“All warfare is based on deception” -Sun Tzu
I was doing a little thinking the other day about a training partner of mine when I first started training Jiu Jitsu out in New York.
Rolling with him was just one big “mindblown” moment after another. He was a blue belt at the time, very close to his purple and I remember our professor always commented on how deceptive he was.
Sure enough, I put 2 and 2 together: All of those “mind blown” moments were the result of me having absolutely no earthly clue where he had just strung together his attack. I was always caught off guard and I was always second guessing myself because he was able to take such great advantage of my own mental short-comings.
I think at that point, rolling with him, I started to really appreciate the psychological aspects behind training. These moments, seemingly random, were always well planned and well-manipulated pieces to a giant puzzle.
I realized here that there is no secret that there is a huge psychological component to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I feel like one of the more interesting psychological facets of Jiu Jitsu is that of deception and the ability to manipulate situations for your own benefit on the mats.
Admittedly, one thing I always aim to work on is my ability to get my opponents or training partners believing that I am going one direction while my intent is to go to the other. To me, it helps preserve my energy because I rarely have to fight to get into positions. My manipulating my opponent’s movement, I am able to get to where I need to be much more easily.
“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved” –Sun Tzu
Recently, I have been re-familiarizing myself with the teachings of Sun Tzu.
For those who are unaware, Sun Tzu was a military general whose writing “The Art of War” is quite possibly the most influential book in history with regard to military strategy.
In any case, most of his teachings were based on how to be victorious in war with little expense. There is an enormous psychological and sociological component inherent in his stratagem. His teachings in warfare are incredibly relevant to many different aspects of life, but much more importantly to those of us practicing Jiu Jitsu, they are relevant on the mats.
For example, are we, as Jiu Jitsu practitioners not concerned with ending a match with little to no effort? The value of economy in war, as Sun Tzu taught it is equally relevant to our economy in a fight.
He taught at length about victory, however the message behind the words always comes back to awareness. I believe that from awareness, the ability to deceive and manipulate becomes so much more powerful.