The more I think about it, the more appropriate it seems to me that the Lincoln BJJ Center logo features a spider (although there has been some debate about whether it’s an anatomically correct spider! ;). Not just because of the obvious spider-guard connection, but because I believe Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be thought of as a web.
For one thing, BJJ is not linear, it’s circular, and it’s all interconnected. When you first start out, you don’t have the basic knowledge of how to spin a web, you don’t even know where to begin. Then you learn how to create simple webs that can be effective against other new spiders, but not against those who’ve been around for awhile (because they’ve seen your puny web a thousand times before, so they know how to avoid it!).
When you only know a few techniques, your web will be small, and you’ll be going around in little circles. If you only know one escape, it rarely works, but when you add in more, and cycle between them, your chances of success increase. With each new technique, your web grows bigger, and you start connecting it all together.
That’s the stage I’m at in my own Jiu-Jitsu training. I’m increasing the size of my web, and learning how to connect everything. My webs are still easily torn down by the more advanced spiders (as well as some of the less advanced ones, who are often bigger than my itsy bitsy self! ;), and the senior students are able to almost effortlessly draw me in and trap me. I’m finally getting to the point where I can see it coming, but it’s still hard to avoid walking into their massive webs!
Conan says that if you know one more technique than your opponent in any given situation, you’re more likely to win, so it’s important to keep adding to your web, but it’s also important to understand the connections, and how to flow from one thing to another. As your web grows bigger, so do your training partners’ webs, so we’re constantly driving each other to improve. I’ve heard BJJ described as a war of knowledge, and the spider who can more easily spin the larger web, and who is better at avoiding being caught, is the one who typically defeats their prey.
“Sorry I’m not home right now,
I’m walking into spiderwebs…” -No Doubt