Tag Archives: rule of threes

Martial Arts • Fighting Science • 9 • Yin ☯ Yang of Threes

3 weeks without food
3 days without water
3 minutes without air
3 seconds without blood

I often quote these rules as a preamble to teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) moves. The first two are not particularly relevant to an MMA lesson. The main focus is on the last two whereby its context lies in the effectiveness of BJJ chokes.

When performing a choke, if the esophagus is cut-off then an opponent has up to three minutes of air before they pass out. These are generalizations, and in heightened stress and panic, then blackout may occur earlier. A fighter’s pain threshold also plays a big role. But if the choke cuts off the carotid artery of the opponent, then blood to the brain is severed and the opponent will blackout in as little as three seconds.

Important Note:
This is particularly dangerous to practice, because it may result in an unintentional fatality. Such techniques should only be practiced with an experienced BJJ instructor.

Fighting is about survival. Tactics and strategies in fighting can translate to business meetings, contract disputes, or competitive sports. No matter the value of a business deal, negotiations always comes down to people. Understanding your opponent’s motivations, strengths, and weaknesses are essential in gaining the upper hand. But just as important is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses in these same situations.

Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series

If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:

• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable

• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones


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Gabriel has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and expert knowledge in crypto incubation, cloud computing, IT security, and digital video technology. Gabriel also runs his own company, Euro Tech Startups s.r.o.

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