A-Game Architecture: A Jiujitsu Capability Maturity Model

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If “Techniques” are expressed in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency, with the quest to optimize them, then what do we refer to your collective jiujitsu game?

This includes your complete skillset to Defend, Escape, Control, and Submit, from all the primary areas of battle (eg., standing and grounded) in the primary positions, being both an offensive and defensive player.

The focus of this article is on what we refer to as the “Jiujitsu Capability Maturity Model” which can serve as a guide to continuously evaluate and improve your collective skillset.

This is the final article in a series of 5 articles on developing your A-Game. Check out our site for the other articles.

What is a Maturity Model?

A maturity model is used as a business to see how well your collective capabilities (e.g., people, processes, and technology) are performing at achieving business outcomes on a consistent basis. It is used as a tool for continuous improvement and optimizing business outcomes.

If you’ve read the articles in this series about putting your baseline capabilities together, we go into depth about how to put the pieces of your game together to know where your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities are for your self improvement. Now we will cover how to use a maturity model.

Characteristics of a Maturity Model

Most maturity models provide a 5-level framework from which to assess your maturity. An example might be:

  • Level 1: Initial
  • Level 2: Developed
  • Level 3: Defined
  • Level 4: Integrated
  • Level 5: Optimized

Most models are cumulative in that the capabilities you demonstrate are generally demonstrated consistently before other capabilities emerge on a consistent basis.

As you could imagine, a level 1 capability is a very initial understanding and limited level of being able to demonstrate a proficiency or aptitude in something.

Level 2 is more consistency.

Level 3 is more collective alignment of your capabilities.

Level 4 is a consistent and reliable capability with outcomes becoming reasonable predictable.

Level 5 means you can consistently perform your capabilities at a high level in a predictable and efficient manner.

A framework for improving your Jiujitsu?

Some frameworks of jiujitsu growth and aptitude use the belt levels as their own level of skills.

This is an inherent type of maturity model….depending on what the maturity at each level represents.

One of the earliest examples of this was published in Jiujutsu University by Saulo Ribiero (excerpt below).

  • White Belt = Survival
  • Blue Belt = Defense
  • Purple Belt = Escapes
  • Brown Belt = Control
  • Black Belt = Submissions

Others have aligned specific techniques to each belt level…down to the stripes, with very detailed technique execution steps required to demonstrate the next level of aptitude and positional proficiency (see Gracie University).

The bottom line is, there is no universal standard.

More and more it is being discovered that you can learn Jiujitsu without complicated techniques or detailed instructions.

Emerging leaders in ecological learning approaches are evolving their methods to teach and train Jiujitsu as a game which is shrinking the adoption rate of skills acquisition.

Regardless of how you ingest and digest your Jiujitsu, it is good to set your standards somewhere so that you can assess your own growth.

The Jiujitsu Capability Areas

Capability refers to the extent of someone’s ability. We assess our capability from the major areas of battle:

Standing: Takedowns, throws, trips

Ground: All Pins & Guard positions

Submissions: All lever systems (joints and the neck) from any battle position

Your Jiujitsu capability maturity has 4 Jiujitsu skills and 5 capability maturity levels.

You can slice these however you’d like, but for simplicity you will develop the skills to Defend, Escape, Control, and Submit from standing and grounded positions.

We use 5 capability maturity levels to assess our skill growth. They are:

Level 1: Effectiveness. Your success rate. It is the degree to which something is successful in producing the desired result.

Level 2: Efficiency. The ratio of useful work performed to the total energy expended.

Level 3: Proficiency. Overall advancement in knowledge and skill.

Level 4: Optimization. Make the best or most effective use of; to rearrange to improve efficiency. It is a combination of your efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible.

Level 5: A-Game Capability. We refer to this as your overall skills that you can demonstrate under the most challenging of conditions with the highest level of success in a consistent manner.

What might this look like in practice? It’s important to remember this is an ever-evolving picture.

Consistency in training and with regular training partners is very important in determining your skill levels. These are primary benchmarks to consistently assess your skills.

Take a look at the image below. This is a simple way to look at your own capabilities and overall maturity from a major position.

Jiujitsu Capability Maturity Model

How you perform in the gym can be used to get this snapshot. We discussed a detailed way to include this analysis of your skills in Article 3: SWOT Analysis (see below).

To summarize, you should have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses from each position. Assess your ability to defend, escape, control and submit from these positions. The weaknesses you identify become opportunities to focus on in training. How you train matters.

This is ultimately how you improve your own game.

Over time you develop your capabilities along a continuum, like this maturity model, where you evolve your skills. Your journey today will not be the same in 2 years or 20 years from now.

This is the quest of self-improvement and there are few things that offer improvement opportunities like Jiujitsu.

If you like articles like this please share, comment and subscribe to our site!

If you need help getting your own personal plan together reach out to us at heavyweightbjj@gmail.com.

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