Honesty in jiujitsu

Ryron Gracie: The man behind the inspiring KeepItPlayful movement*

Ryron Gracie gave me side control top and asked me to attack him with every submission I have. I went for attack after attack, but he was the calmest person I've ever grappled with.

It's important to always be honest on the jiujitsu mat. I'm lucky that most people I roll with are, but we need to crank that honesty up a bit. We all do.

Part of you wants to be in the unofficial run for top dog. That's cool. 

Another part of you (and all of us) wants to go to the mat and enjoy this gift from heavens called BJJ  and wants to "work out the kinks in the moves" and not worry about who's watching and why. That’s super cool too (BJJ is a BIIIG art and not at all uni-modal) and you will have days where that's all you want to do.

The important question is: Are you aware of this duality? I love reading Ryron's blog amongst others because they are always very honest and written from the heart. The hard part is taking this honesty to the BJJ / Grappling mat partners. 

On the days you want to challenge yourself and sharpen your swords and work on your best techniques, pressures and tactics, shake hands with people and grip them like you mean it before the roll. They'll understand. If they tap you: Good. If you tap them: Good. It was a brawl and you both learnt from it. It's honest. It's ON!

On the days you want to open your game up and work on things in a safe environment without going for the kill or "proving dominance over and over again", put on your best kindest smile and shake hands with people using both hands before the roll, look them in the eye and tell them that you are taking it easy today. They'll understand. If they tap you: Good. If you tap them: Good. It was a healthy roll and you both learnt from it. It's just as honest. It's educational! It's how the best in the world roll.

The hard part is having the courage to admit to yourself that some days "it's on like Donkey Kong" and these are the days your all is on that line. Hopefully these days are very few and only on the last two weeks before a comp.

The 2nd hard part is having the courage to admit to yourself and everyone else that some days "it's NOT ON" and these are the days you're starting from mount bottom with everyone and learning survival and slow escapes and sweeps. Working on flowing and exploring rather than insisting and imposing. Hopefully these days are the majority of your BJJ / Grappling days.

If you really love your partners on the mat, let them know what you expect of them and what they should expect from you. You are, after all, very lucky to have them to roll with.

*These are not my photos and I'm very grateful for GlobeMMA.com 



Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters


Jiu Jiu said...

Honesty is easy when you have nothing hard to share! ^_^ It's much more difficult when you are revealing weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

I remember one day where I realized concretely - my jiu jitsu is not enough to overcome this person's size and strength (yet). Not fun to admit.

Liam H Wandi said...

Hmm. Honesty is easy when we realise the only one we ever lie to is ourselves, and that that itself is an illusion so why lie at all? :)