What’s your special move?

When I think about the way I fight in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my strategy revolves around only one technique and I consider it to be my special move.

I know, most of you are not familiar with or interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu per se. In this post, though, I want to introduce this strategy of mine, because I believe it’s applicable to what we do… yes, what you do.

In short, I have one main attack and everything else I do is a path to setting up a good situation to execute that technique. I’ve been practicing this technique, triangle choke, over and over, since I started practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in July 2002. I believe I’m doing well with this strategy; it at least helped me come to the 2nd place in my category at Asian Open Championship 2010.

Triangle choke is one of the basic moves in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it’s not a fancy move that only few people can pull off. But then, there are people who do it well and those who don’t.

By the way, I want you to think about your special move in your area/s of interest. Do you have one? If you do, what is it and how did you make it your special move? I want to hear from you about it in the comment section. If you don’t, which move do you want to have as your special move?

In the following, I’ll tell you about what makes my triangle choke better than average. If you are in the process of developing your special move, think about what you do with your special move and see if anything below applies to your special move development. If it does, great!

Here’s what I do with triangle choke.

I work hard on improving my triangle choke

Over the past 8 years, I worked hard on improving my triangle choke. I drilled this move a number of times; also, I used it in sparring and in competitions. In the beginning, it was sloppy and chances of pulling it off were lower. But I kept trying and it got much, much better.

If you are working on developing your special move, do you work hard on it? Are you persistent in this process?

I have a clear goal and I use triangle choke to pursue it

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as a sport, uses a score system in case the designated time limit runs out in a given match, in order to decide the winner of the match. But, your ultimate goal is to defend yourself by finishing your opponent. Some people play the scoring game – that is, they score some points and defend these points till the end of a match. But that’s not for me or for most great fighters, who I believe go for submission.

Since I have a clear goal of winning by submission, it becomes easier for me to know what I need to do. Once I’m clear about this goal, all I need to do is to take action to get there. And triangle choke is my favorite means of achieving that goal.

What’s your special move for? Are you clear about what you want to achieve by using it?

I’m extremely persistent and I have various set ups for triangle choke

When others go for triangle choke, they might try this technique twice or so, and when these attempts fail, they might change their strategy and use another technique. That’s not a bad idea, but I’d keep going with triangle choke.

One thing to note is that I have various set ups for triangle choke. So, even if one set up fails and my opponent knows what’s going on with that set up and can block it, I have another way of going for triangle choke.

I think having variations within one technique is fabulous, because focusing on one technique is much simpler than working on multiple techniques, and at the same time, if you have variations within one technique, you get to have similar effects of having multiple moves in your stock.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s better if you have multiple moves in your stock as you progress, provided that they are all special moves for you, but it’s best to start with one move and to deepen it as much as possible.

How persistent are you with your special move? Do you have more than one way of executing it?

I set my game in such a way that everything revolves around triangle choke

For me, my ultimate goal in a match is to win by submission. I use triangle choke as a means to achieve that goal. There are things I need to do to make that triangle choke happen as well. When it comes to these things, I do them as a preparation for triangle choke.

It’s no exaggeration, but my triangle choke set up starts as soon as the match begins, because everything I do is a preparation for triangle choke.

Now, when it comes to practicing other moves, I work on moves that have strong ties with triangle choke. In other words, I work on moves that allow me to transition smoothly into a triangle choke set up – I work on what’s relevant to me and try to cut out what’s irrelevant.

It’s great to have this clear focus, because when there’s a gap in my game, that is, a gap between triangle choke and whatever position I am in, I know what I need to work on in order to fill in this gap. What I need to work on is to connect two dots, which I already know. Sometimes we only know that there’s a gap without knowing what the other side of the gap is and even what your side is like.

In regard to your special move, do you know what’s relevant to you? Do you work on it? How about what’s irrelevant to you? Do you cut it out?

I love triangle choke

This one sounds obvious, but loving what you do is the shortest path to get better at it. If you are keen on and enjoy practicing it, you will get better at it quickly. For me, that’s pretty much the case with triangle choke.

Do you love your special move? Do you love what you do?


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Photo: R’eyes

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