Yesterday I learned that you should not tell your Jiu-Jitsu Sensei that you think he is slow. If you do, there’s a good chance he will prove otherwise by submitting you in less than thirty seconds.
When my teacher Conan grapples, he usually has a slow, methodical approach. He calls it “Anaconda Style”. It’s very frustrating, because even though it seems like he’s moving in slow motion, most of the time I don’t realize the extent of the danger I’m in until it’s too late. Even when I do know exactly what he’s trying to do, I’m usually powerless to stop it. Although I am normally an overly aggressive fighter, sometimes I’m reluctant to even engage with him. I will find myself thinking things like “I can’t do that, because it’s probably what he wants me to do, so I’ll do this instead! Oh no, what if that is really what he wants me to do? Crap!”
Now I think I understand that it doesn’t matter what I do. He’s usually not trying to trick me, or set me up, he’s just taking advantage of whatever I do. He knows so many options that he can adjust his game plan accordingly, regardless of what I might do. For each scenario that I can come up with, he has an answer, a counter, another possibility. I bet most of the time he doesn’t even have to think about them.
Conan often says that you will win if you know one more thing than your opponent. If you know four sweeps, but they only know how to defend three of them, you have an advantage. Eventually, he will teach me everything he knows, and I will be able to see all the possibilities as well as he can. Let’s see him try to submit me in thirty seconds then! ;)