What is Flow and Why Is It Important?
You’ll hear the term “flow” in Jiu-Jitsu a lot. But what exactly does this mean? To a lot of practitioners Flow mainly refers to being able to transition from position to position to submission as smoothly and as technically sound as possible.
Ricardo “Cyborg” Abreu may blow your mind with his flow. Standing at 5’11 weighing approximately 221 pounds Cyborg moves like he weighs a hundred pounds lighter. He may be the very embodiment of the word flow and what it means in Jiu-Jitsu. Despite his imposing demeanor and thick stalky build Cyborg has demonstrated time and time again the benefits of being able to transition effectively between attacks.
Flow can also refer to how we are training. As Cyborg points out in the above video, in Jiu-Jitsu there really isn’t any Kata. Sure there is static drilling but even then it requires a willing partner reacting in a realistic yet complicit manner. The more realistically we can work with our partner the tighter and more realistic our Jiu-Jitsu can become. Being able to quickly adapt offers us advantages that being overly tight and rigid does not.
Like what you saw? Click Learn More to move like ADCC Absolute Champ Ricardo “Cyborg” Abreu!
This doesn’t mean you can be too loose with your opponent and allow them opportunities to escape. Maintaining positional awareness is still crucial. However, understanding when to relinquish control of a hold or position can allow the next transition to happen more on your terms instead of theirs. This can leave time for you to get ahead of the match tempo.
Over commitment to holding a position may actually be a detriment. Understanding when to hold and control and when to transition is an important skill that can only be learned with time. If it is stuck in your head that you have to hold a position at all costs this may in fact play into your opponent’s hands. We’ve all witnessed someone pass the guard and hold on for dear life only to be rolled over because they have over committed their hands to holding the position.
Cyborg has had a long and storied career in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Between ADCC Absolute titles and multiple world championships Cyborg has been continually training and working on his flow. Thankfully for us he has released Flow: The Top Game.