In the history of mankind, many brilliant artists have pursued the fluid state when creating and working. This, of course, does not exclude the great martial artists.
Flowing, in BJJ, means to roll on autopilot, with body and mind responding almost unconsciously to the opponent’s attack, thanks to an almost sensorial connection between you and your partner, or between you and their moves.
Those who are able to capture this connection will be capable of flowing. And then, at last, you will fight as if you’ve let your instinct do the driving as you ride shotgun and enjoy the wind in your face, almost startled by all that’s going on.
To Master Rickson Gracie, reaching this fluid state comes with time and the sensibility of a student, who will slowly become able to execute almost magical transitions, as beautiful as a composer creating a symphony. That’s when your mind appears to be in a trance, with no need to think about what’s coming or to try to anticipate anything; you just act -- and flow with the go.
Asked one day about how one can learn once and for all this central concept to Rickson’s philosophy, the master summed it up with his usual wisdom:
“You need to educate your reflexes, and that comes with practice. You can read tens of jiu-jitsu books, but be aware that not even all the theory in the world contained within your brain will translate into efficiency in the critical moment, when you need to save yourself from a confrontation. Only practice makes the difference so you can absorb the knowledge, correct your movements and let the technique flow.”