There’s Always a Bigger Fish: Killer Whale vs Great White Shark

It’s entertaining to consider that there is a kind of food chain in jiu jitsu. It’s not really as clear as it is in the jungle, but it’s there. You start out at the bottom as a white belt where everyone including the yellow belt teenage girls will submit you at will, and you slowly move up one technique at a time, until you’re somewhere in the middle of the pack, constantly a victim of the sharks, but a notch above the gold fish and the oyster.

The beautiful thing about jiu jitsu is that knowledge (not athletic ability) is what propels you up that “food chain”. All you have to do is open your mind to learning and drill the techniques you’re taught. It’s especially inspiring to see that over months and years this process can produce some amazing skill levels. I like seeing folks that beat me up every time we roll get beat up by someone else. I’m humbled by the thought that “there’s always a bigger fish”. That no matter how skilled I think someone is, there is always someone else who comes along with a bigger bag of tricks. I think the end of the following video on how a killer whale kills a shark is a good example of this. Intelligence, not brute strength, is what wins in the end:

I know I’ll never be a killer whale or a great white shark, but I aspire to be anglerfish, which would be a big step up from my recent promotion to penguin: awkward, slow, but sneaky.

Notice how I’ve taken what may’ve been a decent analogy, and followed it to the point where it lost all meaning and entertainment value. Analogies are more fun than reality, because I can arrive at absurd conclusions while watching videos of predators fighting to the death on YouTube.

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