Why Being "In The Know" Feels So Good

F. Andresen illustration of one man applying kimura armlock on another man

When you were new to grappling, didn't it it feel good to learn a submission hold in class and then identify that hold out in the world?

I felt that satisfaction after being introduced to the kimura armlock; a Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission hold; aka double wrist-lock, in catch wrestling.

Part of why the experience is so cool is, before learning the kimura, I couldn't watch a grappling match and identify it, if applied.

After walking through the kimura with my instructor, thereby becoming familiar with when and how it can be used, I now have a vague understanding of its practical application.

Moreover, when watching a fight, it's pretty awesome to identify the move in action; to have a glimmer of recognition and understanding of what's going on.

Oh, oh, oh! That's It!

Here is the kimura as it was taught to me, via the Gracie Combative series from Gracie University.

Kimura armlock performed by Rener and Ryron Gracie
The Kimura armlock as taught by Rener and Ryron Gracie via Gracie University

It was only a couple days after learning the move, while watching a 2018 World Catch Wrestling Championship fight video, that I saw the armlock applied and recognized it.

In that moment, sitting in bed with my partner, each of us on our own laptops, I got excited, pointed at my laptop screen and blurted out, "Oh! Oh! Oh! That's a kimura armlock!"

Here's the armlock, attempted from the back, in the catch wrestling championship match...

Kimura armlock aka double wristlock Jacobs v Ruiz
Kimura armlock variation aka double wristlock
Brandon Ruiz vs. Curran Jacobs: The 2018 Catch Wrestling World Championships

It felt awesome to have a working, albeit vague, understanding of the thing I was watching.

I mean, it's one thing to watch a fight with interest, but with no real understanding of what's going on.

It's an entirely different experience to see a move in competition and at least feel like I've got a novice's understanding of it.

Why Recognition Feels Good

So, as a new grappling enthusiast, why does it feel so good to recognize a recently-learned-hold outside of class, such as during a catch wrestling world championship match?

Well, I recognized the armlock because I had studied it.

And I studied it because I went to class.

I went to class because I want to learn grappling arts.

An education in grappling is an investment in myself.

And feeling invested makes the education (being "in the know") feel really good.

Like I've got a little skin in the game.

So, hell yeah, it felt good to see and identify the kimura armlock in competition after having just learned it.

Because no matter how ignorant I am about grappling, any little breakthrough, any little spark, any glimmer of recognition shows me I'm learning, and learning about this thing that's important to me.

When was a time you recognized a newly learned hold and blurted, "Oh, oh, oh"?