Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is extremely difficult when people begin training. For one, it is physically hard to grapple with people of all shapes and sizes. Secondly, the technique pool is so deep that people get lost in both the nomenclature and technical details. After a while, the ship tends to steady and smoother sailing begins. However, the odd thunderstorm or two is never far on the horizon. By thunderstorm, I mean techniques that are difficult to comprehend and execute. Contrary to logical thinking, some Jiu-Jitsu moves tend to get harder the more you do them. Even more perplexing is the fact that no matter how much time you spend grappling, you’re always going to face that one Jiu-Jitsu technique that is the hardest to master. And it is a different one for all of us.
The concept of the most difficult Jiu-Jitsu technique is a philosophical one. That doesn’t mean that it is not practical as well, though. The idea behind it is that moves become harder and harder the more time you spend perfecting them. This is not due to the technical requirement of a certain Jiu-Jitsu technique. Grappling martial arts require a high level of detail in order for moves to work efficiently. This is especially the case at the highest levels of the sport. Actually, the more knowledge a grappler has of a certain move, the harder that move becomes as time passes by. Let’s elaborate.
The Hardest Jiu-Jitsu Technique
Let’s use an example based approach here. The D’arce choke is a very versatile move that can be done from a multitude of positions. As such it makes it the perfect example of the hardest Jiu-Jitsu technique concept. Furthermore, it is the move that has made me come to the realization of this Brazilian Jiu-JItsu phenomenon.
Get An Early Start On The Fundamentals Of The D’arce Choke: https://bjj-world.com/mechanics-of-the-darce-choke/
As per our example, a grappler discovers the D’arce choke as a blue belt. After all, the blue belt is when people are experienced enough to start being curious about what Jiu-Jitsu has to offer. So, our hypothetical blue belt discovered the D’arce from the top half guard. Suddenly there’s a solution for the common underhook half guard problems. As our grappler dives into the world of the D’arce choke, more and more attacking options arise. After the initial paralysis by analysis, our grappler, now an advanced purple belt has D’arce setups from everywhere.
Our grappler’s proficiency with the choke has been proven time and time again in the gym and in tournaments. Suddenly, our grappler one day finds him/herself struggling to get a blue belt that a regular at the gym. This is the same blue belt that has tapped into the submission countless times before. Next, the move seems to stall from every setup possible. Our grappler goes even deeper into the essence of the move, studying every little detail possible.
Now, our grappler is a brown belt and despite constant use, the D’arce just doesn’t seem to work, in both competition and in the academy. Other submissions are now way easier to get than the favorite. Why has this move, that our grappler spent so much time perfecting, is the hardest one to pull off?
Resolving The Issue
The first step in discovering the Jiu-Jitsu technique that’s the hardest for you is identifying your favorite move. It may be any Jiu-Jitsu technique out there. It can be a guard pass, a favorite sweep or escape, even your favorite way of holding a position. Whatever your ”signature” move is, be prepared to face the most difficulties with it as you progress through the art.
There are a few reasons why this phenomenon occurs. For one, people that you roll with tend to learn your style, and in particular, your favorite moves. The cycle goes like this: you discover a move that works and start catching people with it. After a while, they get accustomed to it, recognize it and are comfortable in it. This gives them time to learn how to prevent/escape/defend it. This leads you to discovering new details and cycle starts all over again. The same thing applies to competition. The more you compete the more opponents are going to dissect your game and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Notice how the Danaher Death Squad are having to fight for more and longer when hunting leg locks compared to before? Their best moves are suddenly becoming the hardest to get.
The Danaher Leg Lock Philosophy Explained: https://bjj-world.com/john-danaher-leg-lock-system/
Before thinking about making things easier, you must realize two things. The fist, is that your favorite Jiu-Jitsu technique is always going to be the hardest. Next, in order to keep using it successfully, you can’t allow yourself to lose confidence in the move. Just keep looking for it, pay attention to the details and do not force it. The best thing you can do to finish a submission is let go. If you do so, you’ll confuse your opponent’s and can get right back into it or a better variation. You could also look to give your move a rest for a short while. Make people second guess what you’re going to do and then hit them with your best move!
It Only Gets Harder
Remember that things are going to become harder before they become even more difficult. It is just the way things work in Jiu-Jitsu. Roger Gracie is known for the brutal efficiency of his cross collar choke. However, you don’t see Roger slapping it on left and right, like the Mendes brothers were doing berimbolos, or the Ryan brothers hit heel hooks. Roger, however, stuck with it, perfecting the most basic choke to the tiniest detail. This allows him to hit it in competition even on opponents that know what’s coming. That doesn’t mean that it is easy for him. Actually, it is the hardest move in his arsenal. That’s why he often attacks along with armlocks so that he can open up his opponents to his favorite, yet most difficult to execute, attack.
All in all, you need to be conscious of the phenomenon of the hardest Jiu-Jitsu technique in order to cope with it. Frustration is born out of failure and failing in your favorite move is as certain as the fact that you’re going to get your guard passed. Just keep working and stick with it. After all, everything worthwhile is hard to do, so why would Jiu-Jitsu be any different?