Daily Archives: July 24, 2013

Silence is Golden on the Mats

So I have a itty bitty, teeny tiny pet peeve internet: students grunting excessively during training. Talking should also be kept to a minimum, but I feel less justified being annoyed by something that I am occasionally guilty of doing. And white belts trying to teach white belts when there is an instructor in the room is a entirely another issue that will just have to wait for another day.

The problem with excessive noises on the mat is sort of two fold, for the instructor and for fellow training partners. In a sport that also allows a “verbal tap” (just saying ‘tap’) for instructors, we don’t know if you are in pain, or tapping, or if you’re just doing your thing, and if you are injured there is a chance we will fail to notice the difference a little longer than anyone is really comfortable with.

On the fellow training partner side, again, we don’t know if you are hurt, if you are verbally tapping, or if you are doing your thing. Granted, maybe if your head was clear and mouth unobstructed, but let’s take the case of the armbar: sometimes the face and mouth are accidentally covered by a leg, and say you make some sort of grunt: it could be a tap, could not, we really don’t know unless we stop, which if it wasn’t a tap, it’s sort of a disservice to your teammate by not letting them practice successfully completing the submissions on the mats.

I will admit one of the most awkward matches I ever had was with a gentleman who had this particular habit. It made me ridiculously uncomfortable, to say the least. The guy was a white belt, and usually when working with a lower rank I will start on the bottom: from what I recall, once all racket started I worked fast, quick and in a hurry into spider guard, into a sweep and stayed on top, and still felt awkward.

So the moral of the story guys: The occasional sound is fine, but it shouldn’t sound like there is a tennis match going on in the room.


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