Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are you Teaching or Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

I have trained a countless number of people in my job over the years in many different areas, but I have never taught anyone. I never knew there was a difference between the two until last Saturday when I taught the kids BJJ class.

So what are the fundamental differences between training and teaching?

Definitions of Teaching:
• To impart skill or knowledge
• To Instruct
• To Guide the Studies of ……

Definitions of Training:
• To make proficient by instruction and practice
• To give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency.
• To get oneself into condition for an athletic performance through exercise, diet, practice, etc.

During class on Saturday, I demonstrated a technique and explained the theory behind the technique and then the class will drill the move to commit it to muscle memory. I gave instruction to each of the students if they were not doing the movement correctly. Sounds like a normal class?

In my mind, the wheels were turning, and I was able to see the technique differently. By teaching it, I was able to slow the technique down and see the errors I was making when I was drilling it. I was not putting my foot in the right location to trap my opponent’s foot tighter. And I had my grip wrong when breaking down his elbow for the trap and roll. I probably drilled the trap and roll mount escape well over two hundred, who knows the actual repetitions, but it has been a lot.

This is when I realized there is a difference between teaching and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I was able to drill and break the technique down at the same time; it was the best of both worlds to me.

I started thinking about the drilling of moves, instead of seeing how fast I can get a repetition to finish. I need to start invoking the “Quality over Quantity” rule. I need to teach myself the move first and then drill it. Before I would just go into drilling the move and rarely would I slow down to think of the steps. It is amazing to me that I have been able to retain as much as I have. There should be an equal balance between the two in the end.

I know there are several instructors, students and even actual teachers that read my ramblings. What is everyone’s thought on developing an instructional mindset while drilling or training?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Bake a Really Tasty BJJ Cake

I was reading a Royce Gracie Interview done by Sport360. One point of the interview stuck with me. Here, is a snippet of the interview:
When asked about the teaching methods and the talent he has seen in UAE as a regular visitor to the MMA Contender Gym in Dubai, Gracie said: “There is no such thing as good students and bad students but there are good teachers and bad teachers. My instructors are good teachers and if you have discipline you will learn martial arts. Talent is everywhere, but discipline is what will get you to a high level”
What is the discipline necessary to achieve the higher level? What makes up that discipline?
I am reminded of one my Japanese co-workers analogies about attacking a big project. He compared a big project to baking a cake, all the smaller tasks that make up the project are considered the ingredients, the specifications, drawings, or the plans are the directions to baking the cake. I began to think of discipline as the cake, but I just needed to figure out the ingredients that made up the result, the cake.

Here, is a shopping list of ingredients:
Motivation- what motivates you to train? What keeps you going to class? To be able to protect yourself, losing weight, competing, or the experience of doing something you love. This is one area that makes up discipline.
Routine- Developing a routine will help you stay on track. If you develop a routine of going to class and training, you will find yourself more apt to go. Once you get into a solid routine, you can deviate from time to time.
Inspiration-Find someone who inspires you to keep training. It could be your instructor, a training partner, or a famous practitioner, Andre Galvao, Marcelo Garcia, etc. It is the person you would look to for advice or someone you model your training after.
Goals-Discipline is nothing without goals. They are one of the main ingredients. Sit down with some paper and write them out. In the book I am currently reading The 10X Rule, author Grant Cadone states, that writing your goals down once a year is not worth doing one time a year. He recommends writing them daily and set the goals high. “People’s failure to think big enough usually means they will never act big enough, often enough, or persistently enough.”
Visualization-You have to figure out what you want in the end and see it. In the latest issue of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, there is an article that discusses how 2011 ADCC Champion, Andre Galvoa, visualizes his matches and his hand being raised in victory at the end of a match. I have to say it must work, he typically dominates his division and is considered one of the top competitors in the world.

Once you combine all these ingredients you still will have mess that you need to some sense of. This is where the recipe, directions or your plan comes into action. This is no miracle formula for instant success; you have to follow your plan, you have to preheat and bake the ingredients. It is going to take time to develop your plan of action and it will take some time before you see the results. You can typically taste the results of the cake in about forty-five minutes, but for your discipline to taste great it will probably take you several months before you start to see results. I knew I had to have the discipline to train or to excel, but I never thought about what discipline was made up of. After analyzing the ingredients, I think I have a better understanding of the hard work necessary to be disciplined.
Now you can have your Discipline and eat it too!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Vacation Plan

I don't know why, but I am super pumped about my vacation this July 4th.

Typically the wife and I will disappear for the week on a camping trip or visit somewhere out of state. This year I have managed to negotiate with her, for me and Mike B. to go train in Florida for two days!

Two days you say?Where am I training? I am still working out the details and arrangements, but looks like we are going to train at Robson Moura's academy in Tampa,FL.

Are you planning any BJJ training vacations? If so what are your plans?