Microtransitions

Single techniques rarely work. Success comes from exploiting windows between techniques.

“Music is the space between the notes.” — Claude Debussy

In class we’re often exposed to one technique at a time. We may be able to execute the steps perfectly, but we’re often disappointed to find we can’t make the technique work in live sparring.

Trying single attacks one at a time is rarely a winning strategy. Your first attack against a skilled opponent likely won’t succeed, but it may create openings for a second. Openings against quality opponents are rare, so your focus needs to be on creating these openings.

No matter how perfectly executed, a single technique is unlikely to succeed against an opponent when their guard is up. However, a continuous and fluid onslaught of techniques will force your opponent to create exploitable openings. Focus less on perfectly executing a single technique, and more on fluidly chaining techniques together.

How we think Jiu-Jitsu works:
If we perfectly execute a technique, it will have a high chance of succeeding.

How Jiu-Jitsu actually works:
A continuous chain of attacks forces our opponent to leave openings, and our attack that eventually succeeds will likely be far from textbook.

Note that microtransitioning does not mean scrambling. In fact, scrambling is a bad practice and is the opposite of microtransitioning. Scrambling means you’re in a situation where you don’t know what to do, so you’re going to try using your athleticism (strength, speed, cardio, flexibility) to force the match back into a position where you’re familiar. Scrambling means you don’t know what you’re doing, leaves openings for your opponent to exploit, and leads to an increased chance of injury.

Further study