Frank Chen

Frank Chen

aim to perceive what you have not perceived to get unstuck

What is it that Einstein says? "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Persistence without introspection will lead to the same outcome, and most likely the same type of frustrations.

Similarly, your rolls are the same because you are thinking the same way.

This is obviously easier said than done, but if you perceive what's happening in the moment differently then your rolls will change. However, I will caveat that there is a lot of nuance here.

When you're just starting out, you do need to focus on the fundamentals. It helps to train under constrained environments at this stage. If you keep getting armbarred, then you should probably learn some prevention and escapes and ask your training partners to put you in them so you can build that muscle memory. That's a very literal, studious way of breaking out of a plateau.

As you move to more advanced stages of jiujitsu, you begin to string together techniques into sentences. This is when the reasoning behind plateaus become a little more vague. You have your fundamentals, your submissions and escapes, but at this level, perception of opportunities and flow states become a little more relevant, and it's the "interstitials" - the minute details in the transitions that really make the difference. This is where changing your perception really matters.

You might be wondering what the fuck "perceiving differently" really means. I think it's different for everyone, but it could happen from many avenues.

You could consider focusing on concepts or playing games:

  • attack with only kimuras
  • off balance and attack as one
  • coming forward only, no guard play
  • no submissions, get as many points as you can
  • start in bad positions, get out and score

You could change your environment:

  • do a BJJ camp and travel
  • go to a different gym and meet new folks
  • lucid dream some movements

You could change your body or mind:

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