Static vs. Dynamic Control

There are two types of control in Jiu-Jitsu: static, and dynamic.

Static control is the "classic" way we think of control in Jiu-Jitsu.  It's all about pinning your opponent and restricting their movement - in other words, keeping them static.  It's how the commentators described Royce Gracie in the early UFCs: your opponent should feel like they're grappling with a boa constrictor.  But static control isn't the only way to control someone.

Dynamic control is control through movement.  Instead of trying to take away motion, you're using motion to your advantage.  The goal is to be responsive to your opponent's movements and always be one step ahead.  It can be incredibly disorienting to spar against someone with good dynamic control, because even though you may not be physically restrained, you just can't get control of the tempo and you're always in reaction mode.

Static control is more common amongst older grapplers, mainly because it works well for less athletic people.  However, there's probably also an element of traditionalism at play: if you're old enough, you may favor static control because that's what Jiu-Jitsu looked like when you were coming up, so that's what you learned to emulate.

Dynamic control, on the other hand, is a powerful strategy for agile athletes.  There's likely an element of youth required here, because as you slow down it gets increasingly harder to play a fast-moving game.  But there's no denying that dynamic control works at the highest levels.  I'd argue that a lot of modern techniques, such as berimbolos, crab rides, and blitz passing are examples of dynamic control.

The interesting thing is that both static and dynamic control can create pressure, but the pressure your opponent will experience is entirely different.  Static pressure is the traditional, crushing pressure where you can barely move.  Dynamic pressure, on the other hand, is a constant state of confusion and frustration because you're always on the defense.

It's worth noting that neither type of pressure is better than the other, but they're both very powerful strategies and are both worthy areas of study.

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