52 Techniques

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BJJ is partly a creative activity.

There are different ways of defining “creativity”, but…

… we could say creativity is about connecting dots that you didn’t think could be connected before.

And you make such connections by trials and errors.

I remember something my coach back in Japan said a while ago.

He usually comes up with one new technique every week.

So, in a year, he comes up with about 52 techniques of his own.


… only 1 or 2 out of these 50 something techniques would be usable.

But I’d say this is pretty impressive. Also, I believe having this “creation” or “active problem solving” mindset is essential.

It’s so easy to find good answers to BJJ problems just by searching on YouTube these days.

As long as you know who the legit experts are, you can find all sorts of solutions, even for free if you wish.

(Compared to 2002, when I started practicing BJJ, this state of affairs is insane.)

Or, of course, you can ask someone more experienced for help as well.

But in the long run, it’s much better to work on your creativity muscles and BJJ problem-solving skills rather than always relying on external sources.

And I suppose BJJ problem-solving skills aren’t that different in general problem-solving skills either.

So, if your work requires you to solve a bunch of problems regularly, you can probably translate these professional skills into BJJ problem-solving.

In case this doesn’t apply to you, and you aren’t sure about where to start, it’s usually a good idea to look at your desired goal… and start thinking backward from there.

The key questions would include things like…

  • What’s my desired goal?
  • What needs to happen to get there?
  • How do I make these things happen?
  • What might be the most crucial details in making these things happen? (Or if you want something simpler, “Will I die if I do it?”… and I’m using “die” in a figurative way here if that’s not obvious.)

Answering these questions will help you get closer to possible solutions to your BJJ problems.

Make sure to train these problem-solving skills as well 🙂

And you can use these questions above to come up with new techniques as well… as they can act as a good guideline for connecting dots.