# Problem Solving: Solo Edition

When you learn math as a child, you start with basic counting, then addition, then subraction, you learn multiplication and division, and then on to higher level algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.  You build off previous knowledge and skill and use it as the base for more complicated problem solving and abstract thinking.
It has been said by many people that the art of Brazilian Jiujitsu is high-level problem solving. Much like chess where you strategically advance your position against an opponent that is actively trying to advance their position against you. In BJJ, you must solve problems in real time and deal with a constantly changing landscape as your opponent brings their skills to bear on beating you.
We can all remember when we were white belts going against purple belts and the experience was much like a fifth grader trying to take a high school calculus exam.  You simply did not have the tools be effective. The problems were too hard and you simply could not solve them fast enough for you to be successful.
How do we learn to be problem solvers in jiujitsu? Initially things are very algorithmic and linear. For example, someone is mounted on you and you learn to bridge and reverse the position. Then you learn the elbow escape as another possible escape from mounted position.  Eventually, you learn to combine the two moves in order to maximize your effectiveness. This is basic problem solving.