One thing I realized while reading Jiu-Jitsu University is that I’ve never really learned how to survive. My defense is sorely lacking, and when rolling with my seniors I’ve always felt as though being submitted was inevitable. I once told Joe that I didn’t think I’d learned enough about defense, because I was too focused on offense, and he said “If you know how to do something, then you know how to defend it. Just do the opposite of what they want you to.” Yeah, that sounds simple enough, but I have a hard time figuring out things like that, unless someone shows me.
The thing about survival is that it requires patience, a virtue which is missing in my grappling. When someone has me pinned, every fiber of my being is intent on escaping, which often leads to desperation, and then I open myself up to submission. Now I realize that as long as I can make myself unsubmittable, and be patient, an opportunity to escape may prevent itself, and it will probably work better than when I try to force one. Survival has always been my goal when I roll with my seniors, I just don’t think I fully understood what it entailed.
My mindset has previously been more on competition, which doesn’t offer you the luxury of time, so escapes must be quick, but now I want to slow things down. If I’m grappling with my seniors and they‘ve pinned me, I only have a very small chance of getting out anyway, so I may as well just focus on surviving for as long as I can.