Categorized | Coaching, Strategy

Inivisible Jiu-Jitsu Part 2

Make sure you read part 1 here:   Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

I wasn’t even planning about writing about this subject a second part, but I ran across some interesting articles I want it to share with you from:

Invisible Jiu Jitsu

In a recent interview Rickson Gracie let it be known that he has returned to Brazil to live and has begun conducting a series of seminars which focus on what he calls “Invisible Jiu Jitsu.” This is, as far as I can tell, the first extended interview Rickson has given in over 3 years and while many topics were covered, the concept Invisible Jiu Jitsu is what truly captured my attention.
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past ten years, Rickson is the son of Helio Gracie, he holds a 7th degree black belt in BJJ and has a rumoured 400 + combined wins in Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Sambo and Vale Tudo matches. He held the middle weight and open weight World Jiu Jitsu titles for two decades and also has a professional Mixed Martial Arts record of 11-0. He is regarded as a legend in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu circles and is often held up to be the epitome of technical skill and fighting spirit.
Invisible Jiu Jitsu was only lightly touched upon during the interview but, as far as I understand it, I took Rickson to mean that the most important parts of Jiu Jitsu are the bits you can’t see. There are, I think, three main categories that Invisible Jiu Jitsu covers:
1. Things about you that you can’t see.
2. Things about your opponent that you can’t see.
3. Things about your technique that you can’t see.

Things About You That You Can’t See
Balance and leverage are things that cannot be seen but play a vital role in the successful execution of any technique. Being balanced is a fundamental part of grappling – or fighting in general for that matter – and being the slightest bit unbalanced dramatically increases the amount of effort required to perform any technique and leaves you disproportionally vulnerable to your opponent’s attacks. Leverage is what makes Jiu Jitsu work; the greater your leverage the more effective your Jiu Jitsu. Your use of leverage determines how well you can control and attack your opponents limbs, the amount of strength needed to execute a technique and whether or not you will able to defeat a larger, stronger opponent.

Things About Your Opponent You Can’t See
‘Feeling’ is an important aspect of BJJ in a number of ways. The most straight forward application of ‘feeling’ is that you are frequently unable to see what your opponent is doing – Are they blocking my hip? Are their legs flat? Is their chin tucked? – and must work out what’s going on purely by feel. An application of ‘feeling’ that is considered less often, but is no less important, is determining the state of your opponent. Working out whether they are tense or relaxed, balanced or unstable, even where they are strong and weak can only be done by ‘feeling’ your opponent (not like that you gutter snipe).

Things About Your Technique You Can’t See
The single biggest factor that holds back your technique development is the mistake that you don’t know you are making. This problem – termed ‘unconscious ignorance’ in skill acquisition terms – is best remedied by listening to what your coach says you are doing wrong then – and this is where most people fail – actually doing what they say. If you are convinced that despite what your coach says you are in fact doing the right thing tell them your reasons and if your coach knows their stuff they should be able to explain why you should do it their way. If they can’t, don’t just assume that you’re right, do some research and bloody well find out for certain.

There you go; a brief explanation of my understanding of the main concepts of Invisible Jiu Jitsu. I hope you understand that this article is made up of my thoughts and my words, not Rickson Gracie’s. Rickson, through both an unwillingness to discuss the finer points of his ideas in such a public forum and due to language difficulties, is a little unclear on what exactly Invisible Jiu Jitsu is. That being the case I think it is best to leave you with something that is not an interpretation or an extrapolation but with something that is all Rickson.

“It is only with a lot of training and dedication that we can achieve something. A brave man, a real fighter is not measured by how many times he fall, but how many times he stand up. Always be ready to fight, to win and to forgive when necessary. Good luck and train hard!”
– Rickson Gracie.

If you wish to hear the interview with Rickson you can find it here.

By the way probably the best Grappler in the world right at the time of this writing is Braulio Estima. He has also decided to talk about this subject. Here are some of the videos he has released under the name “Invisible Jiu-Jitsu”


One Response to “Inivisible Jiu-Jitsu Part 2”

  1. KungFuKid says:

    Cool concept, am quite new to BJJ so it was a new one for me and makes a lot of sense… And very cool video of Braulio – would like to go to one of his seminars here in the UK one day soon.

    Thanks very much (and enjoyed your goal setting emails over Christmas).