Action Reaction in Jiu-Jitsu

Action Reaction in Jiu-Jitsu

As we know, for every action there is a reaction. That not only applies to jiu-jitsu. But, it is also the essence of all martial arts and life in general. Otherwise, Jiu-jitsu is about using the least amount of effort to achieve the maximum result. Thus, the use of the principle of action reaction is the best approach to be successful. 

What is the action reaction Brazilian jiu-jitsu principle?

How you can serve of this principle to progress Brazilian jiu-jitsu ?

“WHILE the enemy is relaxed make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.” —Sun Tzu

source: wn m

What is the action ?

The action is the movement you (or your jiu-jitsu opponent) make with your body.
My saying for action reaction is: Nothing happens until something happens.
The jiu-jitsu fight only starts when somebody moves (action).
And from this point forward, it is all about action reaction

What is a reaction?

The dictionary defines it as your ability to think and act quickly in a difficult or dangerous situation. 

Action reaction law in Brazilian jiu-jitsu or MMA?

action reaction

Action can be an BJJ opponent making a move against you. And you responding by thinking and acting quickly upon his move (defending it or counter-attacking it).

Now that you has known the definitions of action and reaction, But how can you use this as a strategy to enhance your leverage and conserve your energy?

Your goal when making a move to attack your partner is to be aware of his array of possible defensive reactions. When you understand the most probable defensive reactions your opponent can potentially make.

You are arming yourself to use his reaction as an opportunity to gain more power (leverage), and to plan your next move.

“Force your opponent to react, and then take advantage of his reaction” is a common strategy in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

And, Reacting quickly when he acts allows you to utilize his energy to leverage your moves.

When do you need the action reaction BJJ principles?

Let me give you some examples. For instance, when you push your opponent, he will instinctively push back with the same (or increased) intensity.

Not surprisingly, this applies to pull too.

So, if you want to pull your opponent forward, push him backward first. As he reacts by pushing against your push, pull him – adding his energy to yours.

This is how we expend the least amount of energy to pull him forward. Also, this is a good way to use action and reaction principle in the BJJ fight.

Stephan Kesting

How can you apply properly the action & reaction law?

This approach can be applied whenever you are trying to lead your BJJ opponent into a different position.

When you want to sweep an opponent to your left, move him to your right first to compromise his balance and see what happens.

A lot of people call the principle (law) of action reaction ‘bait & trap’. The idea is to lure your opponent into reacting the way you want, not the other way around.

You can use this principle by reacting quickly to your opponent’s move.

For instance, if your opponent is moving his body forward with x amount of speed, you will increase his speed if you pull him in the same direction and possibly force him to lose some of his BJJ balance.

an example of Action reaction in MMA

source: TheOperaBox Productions


there are literally thousands of ways to use the principle of action & reaction to facilitate your Brazilian jiu-jitsu attacks and defenses.

To find out how to use this principle when fighting your BJJ opponents.

And if you’re not using ‘action reaction law’ in your game, go to your jiu-jitsu academy and start using it today. I guarantee you will see an improvement in your BJJ game.

Let us know what do you think about action reaction law in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?