The concept of flow is extremely important in all sports, but especially those of a combative nature like MMA, boxing, and Jiu Jitsu. If you have ever watched a sporting event on TV, you might have heard the commentators mentioning a certain player being “in the zone.” The concept being in the zone is universal and can even extend outside of sports.
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What does it mean to flow and have fluidity in the sport of Jiu Jitsu? This can be seen best when watching high level matches or even when your instructor effortlessly dominates you in a roll. To flow in Jiu Jitsu is to be able to seamlessly transition without the slightest of hesitation. It means being able to counter one’s opponent immediately and connect moves together so that it seems you knew what you were going to do.
Developing fluidity in Jiu Jitsu is actually the essence of improving in Jiu Jitsu. You can become great at multiple individual techniques but if you can’t flow between them, you will not really improve in the grand scheme of the sport. Unlike basketball where you can get away with having one good skill, to be a good Jiu Jitsu practitioner, one has to develop fluidity in movement.
So how does one go about improve this aspect of their game? The first and most obvious answer is through experience. The longer you stick around, the more fluid you become by default. This doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t effective ways of augmenting how fast you improve.
One thing you can do to improve fluidity quickly is drill systems. Systems in Jiu Jitsu have gotten popular over the last few years because of emphasis on them by people like John Danaher and his students. When you learn thing in systems, you are learning the transitions between techniques as well, which is very important.
Another thing you can do is lots of drills. Drills are the most effective way at improve technique specific muscle memory. Drilling can be doing one transition at high intensity for a short interval or chaining different techniques together and doing them for a longer interval.
Overall, experience is your best friend when building fluidity in Jiu Jitsu. If you want to improve faster than average, though, you need to pay attention to what the best in the world are doing and imitate them.
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