Tag Archives: bjj training

You Need to Make Mistakes in Jiu Jitsu

I remember- oh gosh, at least a decade ago- I was having an argument with one of my older brothers (I have 2- a step brother much older than me, and a brother that is only about 2 years older). The argument was with the one that is closer in age to me- we were disagreeing about something- I think it had to do with relationships? He and I have gotten into so many arguments over things that it’s hard to keep track. In a different set of circumstances he would have made an excellent lawyer.

I do remember him giving an exasperated sigh at one point and asking why I wouldn’t listen to him, and avoid making a mistake. And my response that it was because it was a mistake that I needed to make. Which is sort of how I feel about jiu jitsu- there are mistakes that you need to make if you are ever going to grow in the sport.

At first glance, the whole thing looks and sounds amazing. Imagine going through life and never making a mistake about anything: on the surface it seems like an amazing super power: you always wake up at the right time, you always do and say the right thing at the right time, you go to jiu jitsu and you perform each technique flawlessly, just as you’ve been instructed.

But have you learned anything in depth? Probably not, because you never needed to explore really why something wasn’t working. Like I mentioned before, humans are amazingly efficient machines, and we focus on inefficiencies when they arise in an effort to correct and streamline. Mistakes are also in a way what make us human: we talk about and laud the super athletes in the sport because they perform certain techniques with a sort of mastery and efficiency that we aspire to, because it is so rare. Certainly not unattainable, but we’re human- we are all bound to make mistakes at some point.

That’s not to say we should all just run around making mistakes, shrugging our shoulders and not learn anything from them (obviously, but sometimes I point out the obvious). The purpose of a mistake is to learn from it, to self correct so we can not only understand why we do something, but also what happens when we don’t. It’s a way of feeling out the boundaries of what we are able, or unable to do in order to get the results we want. Sort of like how toddlers and young children make mistakes all the time, but with like, at least 30% less screaming and cartoons involved- or maybe equal, I don’t know what kind of life you live.

Anyway, the point is don’t be afraid to make mistakes in jiu jitsu, because they are necessary to your growth: just be aware and strive to learn from them.

Have a great day everyone!

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Limiting Beliefs May Be Holding You Back in Jiu Jitsu

 

If-you-accept-a-limiting-belief-then-it-will-become-a-truth-for-you.-Louise-Hay-630x315

There’s a term that’s tossed around my work sometimes- limiting beliefs. We think a certain thing won’t work, or a behavior won’t change. The definition of a limiting belief, according to the internet is “a thought or belief that a person acquires as a result of making an incorrect conclusion about something in life.”

This can plague our everyday lives, and can also effect our jiu jitsu. After one bad session of trying spider guard, we suddenly proclaim that we are terrible half spider guard players and we refuse to work in that position. We mess up a takedown, and suddenly we’re not the kind of jiu jitsu player that does “that” kind of takedown. We’ve all done it at some point, myself certainly included. We have one bad experience and then BAM- we think that we can’t do something, full stop.

While sometimes there are things we really can’t do due to some physical impediment, we shouldn’t let our limiting beliefs keep us from progressing into more fully rounded jiu jitsu players. Obviously, waaaay more easily said than done: humans are remarkably efficient machines, and it takes conscious effort sometimes to do things that we think are inefficient uses of our time: we like doing things we are good at, or have promise of being good at, because it feels like a more productive use of our time- to hone our skills at something we’re already doing well.

My ask really is to still try things that you have a belief that you are not good at- whether it’s a takedown, a sweep, or something else you think you can’t do (without hurting yourself, of course). When you are taking class and that particular technique comes around in the rotation, try to make an effort to clear your mind of the previous bad or less than stellar experiences, and try to start fresh. You never know, there may be something that you didn’t pick up on last time you tried and makes everything substantially easier.

I don’t know about you, but the next logical question for me would be “so how do you know when something is a limiting belief, versus an actual limitation”? Honestly, I’m not sure. I think there is always some validity in trying something, even something you know you aren’t good at- either you will improve, even just a little bit, or worst case scenario you are reminded that we can’t be good at everything, and that there will always be things to work on when it comes to jiu jitsu. But regardless, you should always make an effort to try things, even when you think you are not good at them.

Have a great day everyone!

 

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Article on the Term “Goon” in BJJ

This is a thing? Really?

Grappler’s Planet has an article about a term that I guess is making its way through the BJJ community- “goon” or “gooning” to refer to someone who uses strength rather than technique on the mats.

….So, if it’s a white belt can we call them a Goonie and demand they do the Truffle Shuffle?

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Anyway, my thought on the matter is that you are always going to have someone that uses strength, and more often than not it has something to do with pride: maybe they have previous experience, or think they are in some movie montage where they should be beating everyone with just a few classes and a highlight reel to show how hard they worked…. Or something to that nature.

The key here, as is also stated in the article, is first and foremost not to be a goon, but also to focus on your technique- one of the nice things about jiu jitsu is that skill will inevitably beat strength. This “goon” will eventually realize that and have a fork in the path of their jiu jitsu career, in which they will have to decide what path they choose to follow: continue with strength and attempting to overpower others, or to change their ways and really learn jiu jitsu and the techniques that are offered.

So, check out the article and have a great day everyone!

 

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Article on Overtraining in Martial Arts

It’s a hard pill to swallow, admitting that you are potentially overtraining. You want to keep pushing, to keep going and to keep improving, but if you’re are consistently pushing at that pace all the time, then there’s a very real chance that you are doing more harm to yourself then good.

Check out Stephen Kesting’s article on the subject, and have a great day everyone!

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Article on Why it’s Ok to Get Fancy Now and Again

Gracie Barra has an article on how it’s good to do “fancy” techniques now and again.

Check it out– preferably with the song “Fancy” playing in your head- or in the background:

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BJJ and Rolling: More Space, Less Room

One of our white belts said that phrase to me last night, and I have to agree with her: it seems like the more space you have on the mat to train, it feels like there is actually less room to train than if you were on a packed mat.

Personally, I think it has to do with the level of awareness with training pairs: when the room is packed, each pair understands how crucial space can be on the mat, and are particularly aware of just how close they are to someone else. When there are less people on the mat however, that awareness is lowered or dulled, and then the next thing you know three groups of people all barreling towards each other in a perfect storm of feet, hands and heads.

I’m sure everyone has experienced this phenomenon-  have any funny stories to share due to it? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!

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Starting in BJJ: White Belts are Like Puppies

Gorgeous_puppies

Sorry guys, in my mind you guys are like puppies: brand new, limited body orientation and spatial awareness, extra wriggly. And also, prone to make mistakes.

I think a lot of white belts are hard on themselves when they start jiu jitsu, particularly when they don’t get a certain technique down right away, which I understand: they are developing a passion for the sport, and want to do well in it. But just as you can’t expect a puppy to learn the command “sit” or “roll over” on the first try, it’s hard to expect a white belt to master something in just one class. It take time, patience, and a lot of practice to master these actions.

Still go to class: still drill, still train, still learn- just remember you’re still in your puppy-phase: this is the time to learn and have fun.

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That’s all for today, folks- have a great day everyone!

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Science! Study Shows Bullying Affects Mental Health More Than Child Abuse

When it comes to jiu jitsu, we frequently talk about self defense for adults, and helping children protect themselves against bullying in school. In addition to protecting themselves from the physical abuse of bullying, participating in jiu jitsu can offer children the opportunity to develop the confidence, and “mental self defense” to stand up to bullies.

Which, as a recent study written about on IFLScience, can be view more crucial then ever, as bullying appears to have long term effects on children and can affect them more severely than an abusive childhood. Which is pretty messed up, when you think about it.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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Happy Star Wars Day!

May the 4th be with you!

…Whatever, I’m a huge nerd.

Hot Fuzz Deal with It

Anyway, hope you all have a great day of drilling and/or training.

Go get ’em, tiger!

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Article on BJJ, Puzzles and Problems

John Will from Australia wrote a little blurb about how problems are annoying, but puzzles are fun and how we are all essentially problem/puzzle solvers on and off the mat, and I agree with him.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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