30 November 2010

Mind Vs. Reality

imageI my mind when I think about how I want to so easily impose my game.  Be able to flow from one move to the next and essentially have my partner have no idea on how to keep up.  I can imagine myself effortless chaining armbars into sweeps and making it look easy.  Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

The reality is starkly different.

I’m often jerky and slow.  I don’t attack that well.  I’m often stuck on my back.  I get lazy and start to rest when I should be moving.  I can’t get arm bars at all, I’m always out of position.  I can’t get chokes,  it feels like they are always defending and so much stronger.  This can come from just having one or two bad rolls.

It’s funny, if I can’t impose any of my game plan on someone it can be quite deflating.  Admittedly I’m not going flat out any more, but still I feel that I should be able to flow and impose a game plan against people going hard.

I feel I have more technical knowledge than most.   This comes from knowing all the finer points that most people forget, and I see that they have forgotten in drilling.  However I’m struggling translating technical knowledge into ground advantage.

I feel my timing is off.  Windows of opportunity are passing me by and I’m just powerless to stop it.  This I imagine frustrates a lot of BJJ practitioners.  The problem is the other guy (or girl).  They are learning too, and I imagine in their own mind would also see themselves as rolling the way I envision I want to roll.

I want to be a butterfly,  yet I’m just a slimy slug atm.  I know what I want to do, but it’s so far away right now.  I guess that’s why I’m liking the going back to basics.  Re-assessing everything I know about BJJ.

Hopefully one day I’ll stop being such a slug.  For now I have to learn how to quicken my timing to take advantages of tactical errors.


22 November 2010

70% Effort

image I’ve started asking my partners in training to go at 70%.  It seems every time I roll with people at my gym they want to go at 110% like it’s a competition.  A few things always happen.

  1. There is lots of stalling and getting ‘stuck’.
  2. You get to practise very few positions as everything is a grind.
  3. Frustration usually occurs
  4. Rapid tiredness

My theory is this:  If I’m able to roll for 40 minutes straight instead of 6 minutes then I’m going to be practising a ton more positions and rolls. I can refine my timing!

At my gym it seems people prefer rolling to drills, and to me this seems like a good compromise if I have to train with those people. So I’m asking my partners not to go at 100%,  purposely have more give and take in the rolls.  My first roll went for 20 minutes straight and we both had fun! We both got a ton of positions, submission attempts and escapes – what more could you ask for in a roll.

It did have some side effects, like a lot more laughter and fun being had. The nice thing was it still achieved my goal of getting more repetition.  I got to get to the same positions far more often and could experiment far more rapidly. I could start to see two moves ahead, and even guide my partner into positions I wanted by opening up something.  My partner too was relishing the non-competitiveness of this and attempting rolling arm-bars and other such things that you rarely get to try.

So many other sports rarely train at 100%,  I wonder why Jui-Jitsu guys feel the need to always train like it’s a competition?  To me this seems unhealthy and counter-productive to actually progressing your skills.  You don’t see it in other sports,  it’s not like Football players play competitive football every training session,  or golfers play rounds of golf.

Food for thought.


03 November 2010

Slow and Steady

Training has been going slow and steady for me as of late.  I’m just getting back into my old gym and trying to step up in a few areas.   One thing I didn’t want this blog to be is a, oh I trained this tonight.  I wanted it to be more of a reflective blog about the basics of BJJ.  So part of that has seen me go back to the beginner class in an assistant instructor rule.  Essentially being someone else’s test dummy.

The great thing about this is,  I get to practise all the fundamental moves.  I have limitations,  flexibility being the main one.  I’m going to start sacrificing strength for more flexibility.  It'll take time, but I think in the long term the transition is the correct one to make.

As for training, I’m taking things slow and steady.  I need my rest days, and I am definitely looking forward to improving my teaching style.  I’m of the belief that you can be great at something, but you might not be the best teacher.  This fits in with my long term goals. 

  1. Master the basics
  2. Make BJJ a part of my life
  3. Develop strong connections with people from all circles of life.

I guess technique area’s I’m looking to improve are guard sweeps and passing to mount.