In a recent interview, Rickson Gracie spoke at length about the different ways in which a jiu-jitsu move can surprise even him. Check out the fourth and final part of his thoughts below. And in case you need to get caught up, find part 3 here.
"For example, there's a new wave of foot locks and leg locks and ankle locks which are just taking over, and getting the traditional jiu-jitsu community... Everybody's scared of foot locks, because a bunch of new wrestlers and jiu-jitsu practitioners doing no-gi become experts in foot locks. And if you put an expert to fight a guy who's a jiu-jitsu practitioner who has no ability to do this, he may be tapping like a drum, just all the time. But if you get two experts in foot locks, two guys who're training together, they're gonna start to fight each other, they're training for 20 minutes, and nobody gets nobody, because they become experts not only in getting it, but also to take the angle and escape.
"So... the foot lock expert is not sure if he's gonna get his training partner in a foot lock, but he is sure he can get somebody who's not aware of foot locks. So, what I tried to say with that is: for the foot lock experts, they need... Keep doing foot locks. But for the defense guys, they should be more comfortable and understand: 'Give me a foot lock! So now I should move this way. But if you put your knee across and try—' So you have to develop your ability to escape from foot locks, to become as experts in escapes as they are experts in catching you.
"So, submissions are there, and to be submitted either is gonna be your mistake for lack of training, or being surprised by a submission; but, anyway, you have to be exposed, you have to practice, you have to deal with the situations, you have to open your mind; nothing can be untouched; you have to be curious, you have to allow yourself to expose... And you have to breathe the energy of the movement and the escapes, and the grabbing, and develop the sense of comfort in this kind of little hell."