The paradox

Jiu Jitsu has an interesting paradox:

Learning Jiu Jitsu requires an active mind, but applying Jiu Jitsu requires an empty one.

In BJJ, or any fighting art for that matter, if you’re thinking, you’re late. The ultimate goal of Jiu Jitsu is to feel your opponent’s movement, their energy, and to react instinctively without thought.

Bruce Lee said that the ultimate technique is no technique. What he meant is that once you’ve mastered the technical—setups, timing, movement, and mechanics—you put that aside and simply respond and flow, expressing yourself creatively. Once you’ve mastered the technical, you’re no longer thinking about what to do. You are just in the moment.

Rickson Gracie said the goal of BJJ is to flow with the go. To do that effectively means disengaging your active mind and allowing your body to do what it has trained itself to do.

So engage your mind while learning, but empty it while sparring.

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