Check The Technique w/ Brent CUO: “All You Need Is Three Moves”

Today’s post is an old school article that originally came from 10th Planet Watch. I remember reading this post back in 2009 and not really understanding it. I wanted to be the guy with 800 cool looking moves because that’s what I thought mattered. Since 2009 I have progressed in my Jiu Jitsu game and this philosophy of having three go to moves makes a lot more sense.

In the article Brent talks about how using 3 moves can help you focus your attack and really help you develop a game plan. In assessing my own rolling I realized that I rely on three main moves. My three moves are the Darce, Kimura, and any sort of leg attack. After coming to the realization that I relied on these moves, I was able to focus my training on becoming a master of these three moves. This realization has also allowed me to focus more of my drilling time on fixing up all the little problems that I have with each move. The more I have drilled and fixed my problems the stronger my technique has gotten.

Coming to this realization has also changed my approach to rolling. Knowing that I liked to use the kimura, I started to look for it in situations that I didn’t think it was possible. I was finding and using kimuras from different positions that previously I would have just been stuck in. For example the other day one when my training partner turtled up I was able to use a kimura to break his turtle and ultimately take his back. In previous rolls with this partner I would constantly find myself stalled out in the turtle position thinking to myself “Man his turtle is just that good”. Now I actually want my partner to go the turtle position just so I can try out my new kimura set ups.

Finding how to his these different kimuras has also allowed me to start to feel more confident in using the kimura. I used to be a little timid when locking in a kimura. Now I grab the kimura and don’t let go until I either tap my opponent or transition to a better positioning. Overall coming to the realization that I was a “kimura guy” has really helped me increase my technique, rolling, and confidence on the mat.

Anyways thats enough of my thoughts. Please enjoy the article below and if you want to chat about it hit me up at 10th Planet Van Nuys!


I only think of three moves during sparring – no more, no less. Every move I make is a step towards one of those three moves. I spend little if any time in positions where I can’t execute one of these moves, and if I am forced into a no man’s land where my moves are ineffective, then I immediately plot a course back towards on of them. At a minimum, I try to keep myself one to two steps away from execution of these moves at all times, and at a maximum, I never get more than three steps away from them. I am like a heat seeking missile that has three targets. So, these statements beg the question, “Why would someone do this?”.

Well, first, after watching years of footage of the greatest bjj players on the planet, I noticed that for the most part they hit the same submissions or sweeps over and over again. One only needs to watch a Marcelo x-guard highlight to understand that. Thus, after noticing such a fact, I hypothesized that a competitor’s ability to win has little to do with the size of his arsenal and more to do with the effectiveness of the few weapons he has. So, why practice with fifty different guns that I won’t use? Why not practice with three guns that I can master? Thus, I chose my sniper rifle, my shot gun, and my sidearm, and I began working on becoming a crack-shot with each, just like all of the top level guys did.

The second reason I chose this way of training was that I noticed that the better the player I rolled with, the more that he had me reacting, and I did not want to do that anymore. When rolling with the top level black belts, I was constantly trying to weather the storms while never getting to execute my game. In short, I was losing in my mind and on the mats. Therefore, I looked to create a methodology whereby I was never reacting and was always imposing so that I could get back to winning. That methodology was picking my three moves and finding entrances to them from every offensive and defensive position. In that way, no matter what horrid position I was in, I still could operate under the impression that I was actually the person on the offensive. Now, I know that this could sound delusional, but this mentalization has actually given me the energy to keep moving when I was in the worst of predicaments.

Finally, the third reason that I chose this method was that I always wanted to stay focused during a match. Sometimes, when I was rolling with a top level grappler, I would find my mind shuffling through moves. Meanwhile, my opponent was moving into different positions where I had to add new movements into the shuffle. This kept me out of focus and away from winning. So, instead of continuing to stay in this cluttered head space, I found a way to get rid of the waste and hold onto only the necessary moves. I threw away everything but the thought of how I could execute on of my three moves. I cleared out the playlist and left only three songs remaining. In this way, I discovered a trick to bring my mind back into focus and back towards winning.

Now, I know that for most people, they do not have the years of experience which has allowed me to find my perfect three moves. However, even for those people this methodology is still practical. The only thing that will change over the weeks or months is that they may want to swap out different weapons until they find their perfect arsenal. At least, this way one will be able to work towards a goal instead of swimming aimlessly through useless malarkey.

words by Brent CUO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s