Chains Versus Tetrahedrons

Submissions series are often referred to as ‘chains.’ The problem with this metaphor is it’s a straight line in one direction.

As BJJ coach Chris Haueter says, in combination attacks there is a point where two positions exist at the same time. I would add to this, within every connecting position are a new set of possibilities.

So, I suggest instead of chain, the tetrahedron, or more accurately a series of connecting tetrahedrons. This humble shape symbolizes the several or more options in a given position, connecting to several more options, connecting to several more…and so on and so forth…

If I haven’t made it clear, a tedtrahedron is a connecting series of triangles that form pyramid (think Dungeons and Dragon die). Another metaphor here could be the Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome. The biggest thing is to think three-dimensionional shapes made up of an interlocking series of multiple possibilities.

Lastly, as with methods don’t get caught up on the metaphor. It’s what the metaphor respresents that’s important.


5 thoughts on “Chains Versus Tetrahedrons

  1. Josh

    This is the hardest things to see for beginners, a possibility of a possibility of multiple possibilities.
    I sometimes think of learning new techniques as Legos. The more Legos I get the more I can build. Once I get enough Legos and understand how those pieces work I can build more and more complex structures.
    Sometimes I am trying to build the Pirate ship but I only have enough pieces for a small life boat.

    1. Josh, haven’t taught beginners for a long time so this is a good reminder. I like the legos analogy. A lot of times people forsake a functional life boat for Goonies ship with holes.

      Poor combination example (black head is atheist btw):

  2. Pingback: Jiu-Jitsu Principle: Multiplicity | Structure Of Grace

  3. Pingback: Submissions: Squeezing Vs. Planing | Structure Of Grace

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