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"Mountain and Sea" Changing in BJJ

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

As I continue to explore The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi I find things I want to share related to BJJ. 

"’Mountain and sea’ means that is is bad to do the same thing over and over again.  You may have to repeat something once, but it should not be done a third time.

When you try something on an opponent, if it does not work the first time, you will not get any benefit out of rushing to do it again.  Change your tactics abruptly, doing something completely different.  If that still does not work, then try something else.

Thus the science of martial arts involves the presence of mind to act as the sea when the enemy is like a mountain, and act as a mountain when the enemy is like a sea.  This requires careful reflection." – The Book of Five Rings, Fire Scroll.

In BJJ if you stubbornly continue to try to get a submission that isn’t there you end up wasting energy and most likely losing any advantage you have.  I have been guilty of hanging on to a choke that I know isn’t going to work in hopes that some how I would pull it off.  Musashi’s advice is very poignant.  It kind of reminds me of a long hall way of doors.  If the first one is locked you move on to the next.  The faster you are and more you try the sooner you will find one that is open.  As I internalize more techniques I have more doors.  As my skills increase I can move between them faster.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

One Response to “"Mountain and Sea" Changing in BJJ”

  1. I really like this analogy. It is a great way to think about bjj, and life in general. Keep your adversaries guessing.