Regardless of what it is we are coaching at the time, I believe we can break it down into three additional areas:
- The core fundamentals of the skill set we are working.
- The natural order in which those fundamentals arise.
- Why those things are the fundamentals, and arise in that order naturally.
The first point of the material itself is the emphasis on "core fundamentals". That means very simply that no matter what skill set we are attempting to teach, we want to place the emphasis on the core fundamental skills of that particular delivery system.
This is important for a number of reasons.
First, it is the best possible way to enhance the performance of an athlete. But secondly, and just as important, it allows the athlete to develop his or her own "style".
As an example, if I spend a class teaching how I
personally pass the guard, it may be useful for a few athlete who play a game similar to mine, but it won’t affect all athletes in the room, as some may play a very different type of passing game.
However, if I focus on teaching the core principles of all guard passes, as an example the five point passing game and the guard surfing drill, then I pass along the core fundamentals that will affect the games of everybody in that room, while at the same time creating an environment where each athlete is free to express their own personal "style". This relates back to the difference between "style" and "delivery system" which we discussed in the Aliveness Q&A
Second is the "natural" order in which these core fundamentals arise, and I place emphasis on the word natural
here. I believe that training these fundamentals in the proper order can be just as important as making sure what it is you are training is a fundamental.
As an example, when teaching BJJ we have the fundamental five on top and the fundamental five of escapes. These core skills transcend individual style, in that they are something all of us will need to develop. Therefore they are core fundamentals.
But also, they always arise in a particular order when rolling or sparring.
So if you kill the inside arm or go after the far elbow prior to blocking out the guard, then obviously you create an opening that allows your opponent to escape. So we train this skill set in the same order in which it occurs.
The same is true with guard passing. If I attempt to lock in the upper body before I have controlled the hips, then I leave myself open for submissions. So understanding the order in which these skills occur is critical.
I didn't create the order because I felt
they should be trained that way. Rather, we have observed through training that this is the order in which the skill sets occur, so it is a natural order.