Saturday, January 24, 2015

Specialization: Tokui Waza, Tai Otoshi, Judo, and 10,000 Hours within Training Methodology

We do a lot of drilling at my new academy, Zenith BJJ. Most of class time is spent drilling, actually. Morning class is almost exclusively drilling. My coach has a wrestling background. I started grappling coming from Judo. The concept of tirelessly grinding out focused repetition on a set of positions, submissions, and transitions, or throws was how I started in grappling.

When I was actively competing in Judo, I logged at least 300-500 uchikomis or "fit-ins" as we call them each day (outside of class time/practice). In class when instructed most of my mind capacity/focus is on fit-ins or set-ups for my chosen throw, Tai Otoshi. You can practice against a wall, with a partner, with rubber tire tubes (the way I did) or with elastic bands.  The throw which I have unequivocally and undoubtedly spent more time and energy studying and trying, failing, and attempting is Tai Otoshi. I enter with a modified, almost Sei Otoshi grip, rather than the steering wheel circular kazushi motion often taught classically. I'll let hardcore Judo purists debate what to cal it.
Whatever it is, this is my speciality. I can explain how I set it up against a right handed player, against a left handed player, in a circular motion, going sideways, diagonal...whatever. No matter what I am doing on my feet, if I am playing my A game, everything has this throw in mind as the end goal. It took me roughly 3 years of practice and failure to begin scoring and winning with this technique in competition. I have acked any black belt with whom I have trained how they do it, how they were taught, and how they teach it and I take it in and balance it with my current knowledge.

This is mastery. That is not saying that I have this throw mastered, or that I know everything, or that I am the best.
To me, "mastery" is the deliberate, methodical pursuit of progressive improvement.


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