Pattern Recognition

When playing chess, I spend a lot of time trying to predict my opponents possible moves. I
assume he is going to make the best possible move, so if I move A, then he’s going to move B, if I move C then he will move D. Even if I am in a bad spot, I can hopefully select the least bad course of action.

Recently, it’s occurred to me that this can be a useful approach in grappling, particularly
when I am rolling with certain individuals who are skillful enough to completely dominate me on the mat. With these individuals, my chances of actually winning are pretty much
non-existent. I have been working on just trying to survive, but that can still get frustrating as they crush my defenses.

What I’m trying now is to just predict what they are going to do next based on what I do.
If I go left he’s going to sweep me. If I go right, he’s going for the choke. If I block the choke, he’s going to my back. I may or may not be able to stop any of those techniques,
but if I can predict what happens next, then I am learning and getting one step closer to
being able to survive.

As I do this, I find that everyone has their own patterns of attack. In some cases I can
survive longer against a black belt that I am accustomed to working with than a brown belt I’m not so used to.

I think I just decided on a training goal for the next couple of weeks. Whenever I roll
with anyone, beginner or advanced, I want to spend more mental energy on discovering whether I can predict his next move than whether I can avoid tapping.  Let’s see how this works out.

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