Thursday, 14 November 2013

Learning Jiu Jitsu

So, you are learning Jiu Jitsu. Good for you. Let's start with something simple to make your journey easier. You don't know everything, you never will and you will never need to. It will always evolve so providing never ending study.

When we come to start learning something new, most of us still hold onto what we know and this kind of acts as our filter. How many times will a Jiu Jitsu instructor have heard "I would just do this" or "I was taught this way" or something similar. The students are figuring "well, it got me this far, why would I change to think about things a different way?"

This is why it is probably easier to teach someone from scratch than someone with a little knowledge or someone who has trained a different style before because as the old saying goes "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" As instructors it is our duty to listen to alternatives but it is also the responsibility of the student to listen to alternatives too.

Equate this to starting school and the first few times you were taught maths, for example, how confusing things were. "How can 1 + 3 = 4 when yesterday you said 2 + 2 = 4" and so on.

When you realise that you don't have to remember every outcome but just learn the basic structure and formulas things become much easier.

How does this relate to learning jiu jitsu I hear you ask?

Let's use passing guard as an example, how many times have you heard "how do you kill spider guard" or "how do I pass butterfly guard" what they are asking for is specific outcomes, resulting in people thinking that is the way to do it. Remember 1 + 3 = 4 just as much as 2 + 2 = 4.

It is easy for the instructor to give specific answers to specific problems but ultimately may not be in the best interest of the student, it's the "give the man a fish"scenario.

So to answer any "how do you.........." question rather than give a specific answer, try to provide the structure and formula so the student can work through it to get their own answer. In the example of spider guard, the formula may be "remove or re-direct what is controlling your arm then look to move around anything that is blocking your forward movement" etc.

You have to give the student what you think they need not what they think they want.

In John Whitmore's awesome Coaching For Performance book, the ultimate aim of the coach is to make the person being coached accept responsibility for their own actions. You don't get this by spoonfeeding them.

This was used very successfully in the development of Apple, the powers that be decided what people need not what they want. To loosely quote Henry Ford on producing his first car "if I'd have asked people what they wanted at that time they probably would have said a faster horse"

Once you have the structure and the formula you can create your own results.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Training Diary

I was asked to do a training diary prior to competing by my sponsors at the time, Allsports International, this was from around 2005 I think. I only have screen shots but hope you can read it ok.

Training Diary continued