Old Habits Die Hard, and Bad Ones are Like Cockroaches from Hell

You keep thinking they go away, but they just keep coming back to haunt you…

I really wish I hadn’t just come up with that imagery, now I feel like I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.

Throughout jiu jitsu, hell, life even, you develop good habits, and inevitably pick up some bad ones along the way. It’s one of the reasons instructors really emphasize details and the correct way to perform a technique so often and early: we want you to be successful in the technique, and not only that, but it’s much harder to correct a bad habit and poor application than to start fresh and do right from the beginning.

You can see especially with lower belts that this concept hasn’t really sunk in: they’ll sort of do a sweep right, or not really put themselves in the position they need to be for a technique while drilling. It kind of reminds me of that saying, “moment on the lips, forever on the hips”. Sure, it may not seem like a big deal now, but if you drill a particular technique and position only sort of right in class, how can you expect it to do it correctly when it’s time to roll and you have to depend on your muscle memory? Logically you understand what you are supposed to do, but your body remembers all those half assed repetitions you did, so that is in all likelihood how you are going to execute the technique: half-assed and less effectively than you would have liked.

Or, think of it this way: drilling is a chance to execute these techniques, positions, submissions, whatever in a perfect world scenario, where the chance for success is 100%, or pretty darn close to it. When rolling, for argument’s sake, your chance for success drops, because you have a less compliant partner. So the guy that’s been drilling, taking his time to get all the details right and avoiding those bad habits will have a higher success rate with the same choke, than the guy that’s sort of been sort of drilling the same technique in a sort of right fashion. Even when you think you have corrected those bad habits, sometimes they come back to haunt you, and you are left to wonder “why in the hell did I do that?”. Cockroach from hell, I’m telling you.

I imagine for the most part I’m preaching to the choir, but when in class I would  say really work to drill with purpose, pay attention to the details, take your time, and if there is something you don’t understand, ask a question: the earlier you can correct these missteps and mistakes the better.

Anyway, have a great day everyone!

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1 Comment

Filed under bjj

One response to “Old Habits Die Hard, and Bad Ones are Like Cockroaches from Hell

  1. I know that feeling well. So hard to correct something you learned incorrectly.

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