Strategic models are about hacking your decision-making. These models help you make quicker decisions in battle, set the table to make victory more likely, and find and exploit weaknesses in your opponent’s game.
- Alignment Over Position
Managing alignment is more important than managing position.
- Asymmetric Warfare
Prefer strategies that attack your opponent where they are weakest.
- Committed Techniques
When you have multiple options available, favor techniques with a higher chance of retaining position.
Invest in things that grow in value over time.
- Constant and Variable Tension
Know when to squeeze and when to explode.
- Controlling the Distance
Take away space when attacking and create space when defending.
- Crossing the Center
The body is vulnerable when limbs are passed across the center line.
- Defend With Purpose
A defense is only a good defense if it gets you out of the bad position.
- Defense Paradox
Effective offense is built on effective defense.
- Dictate the Pace
Be active, not reactive.
Force your opponent to choose between two equally bad options.
- Diminishing Returns
More effort doesn’t always mean more results.
- Do What Works
If a technique is working for you, it’s a good technique regardless of what anyone says.
- Dominant Angles
Create positions where your opponent is not fully facing you, and exploit those angles.
- Double Down on Strengths
There are diminishing returns to patching up your weaknesses. It's better to double down on your strengths.
- Double Trouble
To fully control a near side limb, you must also control a far side limb.
- Economy of Motion
Favor techniques that require minimal movement and energy.
Take away options until your opponent is forced to fight you where you’re strongest.
- Grip Inversion
The instant your opponent grips you, find a way to invert the grip so you control your opponent.
- Grips Dictate Position
Whoever controls the grips controls the position.
- Hick's Law
Speed up your reaction time by reducing the number of decisions available.
Find creative solutions by attacking problems backward.
Break your opponent’s balance before attempting a throw or sweep.
- Last Mile Problem
We have a tendency to coast when the end is in sight.
- Layers of Guard
Like an onion, the guard has many layers. You pass by peeling the layers back one by one.
- The Map Is Not the Territory
Mental models are not always 100% accurate.
- Marginal Gains
Big results come from a series of small, incremental improvements.
- Mask Your Intentions
Mask your intentions so your opponent doesn’t know what you’re really attacking.
Single techniques rarely work. Success comes from exploiting windows between techniques.
- Minimize Attack Vectors
Position your body to reduce the places your opponent can attack you.
Don’t get so caught up in what you want that you ignore better opportunities.
- Opening Salvos
Ensure you have low-commitment strategies for the engagement phase.
- Path of Least Resistance
Go around obstacles rather than through them.
- Pattern Interrupts
Break your opponent out of their pre-programmed responses and behaviors.
- Phases of Guard
Guard has three distinct phases: engagement, maintenance, and retention. Know the right strategy for each.
- Phases of Passing
Pass the guard in three steps: disentangle, control, pass.
Don’t abandon one point of control until you’ve replaced it with another.
- Position Over Submission
Prefer positional advancement and security over submission attempts. Do not attempt submissions unless you are fully secure in your position.
- Predictable Responses
Each technique has a series of common and predictable reactions.
- Prevention Over Cure
Preventing a problem is better than fixing it after the fact.
- Prioritize Longevity
Be wary of techniques and scenarios that have a high chance of self-injury.
- Probabilistic Thinking
Create scenarios where success is a high probability.
- Return on Investment
Calculate the risk and possible reward before taking any action.
- Shifting Platforms
Continuously move and switch angles to prevent your opponent from applying pressure against you.
- Short-term/Long-term Paradox
Your short-term and long-term goals might require contradictory behavior.
- Solid Foundation, Flexible Perimeter
Every good plan has two parts: a solid foundation and a flexible perimeter.
- Static vs. Dynamic Control
There are two types of control in Jiu-Jitsu: static, and dynamic.
- Table Selection
Find or create environments where you’re likely to get the best result.
- Technique Chaining
A non-stop series of attacks works a lot better than a single attack.
- Tipping Points
Once you have sufficient leverage or momentum, your desired outcome can no longer be denied.
- Tokui Waza
Know your best techniques, and funnel your opponent into them.
Prioritize getting to positions where you have lots of good options.
- Win Conditions
By knowing and exploiting the rules, you can defeat an otherwise superior opponent who doesn’t.
- Windows of Opportunity
Timing is just as important as execution.