Technique Beats Strength with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

This week on Gracie Barra’s blog, we have a video from a seminar held by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Master Carlos teaches a slick guard pass, but more importantly, explains the principle behind being more efficient in our jiu-Jitsu.
Every time I come to give a seminar, I want to teach something that I believe works in a real (situation). I try to rely my game on that…I see jiu-jitsu as a martial art, self-defense. So the position also has to work with gi and No-Gi. Because sometimes you have to defend yourself without the gi.” says Master Carlos.
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Technique is always better when it is based on efficiency rather than strength. When two people fight, they fight to outlast the other. If you tire first, you will probably lose. It is the technique that will make you last longer. The fight is who will get tired first. The most technical fighters usually win the fight.
At 3:30 in the video, Master Carlos is teaching the Leg Drag guard pass and shows how an experienced opponent will try to block and counter the pass. All of the focus of the guard player is on defending the guard pass on that side. Master Carlos switches his direction, spins, and passes to the side. Now Master Carlos pauses to call attention to the most important thing – the principle behind the sequence.
The Principle
…I do something that I don’t need to fight too much. I could go that way (continuing the pass in the original direction), BUT I will have to fight that way. And I’m not sure that I will get there.
When I did that (changing direction), I break all of his defense.
What does this mean in terms of jiu-jitsu strategy and using technique instead of strength to solve a situation in a match?
This principle can be applied to any position that you find yourself locked into with your opponent. Anytime your opponent throws up a strong defense and counters your original technique, instead of trying to force your way through a brick wall using strength and athleticism, ask yourself for a technical solution to the problem. In this guard passing situation, it was changing direction and spinning AROUND the defense of the guard player instead of trying to bull your way straight through. Avoid directly pitting your strength against that of your opponent – especially if the opponent is bigger and stronger than you are!
When we find technical solutions to these positions, we conserve our energy and become more efficient. Our opponent fatigues more rapidly, and as Master Carlos pointed out earlier, we are on a path to submitting our opponent with pure jiu-jitsu technique.
See also on GB Blog: GB Values: Body & Mind with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt