Why are there some things I feel like I know about Jiu-Jitsu, but when it’s grappling time, I suddenly develop amnesia and forget them? Even though I know better than to turn my back to someone when they have me in side control, I still did it the other day when I was rolling with Greg. He said “You’re supposed to turn toward me, not away.”, and I was thinking “Yeah, I totally know that, I just thought today was opposite day and so I should do the opposite of what I’m supposed to do!” Seriously, what’s up with that? I even lost a competition Jiu-Jitsu match because of that very thing, but I still do it.
I think part of the problem is that I have not yet fully developed my mind-body connection, and I do things like that without even realizing I’m doing them. If I was watching myself, I would be like “WTF? You know better than that!” I’ve also noticed that the less relaxed I am, the more likely they are to happen (which is why I spazzed out while rolling with Greg ;). When I’m too tense, I revert to primitive brain function, and my body just does whatever it feels like, which is usually the opposite of what you should do in Jiu-Jitsu, since so much of it is counter-intuitive. The more stressed I am, the longer it takes for me to realize what’s happening, which slows down my reaction time. At some point my brain will finally kick in and say “No, turn the other way, idiot!”, but by then it’s often too late.
It has gotten progressively better over the years, I’m less likely do things I know I shouldn’t do. As my muscle memory grows, it’s easier for me to react appropriately without having to think about it, even when I’m stressed. I think the only cure for this affliction is the same thing recommended for almost any Jiu-Jitsu ailment…more mat time. I prescribe myself massive doses of grappling to cure my amnesia.