Don’t react to your opponent. Make your opponent react to you. Reactions can be predicted, and taken advantage of.
The Four Threats
In Jiu Jitsu there are four main ways to make your opponent react to you. A properly executed threat, should in general leave your opponent only two options.
Listed from weakest to strongest:
1) Off balancing:
An opponent out of balance has the choice to let you come on top, or recovering his balance by posting and pushing back against the force pushing him out of balance.
Bernardo Faria putting intense pressure on Leandro Lo:
Pressure, when not adressed, will drain your opponent of his stamina. The opponent has to create space either by pushing (bad) or framing, bridging and hipescaping.
(3) A lock:
The threat of a lock blocks your opponent from moving in one direction and gradually forces him into the opposite direction.
The opponent has the choice between going with the direction of the force or possibly injurying a limb.
(4) A choke:
The choke is the king of the threats.
While a lock can be ignored at the price of possible injury, a properly executed choke has to be adressed. The opponent has the choice between defending his neck, with his hands or be turning his chin in, or passing out.
In a roll outside of a competition environment, were time and points act as an external oppressor, the threat of a sweep or takedown can be largely ignored. You only lose position.
Pressure can be ignored for a good amount of time, until you are completely drained.
With a lock you still have the ‘choice’ of risking your limb.
A properly executed choke is the only threat were all choice is taken away.
Like I remember Chris Haueter @ChrisHaueterArt saying at the @BjjGlobetrotter camp last year in Belgium: “When possible, always be choking”.
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