BJJ Mental Models

BJJ Mental Models – Ep. 17: Guard Series, Maintenance Phase

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BJJ Mental Models is a podcast which explores the conceptual side of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Black belt brothers Steve & Matt Kwan discuss the mental models, or universal principles, behind the gentle art.

What are mental models?

Mental models are frameworks for understanding how things work.

We use mental models to identify patterns in the world and make better, faster decisions.

You have been taught mental models your entire life, but may not know it.  “The Golden Rule” is a mental model.  There are thousands of others.

Can mental models improve my Jiu-Jitsu?

Mental models can be used in all walks of life, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  This site documents the mental models we’ve discovered on the mats.

This site only discusses concepts and does not veer into specific techniques.  This is very intentional.  There are hundreds of other sites that teach techniques.  This one provides a framework to hang all those techniques onto.

These mental models have helped us learn techniques faster, react to our opponents quicker, and teach our students more effectively.  We hope you find them useful.


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Jeremy Brand started up this lovechild called back in 2009. It began as a hobby project and has turned into much more. In his spare time, you can find Jeremy on the mats, as he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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