False Dichotomy

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I saw this Instagram meme picture where there’s a fork.

At the end of the left path, it says something like “IBJJF – winning by points”.

At the end of the right path, it says something like “Dark side – learning leg locks”.

It’s only a meme, but I wonder if some people really think there’s a dichotomy here.

If you stay with the IBJJ path, will you become someone who will always look to win by points?

And if you go against that path, will you become someone who will always look to win by submission?

Well… not always.

I talked about Cobrinha in my previous post, and while he does play a point game from time to time, as we’ve seen, it’s not like he never goes for submission. He changes his strategy depending on who he’s against and where he is in a given tournament.

What you want to do anyway is to establish great control over your opponent.

Securing the back control. The mount position. Or even the side control. To get to these positions, you pass your opponent’s guard, take your opponent down, or sweep your opponent from your guard.

Or you could establish such control from your guard position and be ready to go for submission from there (another false idea people seem to have is that guard players always stall & never attack from the guard… I wonder what kind of guard players they have seen in their entire lives).

Ideally, you should aim to keep pushing your control further until you reach the kind of control where your opponent will have to tap. Armbar is a kind of control. So is rear naked choke. So is any other submission hold. They are different forms of control.

This may or may not happen during a sparring round or within a regulation period of your match, though. And that’s where a point system becomes handy… because it’s not practical to do a no-time-limit-submission-only match for every single match in a competition, for example.

I’ve been stating similar things over and over, but learning everything and enjoy learning everything. Gi, no-gi, leg locks, wrestling, Judo, catch wrestling, Sumo… anything and everything will be helpful to you if you know how to find gems in whatever you encounter.

In the long run, it will be much more fun for you that way. There are false dichotomies and silly ideas that may sound cool and tempting, but keep your mind open and keep learning…