Jiu-Jitsu is quite a cerebral art but it asks for a certain degree of physical readiness to boot. Still even someone of Willink ‘s stature admits that prior to his bjj training he would’ve been submitted by someone much smaller in stature.
Here’s how Jocko thinks he would’ve managed against a jiu-jiteiro prior to his training:
“Before I knew jiu-jitsu and I was a big Navy Seal 200 pounds – one of those kids that’s 140 pounds would’ve absolutely destroyed me if we’d gotten into a fight. Boom. Take my back. Put me to sleep. “
Both Joe Rogan a JJ Machado/Eddie Bravo Black belt and Willink agree that bjj seems to resonate more with the cerebral individuals.
“That’s the other thing I’ve noticed in teaching kids jiu-jitsu” Willink continues, ” The kids that are a little bit more cerebral… You know the parents will think: my son he’s kind of a nerd, he’s kind of a smart kid I don’t know if he’s going to like it. But the opposite is actually true very often. Where the kid that’s cerebral, he’ll recognize as soon as you show him 3 things . Like you said – his wheels are turning he’s going wait a a second, this is a skill I can learn, and if I can learn to do this and the other guy doesn’t know this I will be able to beat him. And so cerebral kids often get into it even more than you know some kid that’s like a natural bruiser. ”
Rogan seems to agree: “You know 10th planet jiu-jitsu is just filled with nerds. They’re all nerds. Assasin nerds. It’s really kinda interesting. ”
Jocko continued: “And you’re not being facetious when you use the word nerd. Assasin nerds.”
As a reminder Willink is a black belt under Dean Lister – from September of 1990 to 2010 Willink was a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and Seal Task Unit Commander leading hundreds of operations in combat. He earned his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from world champion Dean Lister, competed at the national level in Submission Grappling, and has trained dozens of professional fighters. He has also coached and cornered fighters in numerous King of the Cage, Pride, and UFC events.
Rogan concluded: “It’s a complex game of kinetic chess. I mean it’s more complex than chess because in chess you’ve got these different pieces and they’re restricted in their movements. Jiu-jitsu is not restricted in movement and every transition has so many different possibilities and so many different setups. ”
To listen to that entire segment press play below
And if you’re curious as to what’s it like to roll with Willink, check out the example of the light roll below: