Friday, March 11, 2016

Intellectual Stimulation/Leg Locks Are Your Friend (?)

Reffing and competing this weekend at US Grappling's Submission Only event in Virginia Beach. THe following weekend I should be at Copa Nova's event up near DC. Excited to win and/or learn and stay on the grind. I think Jiu-Jitsu should work with or without time limits because in real-life, in the streets I hear so much about in fighting Jiu-Jitsu, actual altercations barely last a few minutes. If you're inventing reasons to avoid a certain rule format, or skill set, that should raise a red flag in your mind.

As I'm moving slowly but inevitably toward brown belt, I am forced to now pay more attention to my knees and feet, even as a predominantly Gi competitor. Some detractors shame Jiu-Jitsu for it's staggered approach go leg locks, if you're in it for the long haul, I'm actually a fan of it. Coming from Judo, there's basically black belt division and not black belt. It's pretty cut throat and IMHO leads to more injury than anything else.
I think Jiu-Jitsu goes overboard with the something like however many crazy age divisions, but, the graduated system of submission legality I think honestly forced most guys to work more fundamental skills early on whereas otherwise they wouldn't. Ask Imanari why he learned leg locks and he says "I had trouble passing the guard."

I've also taken a NoGi match with details to come later that will additionally force me to work my NoGi game more diligently over the ensuing months.

If you're like me, you have to semi-force yourself into uncomfortable areas to promote growth. There's a brown belt in our gym whom I always seek out to roll specifically because he forces me to roll much harder and faster than I am comfortable doing, to the point a 7 minute roll with him, for me, feels like a tournament/bracket match. This is awesome. It's incredibly, or it can be hard some days to get that feel, that anxiety, that grind, that relentless transitioning and pressure in the gym and anytime you can replicate outside of a tournament, go for it. Preparation should at times be incredibly uncomfortable. Having fought MMA, I could see the guys fighting or at lower level shows who obviously had never been really hurt in training, had never been wobbled, had never been in panic mode even in the gym and when it happened underneath the hot lights, the panic is an avalanche on top of you.

This is hard to replicate in training at times, especially, depending on who shows up to train on any given night. At any rate, I've begun watching more NoGi footage and picking out a thing or two to work into a more cohesive NoGi Game. I digest new things and material INCREDIBLY slowly and from a whole seminar, or the rare instructional I watch, I literally take maybe 1-2, at best 3 things that I can effectively later drill or mull over at length.

I feel like that fish in Finding Nemo when it comes to new stuff. I forget so quickly it's the rare piece of very simple things I retain. I'm a huge fan of Kurt Osiander's "Move of the Week" series on youtube. His stuff is always incredibly simple and straight forward and almost always something I can literally take that day onto the mat and work into rolling with some success/understanding and application. At any rate, I find that training sessions where I don't think about tapping so and so or getting tapped, but rather accept that the goal of training is to get to or even just recognize a position amidst rolling is a lot more fun, and feels much more progress-oriented than typical tournament-time training which is grind, pressure, pass, smash, force, Go GO GO. Training like that proves physically and intellectually taxing at times, especially with the external reward/goal of "winning" and therefore the outcome dependance on the result that is far away perhaps from the actual training day. For a big chunk of my first year at purple belt I competed non-stop and just honed what I knew how to do and grinded and grinded and grinded. And while I think times, periods, durations of time like that are essential to keep going and going going in the same domain or content area toward mastery, it can lead to burnout, stagnation, and even intellectual boredom or fatigue on either end of the spectrum.

That being said, approaching the NoGi game as a totally different animal and approach has felt and continues to feel intellectually stimulating. Diving over the guard for a guillotine or utilizing more butterfly hook or looking for leg lock entries has made training more fun for me than it's been in quite awhile to be honest. It feels fresh again. I'm nowhere near advanced division ready in NoGi IMHO, but look forward to what I know will be a lot of learning in the coming year in that overall department of my game.  

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