# Force Vectors

**Identify the exact angle of incoming force, and meet it or redirect it.**

You remember the definition of *vectors* from high school physics, right?

Oh, who are we kidding...of course you don't. So here it is:

A *vector* is a mathematical term referring to a combination of *magnitude* and *direction*.

*Magnitude* tells you how hard you're applying force, or how fast you're moving. *Direction* tells you where that force or motion is going.

You can use vectors to measure applied force. So **a ****force vector**** tells us how much force we're applying in a given direction.**

### Option #1: Meet the force vector

In Jiu-Jitsu, force vectors matter because **you can absorb a lot more force if you match the vector exactly.**

To visualize this, think of the kickstand on a motorcycle. Despite being a thin piece of metal, a kickstand can support the entire weight of a motorcycle. This is because **it props up the weight at the exactly correct angle.** As anyone who's ridden a bike knows, if the kickstand is not placed at the correct angle it will collapse.

When you're playing a bottom position in Jiu-Jitsu, you can apply the same principle by matching your opponent's force vector**. **If you can **identify the exact angle of incoming force** and **frame against it**, you can absorb tremendous amounts of incoming force without relying on muscle.

It is important, of course, to use solid frames when matching your opponent's force vector. For example, a fully outstretched arm can collapse at the elbow or lead to hyperextension, so in many cases a forearm frame is preferable.

Note that meeting the force vector is a temporary solution. It's intended to buy you time to hip escape and re-guard. If you meet the force vector but don't move, your opponent will eventually switch angles and collapse your frame.

### Option #2: Redirect the force vector

In some cases you may be better off *redirecting* the force vector; in other words, **forcing your opponent to change the angle of incoming force.** This is a powerful strategy and a lot more fluid than just meeting the force vector.

There are two ways two redirect your opponent's force vector:

- Use lever control (arms, legs, or head) to force your opponent's angle to change.
- Move your own body when your opponent's weight is resting on you.

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