Archive for January, 2011

Intention in drilling

January 29, 2011

First off, I don’t care how you drill, but make sure you have an overall purpose.  Otherwise, you’re going to be scatter-brained, and miss out on the details you came to practice.

Train to get positions and movements as loose, efficient, and effortless as possible.  This takes time and patience.  People often move on the next best thing too fast, having barely scratched the surface of what they were previously working. 

At the beginning and intermediate stages this okay, and even natural, because you’re building a basic repertoire of offense and defense for each position, as well as fundamental transitions.  If you miss something, it shouldn’t take a long time to cycle back to it.

Lastly, it’s important to have a foundation in enjoying yourself.  Too much structure early on, can create pressure to get things ‘right,’ when the reality is it takes years to get things right. 

Like John Wooden says, ‘good things take time.’


Asking better questions

January 25, 2011

My understanding of BJJ didn’t really take off until I began paying for privates over a 2 year period.  Realizations didn’t soak in overnight, but BJJ slowly went from flat image to 3-D.

Before this BJJ consisted of me trying to copy moves and ideas as best I could.

The change came when I began thinking about BJJ at the level of mechanics and principles.

Accompanying this shift was decreased focus on answers.  An answer if anything was a new beginning; a new place to ask questions from.

BJJ is now an ongoing thought process where the goal is to ask better, more precise, relevant questions.

Moves, positions, and techniques are an echo of this thought process, representing possible scenarios of what might happen in a roll.

Video: Using sparring

January 21, 2011

Pure gold information from :58-1:58 on using sparring.  Marcelo watches and feels his training partner with the intention of finding out more about BJJ.  He isn’t there to run over his training partner with things he already knows.

I think this is also the key with drilling.  It isn’t the method of drilling that is important so much as having a purpose behind what you do:

The importance of philosiphy in BJJ

January 20, 2011

The only time I ask for comments (last post) I don’t get one.  Go figure.

A grounding philosophy is the most important thing in BJJ because it’s the filter through which you make all incoming distinctions.

Believe it or not body mechanics (positioning, posture, moves, techniques) are the least important thing in BJJ.

It’s all about how you apply body mechanics.

This is where a guiding philosophy comes in.

Without some intelligence here all you’re doing is ignoring what is happening in front of you in favor of cramming a bunch of techniques down a person’s throat.

Yeah you might have perfect body mechanics in such a context, but are you actually doing jiu-jitsu?

Still waiting on comments regarding the last post. =)

I think one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is fitting for this topic:

“The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  

What did BJJ’s creator(s) intend?

January 14, 2011

The most important question a BJJ practioner could ask him/herself in my opinion is:  ‘What is brazilian jiu-jitsu?’

You can make this question something you go inside and think hard about, or actually go and do some research on Helio & Carlos Gracie.  No need to re-invent the wheel.

Post a comment and tell me what you find.

What coaching gives you

January 12, 2011

One role of a coach is to help you understand how well your doing matches up with what you want to get done.  Cause and effect.

Secondly, if you pay for coaching your essentially purchasing all the trial and error the coach went through to get where he/she is at.  In essence, you’re saving yourself a massive amount of time and energy.

I think this why being accepted as a student in the old school days was such a big deal.  It wasn’t that black belts or master’ were cocky so much as them wanting to use their time as efficiently as possible.  Why spend time sharing something you’ve invested a huge chunk of your life in with some whose only going to lend you half an ear?  It’s disrespectful to the both of you.