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BJJGround Forum >> Positive and Negative Energy when Rolling


9/1/13 2:48 PM
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Hunter V
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9/1/13 2:48 PM
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Hunter V
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9/1/13 3:16 PM
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shen
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Edited: 09/01/13 3:27 PM
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Boy... these last post have been really excellent!!!

This puts me in mind of the fact that, as most of us know, "ju/jiu" (as in Judo/jiu jitsu) refers to a softer, more yielding type of energy. As opposed to another Japanese term, "go", which is a harder, more direct type of energy (generally exemplified by things like military combatives, certain styles of karate, etc.)

You can play jiu jitsu in a harder, more smashing, "impose your will" type of style (a "Go jitsu" approach if you like) or you can play it in the more listening, yielding style to which the name of the art refers.(Much like at the opposite ends of the spectrum in boxing there are "boxers" and there are "sluggers".) These aren't absolutes of course and most of us employ each method at different times.
9/1/13 3:34 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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BJJ Black Belt, Self-Defense Author, Ballroom Dancer

I've had this conversation with a couple students over the years, who are either very TENSE or very SPAZZY...in either case, they instantly transmit their tension (which is usually a physical manifestation of some type of anxiety) to their partners.  Anxious guy rolls tensely, and makes his partners tense and anxious.  Nothing esoteric or farfetched there.

I just took an outstanding private lesson this week from an elite level dance coach, and he said the same thing...that discipline aside, there is such unintended transference of emotional state via physical state when we interact with each other.  It made me think of BJJ.

Years ago, a TMA instructor said to me "All interaction is energy, and its effect is most largely dictated by our INTENT."  I think there's something to that.

Cheers.

~Chris

 

9/1/13 3:44 PM
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shen
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Edited: 09/01/13 3:46 PM
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^ YES! Intent is part of it. For sure.

You can definitely FEEL (if there are) bad intentions on the part of your opponent.
9/1/13 4:11 PM
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lets get dangerous
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I'm only a lowly leveled grappler but I can definitely feel the energy when rolling with different people. Sometimes, maybe due to my lack of skill and experience, I feel as if I'm rolling with my eyes closed in the middle of a storm with nowhere to run or hide. Like they have a switch they turn on when it's kill time, but they won't hurt me. The partners who I get this vibe from have no ill will toward me and actually I believe trust me and see me as a friend (I hope). Others I can sense not a weakness, but a lack of say, intent. All of them are much higher level than me but it can be intimidating, or even fuel me to work harder depending on my own mood.

I've been in many life and death situations in my life outside of training but the most fear I have ever had was when Relson was using me to demonstrate a cross collar technique. For a split second I felt the fear of death from his aura but maybe it was just the way he applied the technique along with that laugh he does. I was literally spooked for the rest of the night.

I have felt darkness and bad intentions or ill will directed at me before but nothing like that. I have been stabbed a few times, beat and hospitalised, hit with a bat and a board with a nail and even shot at but those situations I felt calm and collected and these were before I trained Bjj.

I'd like to think when I'm training and I feel the negative vibes it's my partners pushing me to get better as they say we train to prepare how we would fight, yet I know I try to keep my "vibes" positive to welcome my training partners even while in full aggressive mode.

But sometimes the smiles and hand shakes after a serious roll are just that.

Some people are more sensitive or open to feeling and receiving energy and I believe I am one of those people.

When I rolled with shen, it was a very inviting feeling yet I could also sense the feeling of dominance imposed on me at times that let me know my place in the dojo that night and he was very respectful afterwards and even walked me to my car with a decent conversation.

I personally enjoy those types of rolls as it keeps me in check, mentally and egotisticaly but I will welcome a roll with someone who is"bad natured" as it helps me release some of my aggression.

Maybe I'm that guy with the bad juju, but I try not to be. Phone Post
9/1/13 5:06 PM
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shen
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Edited: 09/01/13 5:12 PM
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^ We've rolled together? Hmmm, I didn't know that.


FWIW, I very clearly remember Greg Wilkinson, a former World Champion Kick-boxer who I trained with very briefly in my 20s, saying to the class: "Never transfer negative energy to your sparring partner. You are not here to take stuff out on them" --which is along the lines of what we're talking about here. At the time I didn't really think much about why. But now, it's obvious.

I mean, I can understand once in a great while "going to battle" with someone in a dojo setting, BUT if your goal is to have a harmonious training environment --especially if you're the teacher-- you MUST maintain a positive vibe, where people trust each-other and don't want to injure each-other. That's imperative.

One of the things that in the old days I never really liked about true open mats where guys from a dozen schools would show up & roll, is that often there was ego, bad intent and people who didn't care much about hurting others, since everyone else was more or less a rival. Seemed like there were always way too many injuries.
9/1/13 6:44 PM
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Sgt. Slaphead
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shen - 
Sgt. Slaphead - 
Robobear - 

Shen has reached the next level of invisible jiujitsu.  Respect.

But I know of what you are talking about.  We get a lot of military and MMA types who want to roll all the time.  I love and respect all veterans but some have a frantic energy; almost spastic, but not in an uncontrolled way.  I don't know if it's a style or cultural difference,(We're in Hawaii) but I can feel the energy.  We joke about it and talk it over with the other instructors and chalk it up as bad juju.  Some guys have a lot of combat experience in the middle east, some guys got a lot of pro fights, I don't know exactly what it is but it transfers to the mat.


with the mil they have a "I must win" focus. That mental state is exhibited in the way they train and move. I've worked with a lot of young mil and I find myself chuckling while watching or training. They also have been conditioned to move with deliberate purpose in a lot of the things they do....does that make sense LOL!?!?!?

Then theres the young or FITAH or just ego-driven fucks that just want to win or not look bad....same result.

Do you think that particular mental state is at ODDS with having "sensitivity" to your opponent?

In other words do you think that sort of "I'm gonna do this TO you / impose my will" type approach is less responsive in a way?




I believe so. When an opponent is driven by their mental conditioning or ego to win they have a mental and physical tension that makes them less responsive or over responsive.....jerky/spastic in their movemnts. This also influences their ability to learn/understand too. What instructor hasn't had guys look directly at you and acknowledge what they are told and then 2 seconds later do do the opposite.

Eventually they change and their learning makes abig jump. Until then they do well when they can impose their will as long as their attributes and skills are better.
9/1/13 9:08 PM
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jakem
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dont really remember where i heard it but,

"where men train in violence,harmony is essential"
9/1/13 9:36 PM
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UGCTT_Fillthy
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Edited: 09/01/13 9:37 PM
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shen - 
UGCTT_Fillthy - 

I think what we attribute to energy or vibe is actually our subconcious expressing the sum of millions of data points that our conscious minds are incapable of assessing cognitavely.  I think the same is true for premonitions or deja vu....


Great post!!!

My GUESS is that's probably what's going on. But maybe it's more than that too.

I teach self-defense and we talk a lot about this type of thing (a "gut feeling", "bad vibe" or "intuition" about someone or something) as a built-in survival mechanism [ a la Gavin deBecker ("Gift of Fear")].


 

I think we have to be careful about our gut instinct or intuition.  Our brains didn't evolve to make the best decision, they evolved to make the best expedient decision.  

 

Picture a person standing with their back to a cliff 50' behind them.  They see a bear approaching.  They think to themselves 'Hmmm...is this a grizzly bear, a brown bear, black bear, or a polar bear?  Is it hungry-aggressive, territorial-aggressive, young-inquisitive, protective-mother, or rutting-male?  Judging by it's posture and markings...'  and then they get eaten by the bear.

Same situation, the person thinks 'BEAR!!!!! RUN!!!!' and immediately takes off in a full sprint in the opposite direction, right over the cliff.

Our ancestors survived because they saw a bear and thought 'Something might eat me. Hide or Play Dead'

The difficulty is that our brains are predisposed to making snap judgments based on prior expience, AND our brains want everything we experience to fit a pattern.  So we have a proclivity for apophenia, the projection of a presumed pattern on to the inputs we receive.  Our brain tries to see everything as a pattern that it can recognize, and unrecognized patterns or psuedorandom 'noise' on our senses is a source of anxiety.  That anxiety can be a bad vibe or fearful 'gut instinct'.  Trusting your gut can lead to improper or detrimental responses, especially in self-defense scenarios.

There's a really interesting book called 'Inevetible Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule the Mind'.  The author describes these emotional shortcuts as 'tunnels', and uses a several examples to demonstrate how your brain makes quick, but illogical, decisions.  The one that sticks in my mind is the Coin Toss Test.

I just flipped a coin 6 times.  It was one of the following 3 sequences (H=Heads T=Tails):

1) HHHTTT

2) HTTTHT

3) TTTTTT

If you guess right, you get $30.  If you guess wrong, you lose $10.

Most people guess 2, even though the probablity is even for each of the sequences.  Our brains have a tunnel that equates probable with typical.  We dismiss 1 and 3 as atypical, and determine that 2 is the most probable.

I only mention this because it's important that we identify what is causing the 'bad vibe' that we get from our partner, and use our rational mind to make value judgments. Otherwise, we run the risk of letting our own insecurities or lack of experience project bad vibes where learning opportunities exist.

9/1/13 10:43 PM
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lets get dangerous
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shen -
^ We've rolled together? Hmmm, I didn't know that.


FWIW, I very clearly remember Greg Wilkinson, a former World Champion Kick-boxer who I trained with very briefly in my 20s, saying to the class: "Never transfer negative energy to your sparring partner. You are not here to take stuff out on them" --which is along the lines of what we're talking about here. At the time I didn't really think much about why. But now, it's obvious.

I mean, I can understand once in a great while "going to battle" with someone in a dojo setting, BUT if your goal is to have a harmonious training environment --especially if you're the teacher-- you MUST maintain a positive vibe, where people trust each-other and don't want to injure each-other. That's imperative.

One of the things that in the old days I never really liked about true open mats where guys from a dozen schools would show up & roll, is that often there was ego, bad intent and people who didn't care much about hurting others, since everyone else was more or less a rival. Seemed like there were always way too many injuries.
Yes I'm the fat guy from Hawaii that you smashed to Bolivia last October when I stopped in for a class from you. I use the techniques/tweaks and philosophies you bestowed upon me in my daily training now and I thank you for that. Phone Post
9/1/13 11:06 PM
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shen
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UGCTT_Fillthy - 
shen - 
UGCTT_Fillthy - 

I think what we attribute to energy or vibe is actually our subconcious expressing the sum of millions of data points that our conscious minds are incapable of assessing cognitavely.  I think the same is true for premonitions or deja vu....


Great post!!!

My GUESS is that's probably what's going on. But maybe it's more than that too.

I teach self-defense and we talk a lot about this type of thing (a "gut feeling", "bad vibe" or "intuition" about someone or something) as a built-in survival mechanism [ a la Gavin deBecker ("Gift of Fear")].


 

I think we have to be careful about our gut instinct or intuition.  Our brains didn't evolve to make the best decision, they evolved to make the best expedient decision.  

 

Picture a person standing with their back to a cliff 50' behind them.  They see a bear approaching.  They think to themselves 'Hmmm...is this a grizzly bear, a brown bear, black bear, or a polar bear?  Is it hungry-aggressive, territorial-aggressive, young-inquisitive, protective-mother, or rutting-male?  Judging by it's posture and markings...'  and then they get eaten by the bear.

Same situation, the person thinks 'BEAR!!!!! RUN!!!!' and immediately takes off in a full sprint in the opposite direction, right over the cliff.

Our ancestors survived because they saw a bear and thought 'Something might eat me. Hide or Play Dead'

The difficulty is that our brains are predisposed to making snap judgments based on prior expience, AND our brains want everything we experience to fit a pattern.  So we have a proclivity for apophenia, the projection of a presumed pattern on to the inputs we receive.  Our brain tries to see everything as a pattern that it can recognize, and unrecognized patterns or psuedorandom 'noise' on our senses is a source of anxiety.  That anxiety can be a bad vibe or fearful 'gut instinct'.  Trusting your gut can lead to improper or detrimental responses, especially in self-defense scenarios.

There's a really interesting book called 'Inevetible Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule the Mind'.  The author describes these emotional shortcuts as 'tunnels', and uses a several examples to demonstrate how your brain makes quick, but illogical, decisions.  The one that sticks in my mind is the Coin Toss Test.

I just flipped a coin 6 times.  It was one of the following 3 sequences (H=Heads T=Tails):

1) HHHTTT

2) HTTTHT

3) TTTTTT

If you guess right, you get $30.  If you guess wrong, you lose $10.

Most people guess 2, even though the probablity is even for each of the sequences.  Our brains have a tunnel that equates probable with typical.  We dismiss 1 and 3 as atypical, and determine that 2 is the most probable.

I only mention this because it's important that we identify what is causing the 'bad vibe' that we get from our partner, and use our rational mind to make value judgments. Otherwise, we run the risk of letting our own insecurities or lack of experience project bad vibes where learning opportunities exist.




Great post!

Our intuition definitely isn't always RIGHT, but it is always in our best interest. Unlike other people, it isn't ever trying to intentionally trick us or anything.

Sure we are more likely to mistake the stick for a snake, rather than mistake a snake for a stick, as the example goes, but that tendency is one of the reasons we have survived.

I agree that it's not always "correct", but it is always working to protect us from danger and I believe we should listen to it and take it into account. Not act on it in every case, but always listen to it.

I think the more common problem (in terms of "self-defense" is that people deny their gut feelings. They get a bad vibe about some guy walking behind them and ignore it, or rationalize that they are being silly.

I mean the weird vibe you get from the UPS man might not mean he is a serial killer, but it is a signal that some part of you thinks something is "off" about the guy, and that's something, at least in my way of thinking, worth noting.

9/2/13 12:53 AM
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shen
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lets get dangerous - 
shen -
^ We've rolled together? Hmmm, I didn't know that.


FWIW, I very clearly remember Greg Wilkinson, a former World Champion Kick-boxer who I trained with very briefly in my 20s, saying to the class: "Never transfer negative energy to your sparring partner. You are not here to take stuff out on them" --which is along the lines of what we're talking about here. At the time I didn't really think much about why. But now, it's obvious.

I mean, I can understand once in a great while "going to battle" with someone in a dojo setting, BUT if your goal is to have a harmonious training environment --especially if you're the teacher-- you MUST maintain a positive vibe, where people trust each-other and don't want to injure each-other. That's imperative.

One of the things that in the old days I never really liked about true open mats where guys from a dozen schools would show up & roll, is that often there was ego, bad intent and people who didn't care much about hurting others, since everyone else was more or less a rival. Seemed like there were always way too many injuries.
Yes I'm the fat guy from Hawaii that you smashed to Bolivia last October when I stopped in for a class from you. I use the techniques/tweaks and philosophies you bestowed upon me in my daily training now and I thank you for that. Phone Post

Yeah at VMX! cool. Well, you're very welcome if I was able to help you a little bit in some way.



9/2/13 4:26 AM
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Robobear
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lets get dangerous -  I'm only a lowly leveled grappler but I can definitely feel the energy when rolling with different people. Sometimes, maybe due to my lack of skill and experience, I feel as if I'm rolling with my eyes closed in the middle of a storm with nowhere to run or hide. Like they have a switch they turn on when it's kill time, but they won't hurt me. The partners who I get this vibe from have no ill will toward me and actually I believe trust me and see me as a friend (I hope). Others I can sense not a weakness, but a lack of say, intent. All of them are much higher level than me but it can be intimidating, or even fuel me to work harder depending on my own mood.

I've been in many life and death situations in my life outside of training but the most fear I have ever had was when Relson was using me to demonstrate a cross collar technique. For a split second I felt the fear of death from his aura but maybe it was just the way he applied the technique along with that laugh he does. I was literally spooked for the rest of the night.

I have felt darkness and bad intentions or ill will directed at me before but nothing like that. I have been stabbed a few times, beat and hospitalised, hit with a bat and a board with a nail and even shot at but those situations I felt calm and collected and these were before I trained Bjj.

I'd like to think when I'm training and I feel the negative vibes it's my partners pushing me to get better as they say we train to prepare how we would fight, yet I know I try to keep my "vibes" positive to welcome my training partners even while in full aggressive mode.

But sometimes the smiles and hand shakes after a serious roll are just that.

Some people are more sensitive or open to feeling and receiving energy and I believe I am one of those people.

When I rolled with shen, it was a very inviting feeling yet I could also sense the feeling of dominance imposed on me at times that let me know my place in the dojo that night and he was very respectful afterwards and even walked me to my car with a decent conversation.

I personally enjoy those types of rolls as it keeps me in check, mentally and egotisticaly but I will welcome a roll with someone who is"bad natured" as it helps me release some of my aggression.

Maybe I'm that guy with the bad juju, but I try not to be. Phone Post

Can fully relate to dying at Relson's hands. LOL.

More than 20 years ago, I was a young full contact kickboxer with over 15 years of standup experience, Shotokan from Funakoshi and boxing mostly.  Met Relson working at Bobby McGees(You old guys will remember that place). He told me to come and check out his class at the University of Hawaii and that I should add Gracie Jiujitsu to my arsenal.

He was such a charismatic guy and I got a good "Vibe" from him so I took a private from him at his house.  Mind you, this is pre-UFC and $80.00 a month was freaking astronomical in 1991.  I went there put on a gi, Relson told me to attack him or spar how I would normally do, ......................the rest is history.  He did not choke me at first, he held me down and I could'nt do J_ck Sheet!  His energy and demeanor was so chill that I was hooked and have been his student and friend ever since.

9/2/13 4:28 AM
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Robobear
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BTW, I've met family members and a lot of his friends from Brazil, and they all confirmed.  Do not F_ck with Relson, he will kill you. 

On a serious note, I know the laugh and that "you're gonna die my friend" chuckle he does.  Priceless.

9/2/13 10:52 AM
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Hywel Teague
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Re Fillty's long post about our projection of presumed patterns

I read a few years ago that elite chess players do not necessarily think as far ahead as many moves as we've been told. The same goes for elite grapplers, who we were always told are three steps ahead of you or more.

The difference is that from a position an advanced player recognises the patterns before him and therefore eliminates the incorrect moves and actually sees less options. Whereas a lesser player doesn't have the level of experience (ability to recognise patterns) to work out if they are viable options or not and may or may not use the appropriate response. The better player simply doesn't consider those options, but the skill of recognising those patterns is so well developed it becomes subconscious.

On the flip side of subconscious patterns, ones we do without thinking but that can get us in trouble: Sam from InnerBJJ wrote an excellent blog breaking down Shogun's loss to Sonnen that looks at his patterns of grappling behaviour and how certain responses were basically hard wired into him. The half guard game he played and the guillotine on a platter were all habits Shogun probably wasn't even aware he had. Fascinating stuff.

It's a little off topic re energy but still pretty interesting nonetheless

http://www.innerbjj.com/2013/08/chael-sonnen-vs-mauricio-shogun-rua.html?m=1 Phone Post 3.0
9/2/13 11:05 AM
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UGCTT_Fillthy
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http://www.innerbjj.com/2013/08/chael-sonnen-vs-mauricio-shogun-rua.html?m=1

linked for Hywel Teague.

Excellent read

9/2/13 11:48 AM
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Hywel Teague
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UGCTT_Fillthy - 

http://www.innerbjj.com/2013/08/chael-sonnen-vs-mauricio-shogun-rua.html?m=1

linked for Hywel Teague.

Excellent read


Thanks, was posting from my phone and couldn't link it up. Sam (the author) is a smart guy
9/2/13 12:35 PM
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Shinsplint
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awesome thread guys.
interesting perspectives.
9/2/13 1:14 PM
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cprevost
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Rolling with someone is a short term relationship. Like all relationships communication is the key. The better you get at the art the better you are at picking up what the other guy is communicating through posture, movement, muscle tension, exertion, and reactions. When it feels right it's just like a good conversation where there is some give and take. There is some witty banter and thoughtful response. If someone dominates the conversation and ignores that you are even speaking it doesn't feel right. Everyone will roll exactly like their personality. Look at your personality defects and you will see that they are exactly the same as your BJJ game weaknesses.
9/2/13 4:45 PM
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Zero1
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I try to create my whole Jiu Jitsu aboutnot giving resistance and never go force against force.

This is a deep topic the main problem is a lot of this stuff has to be felt and can´t be explained well enough through writing.

I think it´s really possible to take away your opponents strength IF you are able to release the tension in your own body....

Basically everything you feel from someone is something you hold in your body.

Tension can only manifest if both partners are tensed. Basically if you don´t feed his tension your opponent can´t put the tension in you.

But that also has a lot to do with the mechanics of your body not just breathing. It´s important to create a good structure and be grounded so you are able to create stability between your opponent and the ground.

It´s a great topic because it brings Jiu Jitsu to a whole new level.
9/2/13 7:05 PM
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Robobear
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Zero1 - I try to create my whole Jiu Jitsu aboutnot giving resistance and never go force against force.

This is a deep topic the main problem is a lot of this stuff has to be felt and can´t be explained well enough through writing.

I think it´s really possible to take away your opponents strength IF you are able to release the tension in your own body....

Basically everything you feel from someone is something you hold in your body.

Tension can only manifest if both partners are tensed. Basically if you don´t feed his tension your opponent can´t put the tension in you.

But that also has a lot to do with the mechanics of your body not just breathing. It´s important to create a good structure and be grounded so you are able to create stability between your opponent and the ground.

It´s a great topic because it brings Jiu Jitsu to a whole new level.

Zero1, great perspective. Do you think this is why Ryron and Rener can roll the way they do and still manage to dominate a possibly stronger more aggressive opponent ? I think Ryron mentions in an interview about using or taking away his opponents strengths when he is relaxed.

9/2/13 11:14 PM
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UGCTT_Fillthy
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shen - 
UGCTT_Fillthy - 

I think we have to be careful about our gut instinct or intuition.  Our brains didn't evolve to make the best decision, they evolved to make the best expedient decision...

Great post!

Our intuition definitely isn't always RIGHT, but it is always in our best interest. Unlike other people, it isn't ever trying to intentionally trick us or anything.

Sure we are more likely to mistake the stick for a snake, rather than mistake a snake for a stick, as the example goes, but that tendency is one of the reasons we have survived.

I agree that it's not always "correct", but it is always working to protect us from danger and I believe we should listen to it and take it into account. Not act on it in every case, but always listen to it.

I think the more common problem (in terms of "self-defense" is that people deny their gut feelings. They get a bad vibe about some guy walking behind them and ignore it, or rationalize that they are being silly.

I mean the weird vibe you get from the UPS man might not mean he is a serial killer, but it is a signal that some part of you thinks something is "off" about the guy, and that's something, at least in my way of thinking, worth noting.
 

 

I think it might be more accurate to say that our gut instinct is always working to protect us from the liklihood of danger, or maybe 'the perception of danger'.  That tingling sensation on your skin or the hairs going up on your neck is like a Check Engine light.  I don't immediately pull off the side of the road and call a tow truck, but I certainly turn off the radio and pay extra attention to the sights, sounds, and feel of the car.  When the UPS guy gives me the wrong vibe, I brace the door with me foot, I shift my weight to the balls of my feet, and I start asking him some conversational questions.  Maybe I'm getting the weird vibe because it's his first day, or he's running really late, or some other reason.

 

Once the Threat Switch has been flipped, and I know I'm in danger, I was taught that the most important thing to do is to say to yourself 'Someone is going to die.  But not me.'  When we do our Punch-In-The-Face class, I say that to myself before each round.  Just thinking that little phrase is enough to engage your congitive mind in the defense of of your life.  Panic exhausts me, panic blinds me, panic kills me.

I want to enter in to a flow state, where my consicous mind is confident that I have the skills to overcome this threat on my life.  Panic quickly turns to despair, and the will to fight is washed away by the acceptance of my death.

Sorry if that's a thread derailing post, but in the terms of the rolling vibe I just want to make sure I engage logic and reason to determine why I'm getting the dark vibe.

9/3/13 12:04 AM
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im impressed,you guys surprised me
9/3/13 12:24 AM
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omoplautistic
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Great thread Phone Post 3.0

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