Thread: Some nice concepts
1/03/2006 10:20pm, #1
Some nice concepts
These are some of my coach's tips from his blog at www.bjj.com.au that I thought some people might find interesting:
Whisper the Counter ...
Quite often after I have finished teaching a technique or concept, I'm asked by someone in the class, how to counter or stop that new move. I need to point out that should I teach the counter in the same class as the technique, that I would be making a very fundammental coaching error - one that I see made in many a martial arts school.
My reasoning is this: the single most important thing that needs to happen after students learn or are exposed to a new technique - is that they have opportunity to try it without paying too high a price for doing so. It doesn't even really matter whether they succeed with it - just that they try it.
The first step in 'taking ownership' of a move is to make the association between the 'situation' and the 'new move'. It is not absolutely necessary that we are successful with the move, just that we start to make those associations. (EG: the opponent in our guard has one arm in and one arm out - and we think 'triangle' - that's an 'association'.)
So as an instructor, I encourage my students to always try new techniques as soon as they can after having been exposed to them. In the same class would be the ideal. If we wait a few nights - life and other stuff gets in the way - and the technique has by that time, been pushed further down into our mind's clutterpile (my own word) - and the chance of retrieving it is lessened.
Now, by teaching the 'counter' to the move in the same night, what we are really saying to the class is "hey, now everyone knows how to stop the move you just learned, so your chance of pulling it off is even lower." What do you think the chances are that they will now try the move? Answer: only those who thrive on challenge will give it a go. Probably less than 5% of the class.
I call that approach - 'killing the move'.
What I usually do is wait until some of the students are 'invested' in the technique (ie: they have pulled it off enough times so that they will not 'give it up' when they start to meet resistance to it) before I start to 'whisper the counter' to a few students at a time.
If they are 'invested' enough in the move, then when people start to counter it, they will work a 'counter to the counter' and what we now have, is 'evolution' on the mat.
I call this 'evolving the move'.
So in short - I teach the general class a technique, and I let the counter (ie: the resistance) to it, creep in organically. The only time I don't do this, is when we are specifically working counters or escapes as out training theme.
I believe this idea is fundamental to logical and progressive coaching. I hope it helps.
Good training all.
1/03/2006 10:21pm, #2
Process not Goal ...
I have many stories that I could use to illustrate this point - both personal and observed. But I will tell you one of my favourites:
Some 15 years ago, I and a friend, decided to do some rock-climbing training. So we sought out Australia's best rockclimber at that time - one Malcolm Matheson - who took us out to Mt Arapiles in Northwestern Victoria to scare the crap out of us for a week.
So day one, we are taken to the face of this climb, that happened to be about 400 foot high. The holds were deep and easy, in fact, were it not for the fear factor, an eight year old could climb it. We are standing there, looking up at the top of the climb (somewhere in the clouds it seemed) and I turned to Malcolm and said "I don't mean to tell you your business, but as we are just beginners, shouldn't we start out on a small rock somewhere and learn get the basics down?"
Malcolm laughed, and said "hey, I just want you to get four foot off the ground, just climb this bit in front of your face". I felt stupid - and immiediately jumped onto the rockface and easily climbed up four or five foot - it was easier than a ladder. Anyone could have done it. I turned to Malcolm - and said "no worries!" He smiled and said the words I will never forget "Now ... repeat!"
And so it went, and up we went.
The moral of the story is simple - don't be side-tracked or freaked out by looking at the 'goal' or the end-point of any journey - instead, look and focus on the only thing that is actually relevant, the steps right in front of your face. If the 'process' is carried out properly, then the 'goal' is actualized.
I was talking to the class about this tonight. They were working escapes. One of the biggest problems people come across when trying to escape from underneath, is that they become overly-focused on where they want to end up (ie: out and on top) - well, no kidding; of course we want to get out - but that has nothing to do with the process of 'doing' the escape. Little by little - do the little bit, that will get you to the next little bit - and so on, until you are out. Same goes with Guard passing, attacking, whatever. Get into the process - learn to enjoy the process - you will lead a fuller life - and you will learn to escape side control a little easier also.
1/03/2006 10:25pm, #3
POTENCY ... a huge secret! Seriously!
Think about this - it is really important:
Someone does a technique that seems virtually unstoppable - it is their 'baby'; they seem to be able to make it work against everyone - and to make matters worse, it seems, on the surface of things, to be a simple and basic technique. This 'someone', is a world class performer, but when you try the technique, it only works some of the time or not very well at all ... what is going on here??? Something is going on ... obviously, but exactly what is it?
Let me give you my two cents worth on this ....
It's all about 'POTENCY'!
Here's an example to explain my idea: let's say that a given move has at least four things going on during it's execution - 1. What your left hand/arm is doing 2. What your right hand/arm is doing 3. What your left foot/leg is doing and 4. What your right foot/leg is doing ... sometimes there are other contributing factors - eg: what your head is doing, your right shoulder, etc. But to keep it at it's simplest level - let's just look at how each of our four limbs is contributing to the move/technique.
Now, Most of us, once we are comfortable with the move/technique, will begin to 'focus' on one aspect of the move (ie: the function/contribution of one of our limbs) - as we focus on this, we will raise the 'potency factor' of the move/technique considerably. At that point, most people leave off, (especiallly when they 'plateau' with the move, and go on to repeat the process with another move.
Want to be world class? If so, then you need to do this: re-examine, each and every 'contributing element' of the move (ie: the contribution of each of the four limbs) and work each 'element' until you simply have 'milked it' for a full 100% of it's contribution - ie: until you have gotten 'full potency' from it. if you don't understand what the contributing factor for that particula=r limb is, then you need to study more, start to reallt think about the bio-mechanics of the move and build your understanding. Ask your coach/instructor - but don't expect him to know either - in any case - look and think, very closely!! if you do this for each 'contributing limb', you will 'double' the overall effectiveness of the move/technique - guaranteed! Once you have milked one for all the potency it can afford you - and this is an automatic process, concentrate on another one; do this until all four limbs are contributing a full 100%!
Once you've done this once or twice - with moves that you already are very familar with; you will absolutely start to re-examine every other move you know - because the results you get will be so amazing. This is an approach that most world-class people take (whetehr they know it or not - usually not) - starting with their favourite moves and then slowly, by siege tactics, to every other move/technique they have. This is one of the main reasons that we have a serious degree of separation in skill levels - between the world-class performers/athletes and the rest of the mainstream.
Hey, anyone can pass high school exams at their most basic level. They get a 70% pass in maths, a 60% pass in English, a 90% pass in geography and say, a 98% pass in Chemistry - and that is what's going on with most people's moves/techniques. Get a 100% pass in all subjects - and you become world class. Adding more subjects (techniques or variations of your move) when you are only acheiving a 60% pass rate on the one you already use, is NOT going to help the problem. in fact, it is going to make the problem worse! Fix what you are doing - milk it for all it's worth. Acheive clarity on the contributing elements (at least all four limbs) of the move - and work on each of them separately, until you cannot make them better. The when you go on to 'new' moves, you will be working at a whole new, and seriously improved, level.
Get potency! Think about it.
I hope this idea helps.
Good training and teaching to all.
1/03/2006 10:27pm, #4
1/03/2006 10:36pm, #5
John taught myself and a couple of brown belts a private at the end of last year on his "Potency" topic. We were using the basic butterfly (hooking) sweep as an example. I've been working on this sweep a lot lately (hainvg played a different game for a while) and having quite a bit of success. It's one of those things where you struggle for years, making a technique ridiculously technical (I think this seems to happen around high blue and purple) and still not getting it and then "Click!", everything suddenly works (usually brown belt). Simple things like really locking their shoulder to mine with my underhook (i.e. doing it 100%) instead of just 50%. Controlling their other hand to take away their base, use my non-hooking leg to attack their non-hooked leg. By simply doing three things and attempting 100% potency with each, my success rate jumped dramatically.
1/04/2006 12:57am, #6
Sounds really good. I can think of one sweep I'm going to try this with. My brown belt is less than a year old and I haven't been training like I want to either. This could be really good for me. Thanks!
1/04/2006 1:34am, #7
JohnnyS, your advice is worth its weight in gold. Please contribute as often as you can. We are listening.Shut the hell up and train.
1/04/2006 4:39am, #8
If I was in Melbourne I would so train with you.Fighting evil and upholding justice in blue silk pajamas baby!
Bah!!! Puny Humans.
1/04/2006 9:02am, #9Originally Posted by JohnnyS
Brilliant advice no matter what you train.
1/04/2006 9:30am, #10
Reading brilliant posts like these make me forget the main purpose of the intherweb is watching free pr0n.
Very good job.