Check The Technique w/ Brent CUO: “All You Need Is Three Moves”

March 3rd, 2009 In Theory | 26 Comments


I only think of three moves during sparring – no more, no less. Every move I make is a step towards one of those three moves. I spend little if any time in positions where I can’t execute one of these moves, and if I am forced into a no man’s land where my moves are ineffective, then I immediately plot a course back towards on of them. At a minimum, I try to keep myself one to two steps away from execution of these moves at all times, and at a maximum, I never get more than three steps away from them. I am like a heat seeking missile that has three targets. So, these statements beg the question, “Why would someone do this?”.

Well, first, after watching years of footage of the greatest bjj players on the planet, I noticed that for the most part they hit the same submissions or sweeps over and over again. One only needs to watch a Marcelo x-guard highlight to understand that. Thus, after noticing such a fact, I hypothesized that a competitor’s ability to win has little to do with the size of his arsenal and more to do with the effectiveness of the few weapons he has. So, why practice with fifty different guns that I won’t use? Why not practice with three guns that I can master? Thus, I chose my sniper rifle, my shot gun, and my sidearm, and I began working on becoming a crack-shot with each, just like all of the top level guys did.

The second reason I chose this way of training was that I noticed that the better the player I rolled with, the more that he had me reacting, and I did not want to do that anymore. When rolling with the top level black belts, I was constantly trying to weather the storms while never getting to execute my game. In short, I was losing in my mind and on the mats. Therefore, I looked to create a methodology whereby I was never reacting and was always imposing so that I could get back to winning. That methodology was picking my three moves and finding entrances to them from every offensive and defensive position. In that way, no matter what horrid position I was in, I still could operate under the impression that I was actually the person on the offensive. Now, I know that this could sound delusional, but this mentalization has actually given me the energy to keep moving when I was in the worst of predicaments.

Finally, the third reason that I chose this method was that I always wanted to stay focused during a match. Sometimes, when I was rolling with a top level grappler, I would find my mind shuffling through moves. Meanwhile, my opponent was moving into different positions where I had to add new movements into the shuffle. This kept me out of focus and away from winning. So, instead of continuing to stay in this cluttered head space, I found a way to get rid of the waste and hold onto only the necessary moves. I threw away everything but the thought of how I could execute on of my three moves. I cleared out the playlist and left only three songs remaining. In this way, I discovered a trick to bring my mind back into focus and back towards winning.

Now, I know that for most people, they do not have the years of experience which has allowed me to find my perfect three moves. However, even for those people this methodology is still practical. The only thing that will change over the weeks or months is that they may want to swap out different weapons until they find their perfect arsenal. At least, this way one will be able to work towards a goal instead of swimming aimlessly through useless malarkey.

words by Brent CUO