Perception of Speed

It fascinates me how two people can grapple each other, but have totally different perceptions of the speed in which they move.  Perception of speed, of course, is due to the relative experience level of the grappler.  Here’s two examples:

  • A work buddy and I were messing around after a training on how to manage out of control clients.  He doesn’t train, and wanted to know what it felt like to grapple somebody with a little experience.  He had me start in cross body.  He immediately turned away from me, conveniently putting himself in position to be RNC’d.  I lazily took the choke without bothering to put my hooks in, he defended the choke but gave me his arm.  I took my time wrapping his arm up and fell back for the arm lock and got the tap.  All this occurred at a “tempo” or “flow” pace in my opinion, but talking to him was a different story.  He went on and on telling everybody I was some kind of ninja freak that moved at Jackie Chan speed.  To him, the process seemed lightning quick but to anybody else watching it was pretty slow and controlled. 


  • Last night was my first day back to jiujitsu in close to six weeks.  After drilling technique, I paired up with a pretty new guy for my first roll.  Immediately I noticed everything felt foreign, vaguely familiar, yet still foreign.  To my amazement, the guy took my back and I was defending a choke within 30 seconds of our match!  I escaped and went on to get the better of the guy, but it took me a good five to ten minutes to put him away.  I felt like the baby giraffe learning to walk on those nature shows.  The speed of a live match was shocking, in that it was much faster than I remember.  It may take me a while to acclimate.


3 thoughts on “Perception of Speed

  1. I’m 30 years old and just went to my first class on Sunday. I plan on taking 2-3 classes a week and hope they are all as interesting as they were Sunday.

    Your description of speed perception is interesting. I played Division I baseball and the same thing happened there. The game seemed to move much faster during spring training than it did during the heart of the season…you just weren’t used to reacting so quickly.

    • Thanks for coming by this post and commenting. Keep at it, Manscaper! The game slows down just as your analogy to baseball.

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