The Money Jiu-Jitsu Concept
By: Tyler Bishop
What would you do if I told you there was one thing that you could do that would allow you to win 80% of your Jiu-Jitsu matches? That’s right 80%. Jiu-Jitsu, like any other sport, is measurable. We’ve all seen Moneyball, right? If you play the numbers you can come out on top consistently.
In 2012, www.BishopBJJ.com
became the first place you could go to see real studies on Jiu-Jitsu competitions. We've conducted two major studies, one at the 2012 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships and another at the 2012 World Championships. One finding that we saw from each event was that in approximately 70-80% of matches, the person that scored first won. Regardless of why or how that happens, it is a powerful insight. Since then, we’ve been inspired to create monthly “It’s Science” articles for Jiu-Jitsu Style Magazine that look closely at individual competitors. These are micro-studies of successful competitors, and we break down what makes them great.
I often think that people get a skewed view of what’s really happening at the highest-level of Jiu-Jitsu competition. Most of the competitors we’ve studied adopt a very strategic approach to winning. If they don’t follow it according, a lot of the time they lose. It’s that simple.
Just like in Moneyball, the General Manager of a baseball team can look at an athlete’s profile statistics and accurately predict their success or failure. I’m calling for the re-evaluation of the fastest, most efficient route to a WIN on the mat. One thing we should all remember is the competitor that takes control first usually controls the pace of the match. Those with the best plans and the most direction are usually the winners.
People often compare Jiu-Jitsu to chess but we find that it’s more like pool. The best pool players never even give their opponent a shot; they simply run the table. Chess is a negotiation. The top Jiu-Jitsu athletes we analyzed don’t negotiate with their strategy or their opponent. They are singularly focused.
This leads me back to our data: the first person to score points wins about 80% of their matches in competition. Being the first person to score is a dynamic and imperative advantage. How does this affect you?
Obviously, we are all always trying to score points, but with this new information in mind shouldn’t you tailor your strategy to be the initiator? All matches start with you and your opponent on your feet. What next? How are you going to be the first to get points? If it’s not you, then you already have narrowed your possibilities of winning to one in five.
If that wasn’t enough, take a peek at this:
Of all the submissions recorded in our evaluation, the person who was up on points from the beginning was heavily favored to win via submission. 56% of those who scored first were able to achieve a submission. So, not only are you 80% more likely to win outright, but if you score first you’re more likely to win via submission!
My advice, be the first to score! Your chances of winning decrease so much if you don’t.
Easier said than done, huh? Keep training hard and use this information to guide your changes in tournament mindset and training philosophy. Jiu-Jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint.