The Lobster And Kama Jiu-Jitsu
by Ryan Young, Professor, Kama Jiu-Jitsu

What does a lobster and Kama Jiu-Jitsu have in common?

For most, that will be a totally weird analogy.

After all, lobsters don’t “fight” the way most people think of how a fight should go. Sure, they have claws and all, but what does a common lobster have to do with concepts like distance management, base, and weight distribution?

Absolutely nothing.

Think Of Growth

If you really think about it, how does a lobster grow? Do they just come out their full-grown size, or do they start out small like just about everything else in this world?

Does it’s shell “grow” like a mammal’s bone and skin grows?

Actually, no. A lobster has an exoskeleton  that is an actual shell. It’s not skin like humans have. If it makes it easier, think of a lobster’s exoskeleton/shell as more like a “crust.”

When one bakes bread, a crust is developed in the baking process. Nothing was added or subtracted to create the crust. The crust is simply the result of the dough being exposed to the heat of the oven.

In other words, a soft, mushy lobster is covered with a protective “crust,” if you will.

But what happens when the parts of the lobster inside the shell grows?

No, the shell does not grow. The shell does not expand, either.

A growing lobster over time, begins to feel confined in his non-growing shell. Eventually, the lobster becomes uncomfortable in his shell…

…extremely uncomfortable.

To deal with this discomfort, the lobster goes and hides under a rock (or something) that will protect him for a time. He then sheds his (now uncomfortable) shell, and over time, a new one grows over him. This new shell will buy him some comfort until he outgrows this shell, as well.

A Lobster’s Growth And Jiu-Jitsu

Now here, is where I share with you one of our core philosophical “secrets” to our success in our teaching program here at Kama Jiu-Jitsu.

Throughout your growth (in jiu-jitsu), you will experience many, many periods of discomfort. Sometimes, those periods will involve extreme discomfort!

The weird thing about successful jiu-jitsu practitioners is this – the best of us seek discomfort; and the more uncomfortable, the better!

In our everyday world of looking for the most comfortable (homes, cars, clothes, room temperature, foods) things to surround ourselves with, why in the world would it actually be a good thing to seek discomfort in order to be successful in jiu-jitsu?

The easy answer is, GROWTH.

Treat your jiu-jitsu as a growing body. The way to progression in jiu-jitsu is to “shed the old shell” of your comfort zone, and seek places where you are utterly uncomfortable.

You need to make your current places of comfort uncomfortable, so you can get better (grow).

So if one of your training partners has a killer mount, don’t fight like hell to avoid him mounting you. Instead, give up the mount position and figure out how to escape it.

This also goes for all other uncomfortable positions.

If It Were That Simple, Everyone Would Do It

The fact is, human nature is to seek comfort and to flee discomfort.

This is one of the reasons why there are so few true black belts in jiu-jitsu vs other martial arts. The truly successful achievers in jiu-jitsu have the opposite mindset vs the average person.

So, to become successful in jiu-jitsu, try to become like the average lobster, instead of continuing to be an average human.

Happy training!


Kama Jiu-Jitsu is the Rickson Gracie Team Academy founded by Professor David Kama (4th Degree Rickson Gracie Black Belt). Prof Dave began his teaching duties for Master Rickson in 1993, when he began running Rickson Gracie’s Laguna Niguel, CA academy. Upon Master Rickson’s retirement in 2012, Prof Dave renamed Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel to Kama Jiu-Jitsu, Part of the Rickson Gracie Team.

Today, Kama Jiu-Jitsu has four (4) academies in CA (Irvine and Laguna Niguel) and TX (Flower Mound and Trophy Club) where Dave and his team of black belts teach the traditional Rickson Gracie style of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to members of all ages.

Come in for your free trial today!