Which Traits Do The GOATS Of Jiu-Jitsu Have In Common?

Which Traits Do The GOATS Of Jiu-Jitsu Have In Common?

In the world of Jiu-Jitsu, there are a few individuals who stand out as the greatest of all time, commonly referred to as the GOATs. In this video by FloGrappling, Gordon Ryan shares his insights on what traits these GOATs possess that set them apart from others. Ryan himself, along with Roger Gracie, has taken the technical bar to new heights. He emphasizes the importance of having a layered approach to Jiu-Jitsu, where competitors excel in multiple aspects rather than relying solely on a few specific techniques. By studying his opponents’ weaknesses and exploiting the holes in their game, Ryan believes he can outperform them in any given position.

It is fascinating to uncover the common traits that characterize the GOATs of Jiu-Jitsu. This video, produced by FloGrappling, features an insightful talk by Gordon Ryan, who sheds light on the technical skills that he and Roger Gracie share. Having a layered approach to Jiu-Jitsu is what sets them apart from other top competitors. Ryan emphasizes the significance of analyzing opponents, identifying their weaknesses, and exploiting those vulnerabilities during a match. By doing so, he believes he can gain a significant advantage and ultimately come out on top.

Table of Contents

Trait #1: Layered approach to jiu-jitsu

Explanation of a layered approach

A layered approach to jiu-jitsu refers to the ability to have multiple options and techniques from any given position. It involves having a deep understanding of different positions, transitions, and submissions, allowing the practitioner to adapt and respond effectively to their opponent’s movements. This approach involves building a strong foundation and then adding layers of techniques and strategies on top of it.

Gordon Ryan’s example

Gordon Ryan, one of the greatest jiu-jitsu competitors of all time, is known for his layered approach to the sport. He has a vast arsenal of techniques and strategies that he can utilize in any situation. Whether he is on top or bottom, in guard or in a dominant position, Ryan always has multiple options available to him. This allows him to flow seamlessly between different attacks and defenses, making him almost impossible to predict.

Hodger’s example

Another jiu-jitsu legend, Roger Gracie, exemplifies a layered approach to jiu-jitsu. Throughout his career, Gracie has found himself in tough situations and submissions, but he always had a layered approach to his defense. Even if his opponent managed to pass his guard or gain a dominant position, Gracie had multiple layers of defense to rely on. This confidence in his defensive abilities allowed him to become one of the greatest attackers with a high submission rate.

Importance of a layered approach

A layered approach to jiu-jitsu is crucial for success in the sport. It not only allows fighters to have a variety of attacks and defenses, but it also ensures that they are not reliant on just one or two techniques. By having a deep understanding and proficiency in different positions, they can adapt and adjust their game plan depending on their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. This versatility is what sets the GOATS apart from other competitors.

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Trait #2: Solid defensive structure

Link between offense and defense

In jiu-jitsu, offense and defense are closely connected. A strong offensive game is built on a solid defensive structure. To be effective in their attacks, practitioners need to have a strong foundation in defense. This means having the ability to anticipate and prevent their opponents’ attacks while maintaining a dominant position. Without a solid defense, their offense becomes compromised, and they become susceptible to counters and submissions.

Confidence in defense

The GOATS of jiu-jitsu, such as Gordon Ryan and Hodger Gracie, have a remarkable level of confidence in their defensive abilities. They trust their defensive techniques and strategies, which allows them to take risks and be more aggressive in their attacks. This confidence comes from their years of experience and their ability to rely on their layered approach to jiu-jitsu. By having a solid defensive structure, they can dictate the pace of the match and control their opponents.

How it sets apart the GOATS

What sets the GOATS apart from other competitors is their ability to maintain a solid defensive structure even in the face of adversity. They are able to stay calm and composed when their opponents are applying pressure or attempting to submit them. This unwavering defense gives them the opportunity to counterattack and find openings for submissions. Their opponents often find it challenging to break through their solid defense, which frustrates them and often leads to mistakes.

Impact on submission rate

A solid defensive structure directly impacts the submission rate of the GOATS. By having a strong foundation in defense, they can nullify their opponents’ attacks and create opportunities for submissions. Their opponents often struggle to find any weaknesses in their defense, which allows the GOATS to capitalize on any small opening. This high submission rate is a testament to their defensive prowess and their ability to transition seamlessly from defense to offense.

Trait #3: Analyzing opponents’ weaknesses

Studying opponents on a technical level

The GOATS of jiu-jitsu have a unique approach to studying their opponents. They don’t just focus on their opponents’ strengths; instead, they delve deep into analyzing their weaknesses. By studying their opponents on a technical level, they can identify patterns, tendencies, and areas where their opponents are vulnerable. This allows them to develop strategies to exploit these weaknesses and gain a competitive advantage.

Focus on weaknesses rather than strengths

While many competitors spend their time studying their opponents’ strengths, the GOATS have a different perspective. They understand that it is more effective to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses rather than trying to neutralize their strengths. By capitalizing on these weaknesses, the GOATS can dismantle their opponents’ game plan and force them into unfamiliar and uncomfortable positions.

Examples from Gordon Ryan’s analysis

Gordon Ryan’s approach to analyzing his opponents’ weaknesses is evident in his matches. He doesn’t just study the matches his opponents have won; he focuses on the matches that were close or that they lost. By closely examining these matches, Ryan can identify the moments where his opponents struggled or made critical mistakes. This knowledge becomes the basis for his game plan when he faces these opponents. He knows exactly how to exploit their weaknesses and take them out of their comfort zones.

Importance of exploiting opponent’s weaknesses

Exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses is a critical aspect of succeeding in jiu-jitsu. By targeting these weaknesses, the GOATS can disrupt their opponents’ rhythm, mentally and physically. It forces their opponents to improvise and defend against attacks that they are not comfortable with. This constant pressure and exploitation of weaknesses eventually wear down their opponents, leading to more opportunities for submissions and victories.

Which Traits Do The GOATS Of Jiu-Jitsu Have In Common?

Trait #4: Knowledge in niche positions

Focus on niche positions

The GOATS of jiu-jitsu have a deep understanding and knowledge in niche positions. These are specific positions or transitions that are less commonly known or utilized by other competitors. By focusing on these niche positions, the GOATS can surprise their opponents and catch them off guard. This specialized knowledge allows them to have a significant advantage, even against skilled opponents.

Comparing knowledge in specific positions

When comparing the knowledge in specific positions between the GOATS and other competitors, there is a clear disparity. The GOATS have dedicated their time and effort into learning and mastering these niche positions, while others have not invested the same level of focus. This advantage allows the GOATS to control the pace of the match and dictate the outcome, even against opponents with a higher overall skill level.

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Advantage of having more knowledge

Having more knowledge in niche positions gives the GOATS an upper hand in a match. They can find opportunities and create openings where others may not see them. By staying one step ahead, they can transition smoothly between different positions, adapt to their opponents’ reactions, and find innovative ways to submit their opponents. This advantage is a testament to their dedication and commitment to mastering the intricacies of jiu-jitsu.

Impact on performance against opponents

The knowledge in niche positions directly impacts the performance of the GOATS against their opponents. Their opponents often find themselves in unfamiliar and uncomfortable positions, where they lack the necessary knowledge and experience to defend effectively. This puts the GOATS in a position of control, allowing them to execute their strategies and ultimately secure victories. Their opponents often struggle to find answers to the techniques and submissions that the GOATS employ from these niche positions.

Trait #5: Exploiting opponents’ weaknesses

Taking opponents out of their comfort zone

One of the key traits of the GOATS is their ability to take opponents out of their comfort zone. They understand that by pushing their opponents into unfamiliar territory, they can exploit their weaknesses and gain the upper hand. This requires a deep understanding of their opponents’ game and a strategic approach to disrupt their rhythm and game plan.

Identifying positions opponents are bad at

The GOATS have a keen eye for identifying the positions that their opponents are weak in. Through their analysis and observation, they can pinpoint these positions and exploit any vulnerability. Whether it’s a specific sweep, submission, or transition, the GOATS know how to take advantage of the weaknesses in their opponents’ game.

Examples from Gordon Ryan’s matches

Gordon Ryan’s matches serve as prime examples of how the GOATS exploit opponents’ weaknesses. He has a knack for identifying the areas where his opponents are susceptible and capitalizing on them. Whether it’s exposing a weak guard, exploiting a lack of leg dexterity, or forcing his opponents into precarious positions, Ryan uses his knowledge and skills to take full advantage of these weaknesses.

Effect of exploiting weaknesses on opponents

Exploiting weaknesses has a significant effect on opponents. It not only puts them on the defensive but also chips away at their confidence and mental fortitude. The GOATS can quickly dismantle an opponent’s game plan and force them into survival mode. By exploiting weaknesses, the GOATS create openings for submissions and ultimately dominate their opponents both physically and psychologically.

Trait #6: Analyzing close matches and losses

Analyzing matches beyond victories

The GOATS understand the importance of analyzing matches beyond victories. While wins are crucial, close matches and losses provide valuable insights and opportunities for growth. The GOATS use these matches as learning experiences, studying their opponents’ strategies, recognizing their weaknesses, and identifying areas for improvement. This commitment to continuous learning and self-reflection sets them apart from other competitors.

Importance of studying close matches

Studying close matches is crucial for identifying the areas where the GOATS can further refine their game. These matches often reveal moments of vulnerability and potential weaknesses in their techniques. By dissecting these matches, the GOATS can determine what worked well and what needs improvement. This attention to detail allows them to make the necessary adjustments to their game and continue to evolve as fighters.

Focus on losses and vulnerabilities

The GOATS also place significant emphasis on their losses and vulnerabilities. While losses can be challenging to accept, the GOATS use them as opportunities for growth and development. They analyze their mistakes, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities to ensure that they never repeat them in the future. Learning from losses provides valuable insights into areas where they may have been lacking in technique, strategy, or mental fortitude.

Learning from opponents’ mistakes

Analyzing close matches and losses not only helps the GOATS identify their own shortcomings but also allows them to learn from their opponents’ mistakes. They study their opponents’ weaknesses, strategical errors, and vulnerabilities, taking note of what works and what doesn’t. This comprehensive analysis strengthens their overall game and ensures that they are always one step ahead of the competition.

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Trait #7: Immediate adaptation to opponent’s weaknesses

Quick response to opponents’ vulnerabilities

The GOATS have an exceptional ability to immediately adapt to their opponents’ vulnerabilities. They have a keen sense of timing and can capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes with precision. Whether it’s a weak defense, a momentary lapse in technique, or an ill-advised decision, the GOATS have the capacity to exploit these vulnerabilities and turn the tide of the match in their favor.

Gordon Ryan’s example against Andre

Gordon Ryan’s match against Andre serves as a prime example of his immediate adaptation to his opponent’s weaknesses. He strategically trapped Andre’s arm while on his back, forcing him into a vulnerable position. Ryan recognized the opportunity and executed a precise transition to gain control and secure the victory. This quick response to his opponent’s vulnerabilities showcases Ryan’s ability to exploit weaknesses in real-time.

Hodger’s example in bad positions

Hodger Gracie’s matches also demonstrate his ability to adapt to opponents’ weaknesses, even in bad positions. Despite finding himself in challenging situations or submissions, Hodger always maintained a layered approach to his defense. He had multiple layers of defense that allowed him to weather the storm, remain calm, and find ways to escape or counterattack. This immediate adaptation to his opponents’ weaknesses allowed Hodger to turn the tables in his favor.

Significance of immediate adaptation

The ability to immediately adapt to opponents’ weaknesses is a critical trait of the GOATS. It demonstrates their agility, mental prowess, and strategic thinking. By adapting quickly, the GOATS can control the tempo of the match, seize opportunities, and exploit their opponents’ vulnerabilities. This agility sets the GOATS apart from other competitors and gives them a decisive edge in their matches.

Trait #8: Competitiveness in varying situations

Ability to remain competitive in different scenarios

The GOATS possess an inherent competitiveness that allows them to remain dominant and competitive in a variety of situations. Whether they are in dominant positions, playing from their back, transitioning between positions, or defending submissions, the GOATS thrive in all aspects of the game. This versatility gives them the ability to adapt their strategies, tactics, and techniques based on the specific circumstances they find themselves in.

Gordon Ryan’s versatility

Gordon Ryan epitomizes versatility in jiu-jitsu. He excels in all areas of the sport, showcasing an exceptional level of competitiveness in different scenarios. Whether he is on top showcasing his pinpoint guard passing or playing from his back with deceptive submissions, Ryan always maintains his competitive edge. This versatility allows him to dictate the pace of the match and exploit his opponents’ weaknesses effectively.

Examples of competitors’ competitiveness

Competitors such as Hodger Gracie also exemplify the ability to remain competitive in varying situations. Despite being in challenging positions or subject to formidable submissions, Hodger’s competitive spirit and never-give-up attitude allowed him to persevere. His ability to dig deep and find a way to turn the tables on his opponents demonstrates his unwavering competitiveness.

Impact on overall performance

The competitiveness of the GOATS in varying situations has a significant impact on their overall performance. It allows them to stay calm, composed, and focused, even in the face of adversity. Their ability to adapt and remain competitive ensures that they are always in control of the match, allowing them to execute their game plans with precision. This competitiveness ultimately leads to their continued success in the sport.

Trait #9: High level of technical knowledge

Focus on technical expertise

The GOATS of jiu-jitsu consistently display a high level of technical knowledge. They have dedicated countless hours to studying, practicing, and refining their techniques. Their technical expertise is evident in their execution of movements, precision in submissions, and ability to seamlessly transition between positions. The GOATS understand the intricacies of jiu-jitsu techniques, allowing them to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.

Gordon Ryan’s and Hodger’s technical level

Gordon Ryan and Hodger Gracie are renowned for their exceptional technical level in jiu-jitsu. They have devoted themselves to understanding the mechanics and nuances of the sport, ensuring that their techniques are executed flawlessly. Their technical knowledge allows them to find openings, exploit weaknesses, and create opportunities for submissions. This mastery of technique sets them apart from other competitors and elevates their level of play.

Comparison with other top competitors

When comparing the technical knowledge of the GOATS with other top competitors, there is a noticeable difference. The GOATS possess a deeper understanding of the principles and intricacies of jiu-jitsu techniques. They have expanded their knowledge beyond the fundamentals, incorporating advanced techniques, strategies, and transitions into their game. This comprehensive technical knowledge enables the GOATS to excel in all aspects of the sport.

Importance of technical knowledge

Technical knowledge is essential for success in jiu-jitsu. It serves as the foundation for effective execution of techniques, transitions, and submissions. The GOATS’ high level of technical knowledge allows them to adapt to different situations, anticipate their opponents’ movements, and make calculated decisions. This expertise ensures that their techniques are executed with precision and maximizes their chances of victory.


In conclusion, the GOATS of jiu-jitsu possess several common traits that set them apart from other competitors. Their layered approach to jiu-jitsu allows them to have multiple options and techniques from any given position. A solid defensive structure forms the foundation for their offensive game, giving them confidence and control over their opponents. The GOATS excel in analyzing opponents’ weaknesses, focusing on technical knowledge in niche positions, and exploiting their opponents’ vulnerabilities. They also demonstrate a high level of adaptability, competitiveness, and technical knowledge, allowing them to remain dominant in different scenarios. These traits collectively contribute to their success and solidify their status as the greatest of all time in jiu-jitsu.

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