Thursday, 9 October 2014

WWID - what would I do

I recently watched a world renowned black belt teach a double underpass that was supposed to have amazing details but I thought he missed out quite a bit of important information.

Then I watched another world renowned black belt teaching a scissor sweep and again I didn’t think it was that great, some critical details missing.

I wondered if I had developed some kind of arrogance where I know better than world renowned black belts but maybe it’s not arrogance, maybe I do know better.

If so, then why and how?

I think it is down to not having a resident teacher which was a curse and a blessing back in the day. I saw Chris Haueter once or twice a year and did a few seminars but ultimately playing trial and error with my training partners was the way I learned.

If I was totally baffled, I would wait until Haueter came over, he would give me one of the light bulb moments and I was back on track.

Although we always need direction and a healthy training environment from people that are more experienced, I wondered if you learn better when you are taught or when you figure something out for yourself.

When you find things for yourself instead of being told, you instantly have the how, when and why feedback so you retain the information better.

I now realise that Haueter taught me so much by not teaching me so much.

I know some people see it as a waste of time and think they are re-discovering the wheel as they could have just asked their instructor but we are still developing new stuff even now thanks to this idea.

Which do you think will give the best results?

Years later when we trained with SBGi, Matt Thornton always pushed the ‘Inquiry method’ which is basically what we were doing and probably why I liked his approach. Not surprising Matt thought this way as Chris was instrumental in helping Matt form SBGi.

We developed so much Jiu Jitsu training this way. There would just be a few of us exchanging ideas “if I do this, what would you do” put in 10 reps while we got the basic idea then tried it against a little resistance building up until you can do it against full resistance.

While Lloyd Irvin and his medal chasers were micro-drilling 1000s of reps of a real small part of the puzzle, Cobrinha was on the other side doing what we had been doing. He told me that he would do 10 reps of a technique then straight into drilling against resistance building up to restricted sparring, this suited me personally because I always hated specific drilling and always loved situation sparring.

I'm not saying one way is better than the other across the board, you have to find what works for you personally. Some people explore and others have to be told. Pick the one that suits you.

Ironic that when I tell people they should question things, they never ask why :0)


P.S. The Socratic Method is relatively similar to this approach and fits quite well with this concept.

Socratic method (also known as method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate), named after the classical GreekphilosopherSocrates, is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict himself in some way, thus strengthening the inquirer's own point.

Check out the Wiki definition

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Times, They Are A Changing

Take a look through the television guides these days and you will see MMA on mainstream TV, not just the flagship events but local shows too, something many of us thought we would never see especially with the attitude of the media back in the day but as Bob Dylan prophesised “the times, they are a changing”

Our story begins not too many years ago in the ancient borough of Pontefract when a wise young man with a full head of hair decided to organise an MMA show to try to highlight a fledgling new sport but was not really available outside of the big smoke and certainly nothing like it around us. Our hero and his partner had indeed frequented these things in the borough of London and were such fun, a really good test of your all round martial artistry.
We had introduced this style of fighting as an after Taekwondo class activity and the guys seemed to really like it. We had no mats and didn’t know what we were doing but it was fun and double legging someone onto a hardwood floor just seemed so right.

Our hero approached various fighters that were prepared to compete in this new and exciting format and was met with a lot of enthusiasm, it all looked very promising.
The local rugby club was to be hired to showcase this event, talks had gone well and an agreement reached, the ring had been measured and all extra seating was sorted so a date was set. Was all set to be the first MMA show in God’s own county of Yorkshire then everyone’s favourite 2 things got involved; the media and the church. The countdown to destruction had begun.

First of all, a TV show named Calendar interviewed our hero at his place of work and were thoroughly excited about the new venture, the TV employees asked if they could have tickets to the show for a little publicity so was agreed.
The very same evening the interview with the hero of the piece was actually on Calendar but had been edited so it sounded a LOT different to what had actually been said. Add to this that the TV show had researchers up in the old town of Pontefract showing UFC 1 to old ladies who were out shopping because it was pension day; the old ladies verily agreed that this type of fighting was indeed barbaric and would not be going to the rugby club to partake in the fight night.

Calendar invited noted pacifist Brendan Ingle to comment, he was outraged that guys were actually trying to hit each other. This was around the time that Paul Ingle was put into a coma from a beating received in a boxing match. He received severe brain and head injuries in a 12 round title defence. “You do know what irony is, don’t you Baldrick?” “Yes, it’s like tinny or coppery but iron instead”
To quote a scientific formula of the time, one heavily edited interview + one disgruntled boxing coach + countless outraged old ladies = not looking good for yours truly.

All the offended people immediately flocked to church for a good cleansing and upon hearing that such sorcery and brutality was due to take place in his parish, the priest started proceedings to have our hero removed from his parish (I swear that the local church wanted to get me thrown out of the parish, they actually thought they had the power to get me to move house!) At one point I swear I could see the dim glow of torches as the flock went for their pitchforks.
The might of the church came down upon the rugby club who then had a change of heart; they sent a letter to our hero explaining that they would have to retract their offer as “they didn’t want rugby being associated with a violent sport”. Seriously!

Everywhere our hero went the common people did ask of the show and were disappointed to find out that it wouldn’t be happening just yet. Even the wonderful serving girls of Greggs, where our hero would procure provisions, were looking forward to a night out at the rugby club. The bad publicity had actually attracted more people than it had detracted, I guess they didn’t realise the mentality of the population of the mighty borough of Pontefract. This is a town that Shakespeare wrote of in Richard III because unfortunately King Richard II had met his fate in Pontefract; some say in the castle, some say on a night out but never the less we celebrate regicide. Bloody Pomfret as Shakey called it.
Alas there was nowhere else to go. The Council wouldn’t allow sporting contests in its facilities so couldn’t get an entertainment licence, even though I had seen Giant Haystacks wrestling at the Town Hall previously.

And so, faithful readers, that was the end of the first attempt to organise a legal MMA show in Pontefract. We would have to take our new found sport underground for a while so watch out for more devilishly entertaining tales coming to these pages.