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The Four Goods

Bill Coffin | February 21, 2017

I spend a lot of time training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a form of grappling where you submit your opponent through various kinds of joint locks and choke holds. It’s the kind of martial art that is especially suited for when you get taken down to the ground and if you are fighting somebody who is bigger and stronger than you.

It takes at least 10 years to go from white belt to black belt and, during those first two years or so as a white belt, most people kind of thrash around, not quite knowing how to use their bodies yet, how to minimize their movements, how to apply their weight and strength, and how to simply relax in the face of physical, mental, and emotional pressure. That’s why the mantra for all students, but especially beginning ones, is that whenever rolling on the mats, it’s key to remember “the four goods”: good control, good technique, good position, and good submission.

Good control means not flailing about with your body. Much easier said than done.... To get the full story, subscribe now.