Turn Your Brain Into a Super-Highway for Jiu-Jitsu

brain, Charleston bjj, bjj mastermind, malachy friedman

Ok, we went over visualization and drilling but why and how does this make us better in training?  One word, Myelin.  Myelin is the insulation around nerve fibers.  The thicker the myelin the faster information travels from the brain to accomplish what you are trying to do.  Meaning the armbar myelin you’ve accumulated over the years from drilling means a faster more proficient technique.


In the book “Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, Myelin development is described as going from a dirt road to a super highway.  At first the new skill is a bumpy rough road, a car (information) must travel slowly in order to reach its destination.

Then as you develop the skill and add more time to understanding the techniques infrastructure the road becomes    smoothed and easier to navigate.  This means information or the technique you want is now traveling faster.

This continues as you practice more and more and become a master of the technique the road (the nerve transmitting the skill) grows also.

As you refine the movement the road goes from paved to super highway, where the information is traveling so fast it is often called muscle memory. Now we know how are brains work with the new Jiu-Jitsu skill you are trying to integrate into your game.

Remember the country road analogy next time you are working on a technique that is giving you trouble, you are on a rough trail and building a super highway alone is no easy work but your brain is amazing and extremely capable complex computer, so no worries!

Case Study

The relationship between that spider guard sweep and a monkey eating breakfast cereal???

monkeyScientists are always looking for how the brain works, they often do this by using our closest relative the Chimpanzee.  Scientists set out to make their chimp subjects eat with spoons correctly.  The chimps were only able to properly use the spoon 1 out of 8 tries but after 700 attempts the Chimp was able to use the spoon properly each time every time. What happened here? The practice the monkey made wrapped myelin around the nerve producing the ability until it became a super-highway skill.  So where does this relate to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?  If a monkey can eat with a spoon you can hit that spider guard technique.  It’s That simple.