Almost everyone who starts with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu thinks that they’re either too strong or too weak to do everything/anything. If you’re “jacked”, then you might’ve come to your first class thinking that none of the smaller guys (or women) will be able to tap you out. If you’re someone who’s smaller, then perhaps you were afraid that you’ll never submit those bigger training partners… However, Jiu-Jitsu has a way of showing things in their true light.
This’s been one of the topics that Rickson Gracie talked about with Jocko Willink on the recent episode of the “Jocko Podcast”.
RICKSON: “LEVERAGE REPLACES STRENGTH AND TECHNIQUE REPLACES SPEED”
Rickson tells the story of how his father, Helio Gracie, had vertigo at age 13 and how he couldn’t train because of it. Any sort of physical exertion would make him pass out; and so he had to sit down on the mats and just observe the classes taking place. This continued for about three years.
However, as the coach was one day late for class and another student showed up, Helio stepped up to roll with this student – who was amazed by the “kid’s” skill.
This just goes to show, as Rickson emphasizes, that strength isn’t all too important in Jiu-Jitsu. He says that his father couldn’t do one single pull-up or push-up, and so that he had to make up in technique what he lacked in strength and size. He had to find adjustments that work; for example, rising his chest up when executing the Cross Collar Choke instead of squeezing with his hands.
As Rickson puts it: “[In Jiu-Jitsu] leverage replaces strength and technique replaces speed.”
Watch the conversation here: