Friday, December 9, 2011

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Awesome breakdown of Rodolfo Viera's guard passing game over at the Jiu-Jitsu Laboratory.

A great post over at got me thinking (read the post here).

Initially, I began training Judo in college. I trained with a local, private club (non-University affiliated).
I wrestled for the University's club team and wrestled with a local high school team where I was interning toward my degree on the days I didn't have Judo practice.

I graduated, and relocated to a bigger city and began training with a local University club Judo team.
Eventually, the University (in fairness) made it more difficult for non-students to train and what had been the best time of my Judo training drew to a close. Between the schedule, my early work hours at the time, and the difficulty getting into the facility, I no longer had a club.

However, I am not being entirely honest. There was more to it.
During this time I had been training Muay Thai and fought several times in MMA. For my first two MMA fights, I had only trained Judo and Muay Thai. I had never even trained without a Gi on the ground (won both of the fights btw).
My first Judo coach had recently moved to the area. He was now training at the University's Judo club and what I had not noticed or been unaware of when I was a white belt, was now much more glaringly apparent. His disdain for mat work and disregard for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA seemed to be more apparent now that I regularly competed/trained in both. Rather than see my cross-training as ambassadorship for the sport ( had previously trained Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai on days I didn't have Judo practice), he rebuked me for both and downplayed whatever success I had in each. Unwilling to tolerate his personality (as was the case with several other high level competitors who no longer visted/trained there because of him), I stopped making a point to visit even when the rare occasion presented itself.

I visited other clubs in the area, but they were either non-competitor-friendly or trained perhaps once per week.

At any rate, I was without a club and began seriously devoting myself to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the interim. I helped with the kids class, and used my Judo when possible in training, in tournaments, represented Judo in MMA, and the like.

I still see him at occasional tournaments, but the number of competitors with the club, and the number of new belts that the University's incoming freshmen class always produced has dwindled as well.

In the long run, my Judo is likely not as good as it could be, but my mat work, use of Judo in fighting, and other grappling skills are far superior than they would be.
When the opportunity arises, or when Judoka feel the burnout of only training Judo for years on end, visiting another style of grappling club/team, emptying your tea cup, and being a beginner or novice at something keeps it fresh and helps retain that humility that can be lost.

Perspective is reality, and reality is perspective. But, by cross training, you not only learn more about your central style of grappling,  but often, I find, reality will keep your understanding and belief in your style of grappling in check.

Happy Trainingz!

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