Mind Tricks

OK, here’s 2 quick (true) stories that will help turn you into a powerhouse submission grappler…

…if you let them. Let me show you the powers of “belief” and “insisting”.

The Power of BELIEF

Years ago, I got on the mat with a group of strangers. I rolled with a guy who, to my knowledge, was an advanced grappler with years more experience than I had.

Man, he was good… he trapped me in a triangle choke almost instantly. Then another. And another. Seemed like there was nothing I could do to stop this guy. Until…

…I took a break, and someone told me that this guy had only been grappling for a FRACTION of the years I had been. I asked him myself, and he verified it… he was a BEGINNER compared to me.

Well, after the embarrassment wore off, I got back on the mat, and tore this same guy apart with ease, toying with him like the beginner he was and submitting him at will.


It was like he completely and instantly lost his abilities. But, as you can probably guess, the truth is that I had temporarily created a reality where he could dominate me… just with my belief system.

Big lesson learned! So, believe me, your belief system is WAY more powerful than you are probably giving it credit for.

And the other mind trick?

The Power of “INSIST”

Back in 1993, I was training under a BJJ Black Belt from Brazil. One night while rolling, I ALMOST finished a submission on some guy, but like often happens, I just couldn’t quite complete it and the guy escaped.

Well, the coach saw it, and stood there watching me roll until I ALMOST had another submission. This time, the coach yelled “INSIST” at me…

…that is, he was saying I needed to “insist” that I complete the submission and don’t take NO for an answer. And, I submitted the guy.

Then, I rolled again, until I almost had a submission… he yelled “INSIST” again… and I got the tapout again. And then again. And this went on the rest of the night.

My submission completion rate at least TRIPLED (possibly more) almost instantly, simply by mentally “insisting” to myself that I complete the submission. Think of it this way…

…most times, when you “almost” have a submission, either you or your opponent are going to give in first, right? One of you is going to think “I give up”.

Well, if you simply “insist” that YOU don’t give up, then he’s going to give in eventually and give you the submission.

I can’t tell you the exact science behind it, but every person I’ve taught to use the “INSIST” trick (saying it inside their head to themselves) when grappling has reported finishing significantly more submissions than they did without it.

They’ve also reported achieving other things they wanted OFF the mat, just by repeating the word “INSIST” inside their heads in situations where they would have otherwise given up.

Without getting all “new-age” on you, I’m telling you that there’s some kind of energy that comes with repeating that word in your mind at times when an extra push is necessary, and it’s powerful.

Try it out, and drop me a line to let me know of your experience with it.

– Bob

knife banner 2