Life is a game of inches

Now you must forgive me for my shameless stealing and reinterpretation of a famous movie scene, well famous to people who know the movie ‘Any Given Sunday’

“You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.”

Yes i know quotes from an american football movie – how do they fit in a BJJ blog…. bear with me 

The reason why i get to this subject is that the other day i was at the gym, and whilst waiting for the kids class to end me and a new kid were watching the 2005 Mundials more precisely Roger vs Xande. This is a fight that truly epitomise the game of inches philosophy i would like to discuss today.

At this high level the game becomes so small, a game of inches if you move too soon or too late, too far or not enough you lose position/points/the fight it all comes down to the inches.

The difference between a white belt mount and a black belt mount is the inches, a white belt uses weight and strength where as the black belt uses the inches, anyone who has been mounted by Roger, Lagarto, Lucio, Braulio ect will testify to this.

When rolling with higher grades i feel that im simply stalling the fight, but i know the minute i move i expose my neck or move my balance and i loose – but in order to escape or progress i must move…..

It’s not a case of i don’t know what to do, its more a case of my opponents game is smaller than mine, they only need the smallest gap to press their advantage, and for me to move i give them that very space. i find the same thing when i fight lower belts, the gaps are huge.

So how do we close the gaps and tighten our game in order to improve?

easy answer: train with higher grades more often see what works and what doesn’t – very easy to say, much harder to do… but unlike other martial arts BJJ is a never ending learning curve. You may figure out that something works but the higher grade will not let you get away with it twice, so you have to take away small victories. I passed the guard, i gained mount, i controlled the movement and so on.

only by making continual small victories can you improve, pith and vinegar will only get you so far, commitment, effort, technique and a fair few beatings will take you the rest of the way….

so now to the quote of the blog, staying with the theme….

“On any given Sunday you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. The point is – can you win or lose like a man?”

vive la reve


About Flex McCash

Bjj black belt. Cake ninja and generally nice guy........ apparently Things I have achieved: Gracie Invertational - Gold Medal (White Belt) Northern BJJ Open - Silver Medal (Blue Belt) British Open - Bronze Medal (Purple Belt) Mulitple other medals in UMA, No Gi Grappling, and FILA Comps People I have had the Honour of training with: From Gracie Barra: Lucio Lagarto Lucio Sergio Braulio Estima Victor Estima Carlos Gracie Jnr Roger Gracie Gabriel Kitober Octavio Souza Others: Reyson Gracie Royce Gracie Rodrigo Gracie Mike Bisping Gazzy Parman Larry Hartsall
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One Response to Life is a game of inches

  1. Samurai Che says:

    Great post brother. I’ve found BJJ so much more cerebral than eg muay thai. As John says a toddler instinctively knows how to strike but following instinct (at least until the higher grades) on the mat is likely to get you tapped! The difference between a solid choke and a tired arm can be less than an inch.

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