Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pressure And The New Belt part deux

Trust your coaches judgement, if they say you are a particular grade then that's it, you are. We do this all the time so we know!

One of my old 'Traditional' Jiu Jitsu coaches would say "Would you pass your driving test then argue with the examiner that you aren't ready to drive?"

One of my old training partners Varqa was training his butt off, competing and improving at such an alarming rate I was going to charge him double to train.

Although he hadn't been a blue belt that long I recognised that he needed to go to purple to continue challenging him so we went over to Manchester when SBGi head honcho Matt Thornton was there who was doing our belt promotions at the time. He saw Varqa and awarded him a straight purple. I hadn't told Varqa he was going to get graded otherwise he would have been horrified and wouldn't have gone.

So a few days later I am explaining to him that he deserves to be at that level and when he mentally catches up with his physicality he would make even more massive improvements. I then told him I had organised a purple belt super-fight for him against Gracie Barra Newcastle head instructor Dave Eliot actually in Newcastle so I could prove to him that he was indeed a purple belt and could handle fighting a local hero in his home town. Dave was a really good competitor, tough as nails and really skilled too.

I started training harder with Varqa knowing Dave would attack him constantly with arm bars and triangles from guard so I replicated that over and over. Varqa got so good in that dynamic that the last time I rolled with him prior to the match it took me 45 minutes to triangle him and still remains to this day one of my favourite rolls. One of those times where we are both in the zone and time doesn't exist.

Fast forward to Newcastle and the superfight, Dave pulled guard and attacked just the way we practiced, Varqa remained calm, remembered the drills and stayed safe starting to work to pass guard. As they were looking to go out of bounds the ref stopped them, brought them back into the middle and let Dave have a full triangle position for the re-start, this was a little naughty as he didn't have that before the re-start.

If anyone disputes this, I still have the video somewhere!!

Anyway I just told Varqa to stay calm, escape and pass which he did. He settled into side control as time elapsed and he won 3-0.

What does this prove?

Whatever you may be feeling inside, your coach knows best.

What is your part in this process? Roll, experiment, tap, experiment some more, tap some more.

Just keep doing what you are doing, ignore the colour around your waist, after all that is your coach's job so don't worry about it.


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