What’s the difference between Instinct and Awareness? Carlos Gracie Jr. Explains

Both Instinct & Awareness in BJJ Will Help You Grow as a Fighter

Jiu-Jitsu is for every person of every age and weight who dreams learning how to defend him or herself without getting hurt or hurting anyone.

Its practice involves two aspects: instinct and awareness. Both are important for the advance of the fighter who debates these points in his/her mind.

In a recent talk, Master Carlos Gracie Jr. spoke about the subject.

“Many people know a great deal about Jiu-Jitsu, but have very little instinct for the fight. In these cases, the knowledge overrides the instinct. On the other hand, a person with very little knowledge of the fight has a great deal of instinct. The instinct alone is enough to save him/her, protecting from harmful situations, from submission, and allowing the person to be a good fighter,” explains the red-belt Carlinhos Gracie.

“I’ve seeing many times a fighter get out of a position with pure instinct, but not able to explain the position, for not having the awareness of what he/she is doing. If that person one day becomes an instructor, he/she won’t be able to explain the position. During training many times I asked black-belts to explain the position and they always begged me not to do it. They were terrified” remembered the founder of Gracie Barra.

Carlinhos mentions that now at Gracie Barra, we have many black-belts who are training with beginners, as a refresher of the fundamentals, to teach better, eliminate bad habits, and to remember basics that were forgotten.

“The game of a well-trained athlete works only in the beginning. When tired or getting old, his/her Jiu-Jitsu declines sharply,” said Gracie. “The technique, the knowledge and awareness allow us to be calmer in a bad position. A bad position drains a lot of energy and you have to get out nicely in the precise time when your adversary makes a mistake.”

“I’ve always been a fan of the basics. After you have a good solid foundation of Jiu-Jitsu, the rest comes by instinct. You create, invent. The rest is easy. The difficult part is the beginning,” concluded Carlinhos.