and turbo-charging your closed guard:

Never mind learning a new guard pass or mount escape. Focus on reducing your “q” (probability of failure) and I (and the Gods of Probability) promise you that your “p” (probability of success) will take care of itself.

*This is of course when, as described in the previous post, you focus on the technical aspects of your training. Focus your energy on putting your body in the best spot to do what you need to do rather than on escaping/submitting your opponent at all and any cost from a less than optimal positioning.


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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Gym training equipment said...

Nice video. It was nice watching it.

Liam H Wandi said...

Ooh. Twice Nice! Thank you :)