Rickson Gracie and Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

If you already train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for some time now, you probably heard about Invisible Jiu-jitsu. It sounds a little mysterious and maybe weird. It even got some air of mysticism around it. But we’d better stick to the ground and explain Invisible Jiu-jitsu to ourselves easily.

What is Invisible Jiu-jitsu

To put it very simply Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is a term for grappling principles that are not visible. However, this might be even too simplified answer. More specifically, Invisible Jiu-Jitsu is about paying attention to details, often even so small that they are almost imperceptible, but at the same time, they can really make a difference. You don’t notice them, but you can really feel it.

It refers to things like the minute adjustments in weight distribution, spacing, and anticipation that are difficult to detect if one is not participating in the roll. Generally, things that are matters of proprioception and very fine tactile awareness fall under this category.

Invisible Jiu-Jitsu teaches us that real power comes from feel; the appropriate application of weight in the right spot, at the right angle, with the perfect amount of force, not too much but just enough to achieve desired results.

Rickson Gracie and Invisible Jiu-Jitsu

The person who talks the most about it is undoubtedly Rickson Gracie. He has been pushing the concept of ‘Invisible Jiu-Jitsu’ for years.

Rickson Gracie stated:

“The invisible aspect of jiu-jitsu for me by far the greatest and the most interesting. Because it is not based on what I see it. It is based on how I feel it. That’s why it is invisible. It’s not about seeing. You may see the same guard position, but you feel different if you put pressure here, if you lie a little more here. So the invisible results are the ones that really please me because they are the ones that I really deeply felt you know? That’s what I try to promote is the capacity once you have to have to develop their own sensitivity for what is invisible.

Balance, for example, is invisible because it has to be connected with my opponent’s energy. If you push me I have to have my balance based on that push. And if you pull me I have to shift everything and be able to keep my balance on that pull.

So it is an invisible deal of adjustment and weight distribution and connection which has fused the purpose of feeling the pressure or adding pressure or escaping from the pressure or keeping the control or whatever is the position. But for me, you saw about those details which make amazingly different a sense of “Wow man! Now I can feel.” And when the students say to me “Wow man, I understand now!”…wow its not about the visible, what is visible. But is how you feel it and you know it’s experience man which keeps me in the game because I love to give that feeling of the students feeling what is supposed to be impossible but based on the invisible aspect you say “Wow! That’s simple.” And that’s amazing man. It’s a special feeling.”