How a small key can open a large padlock: Jiujitsu solutions are often smaller than you think!

I was unlocking the gym where I teach NoGi grappling last Tuesday and noticed this: this huge, hefty padlock that was blocking me from entering the room didn't necessarily need the biggest key to open it and allow me in. I'll say that again: the size of the obstacle did not necessarily reflect the size of the solution or even the effort needed to solve it.

 For those who know jiujitsu, the above is the definition of leverage. I once told John B Will that levers are multipliers of effect and he loved it so much he put it in one of his fantastic articles on his blog. A very proud moment for yours truly.

 I strongly believe in that. The right solution at the right time at the right angle can unravel the biggest and, seemingly, most insurmountable challenge. This is why I fell in live with Judo and Gracie Jiujitsu.

What I'm talking about in this article is the other side of the coin. I'm reminding myself, when in a tight spot, not to look for a proportionately large solution but rather for an intelligent one applied at the right time and angle:

Everyone's standing to open your closed guard? Work on breaking their posture and disturbing their weight balance by pulling your knees to your chest to prevent the get up.

Struggling to finish the arm lock from mount because the opponent's grip is too strong? Why not spend sometime working on separating the arms / hands BEFORE you spin for the armbar?

These are just a few examples of how a small yet perfectly timed solution can solve (or even help prevent) a large overwhelming problem. Below is a brilliant example presented by Stephan Kesting that has revolutionized the way I now do and teach the arm bar from the closed guard.



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