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4-1 Finding the Common Core

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One of the greatest benefits of thinking of your jiu-jitsu 3-dimensionally, of reorienting and rethinking positions, is that your game begins to develop themes. You like armbars, so you look for armbars everywhere. You like single legs, so you look for single legs everywhere. Developing this specialization allows you to log a substantial amount of time in the same battles. By spending more time in certain positions, you begin to master the nuances, anticipating your opponent’s reactions and countering their counters faster than they can think of their next move.

Essentially, you fall into the same fight over and over again. I call this the common core. In the armbar chapter, you saw that no matter where you start the armbar, you are likely to end up fighting to break grips from the top:


Which means you should have a plan for defeating your opponent’s grips:


In the single leg examples, you saw that you will either end up fighting for a finish from standing, which we touched on very briefly, or from turtle:


Any sort of specialization in your game will lead to the development of a common core. Identifying that common core will help you to see what problems you should become adept at solving so that you can consistently win the race for the finish.