The art of learning

Really interesting previous post on competition v self defence. It leads into my thoughts today on learning on the mat. last night we trained an escape technique that was taught by two instructors. Both showed similar techniques, but we left the teaching just at the base level. What I mean by this is we taught the bottom of the pyramid, giving out just the information to provide a solid base to work from. We learned, tweaked and then drilled this and then went live at the end of the session.

We avoided teaching the fine points, the tricky tips and the sneaky moves. I am a massive fan that at each session, there is always a lynch-pin move. The move in the whole technique that matters. This lynch-pin move gets you to the position that matters, usually where the technique begins to branch into the individuals preference, or more importantly what the individual feels on the mat, determining the final sequence.

What has this to do with competition or self defence? Well what BJJ should teach you is building blocks of information that allow you to overcome instinct of movement. You all know this, when I push you, you push back!! What BJJ doesn’t teach if it remains too structured is your own application. Whether you turn left, right or pop out the back. If its on the mat or in a dark street, only you can decide on application. We see many early belts desire the submission, and forget the crux of BJJ is control of yourself and your maximise your opponent’s instinct.

Summarising, learning BJJ should be about solid platforms of concepts that work and can be applied and built on. BJJ is a ‘spiral’ martial art. There is a finite amount of things you can do i.e. back, side, 1/2 guard but a multitude of actions to paste onto the base actions if you get them right. So when your rolling, learn. Think of the base move, the lynch-pin and get that right. It may take 10, 20, 50 attempts but you will secure the skill. Then add. It is then when you can do this you will be more successful in the most important thing in BJJ (whatever that is?).

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