Beware of False Positives

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The vast majority of people are doing the vast majority of things wrong the vast majority of time.

— Ryan Hall

​If you want to keep improving your BJJ skills and don’t want to be disappointed later (or when it matters), always be on the lookout for false positives.​

False positives make you think you are doing things correctly and even effectively when, in reality, you are relying more on your physical attributes rather than your technical understanding, proper positioning, tight control, and so on.​

You can win by doing wrong things. There’s no doubt about it. But if you don’t watch out for your false positives, sooner or later, you will run into someone who is just as strong/quick as you are and just as skilled or more skilled than you. And you will find out your techniques are worse than you thought.​

It’s not just something that happens to bigger & stronger folks, either. When I roll with someone much heavier than me, I often notice that my usual techniques don’t work against them. It’s partly because of our weight/strength difference and partly because my techniques aren’t precise enough to deal with such difference between us. In this case, I need to make my moves more precise so they will work against this heavier opponent.​

It can be challenging to detect false positives, but always ask yourself whether what you are doing is really working if you want to get better.​

Or an easier way might be: just assume there is always room for improvement, even for your best techniques that seem to work on everybody.