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  1. fanatical is offline
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    Hi, guys

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    Posted On:
    5/24/2006 7:15pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I see where you're coming from though Yrkoon. You're way way way ahead of me and I'm struggling with the same problems. The beating yourself up bit rings a bell with me. I'm such a retard I've been injured twice by idiots slapping on crazy heel hooks and the like and every time I keep thinking "I should have seen it coming. I should have tapped sooner."

    I've succumbed to this now myself. First I thought I'd never get this stuff, but I've suddenly started to measure myself up against others. I didn't really notice it until a month ago. And I started thinking that there's this one guy I knew was really good, and if I could get him, then I would know I had progressed. I felt like I was at a plateu and I couldn't get off. I felt and still feel like I'm not improving. Although some say I'm just not noticing it myself. But it grinds on me and takes my mind off just enjoying and learning.

    Slowly but surely I have stopped getting subs. I started looking at why. One theory is that people have learnt my game. They know what I'll go for and stop me before I get a chance.

    Another is that they have caught up to me and they're just getting as good and better than me.

    Yet another is that I've lost skill somehow. That I haven't had my mind in the right place and have paid for it by loss of concentration and stagnation in skill.

    And finally that I just never was as good as I thought I was.


    Then it hit me just the other day right before this thread was posted, that fucking hell, it's all of it. I have to just face up to the fact that I've messed up my own progress in training. I have to take a good long look at what I'm doing and find a way to fix this. So far I'm working on it. And while this thread adresses the diagnostic, it doesn't so much present a cure. But then again the cure might be entirely personal depending on who is having a problem.

    I have been very close to just giving up and quitting because I felt NO progress at all. But then again. Finding out what's fucking you up.. is progress in itself.
    More human than human is our motto.
  2. MONGO is offline

    Middleweight

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    Posted On:
    5/24/2006 7:57pm

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     Style: na

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    One of the things that I have found is good to keep the ego/urge to win at bay is only focusing on a small part of your 'skill' each night.

    I like to think that I try to work on what I want to do that doesn't work well on my opponent during that particular randori/rolling session. If I have a smaller, faster opponent, I try to short curcuit their game by doing what particular skills I need to do it. That way if I lose, it is clear that that particular skill needs work. Its not that he is better or I shouldn't have gotten caught, its that particular skill is not up to snuff yet.

    Everybody gets caught somedays, I learn more from losing because it gives you the opportunity to see your weaknesses from the outside and not have to resort to postulating about your suckage.

    I think the hallmark of a good fighter/martial artist is they have a clear plan or at least the knowledge of what is their particular weakness at anytime. Once you know it sucks, a plan to improve it is much easier to come by.
  3. NSLightsOut is offline
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    Registered Member

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    Posted On:
    5/24/2006 8:17pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by fanatical
    Then it hit me just the other day right before this thread was posted, that fucking hell, it's all of it. I have to just face up to the fact that I've messed up my own progress in training. I have to take a good long look at what I'm doing and find a way to fix this. So far I'm working on it. And while this thread adresses the diagnostic, it doesn't so much present a cure. But then again the cure might be entirely personal depending on who is having a problem.

    I have been very close to just giving up and quitting because I felt NO progress at all. But then again. Finding out what's fucking you up.. is progress in itself.
    The cure seems to be very individual. I've been lucky enough to never really have a plateau period of longer than a month. As Mongo mentioned, having a training plan really seems to help. Take a good look at what you seem to be doing wrong, create a long-term list of techniques to work and positions to start training in, implement it, and modify it as needed when you get some feedback.

    It's a hard and painful process, but ultimately worthwhile.
  4. JohnnyCache is offline
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    All Out of Bubblegum

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    Posted On:
    5/25/2006 12:57am

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I try to take pride in my club and my instruction. If I'm proud to be part of a club that challenges me, then being beaten helps my ego.

    If that makes sense. I mean, I wouldn't want to train at a place where I could tap everyone unless I was getting paid to teach...
    There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you. I've gone to great lengths to expand my threshold of pain. I will use my mistakes against you. There's no other choice.
  5. Sophist is offline
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    Senior Member

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    Posted On:
    5/25/2006 5:43am


     Style: Judo, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've definitely been guilty of this. It was only after my first private lesson a little over a week ago that I learned what was wrong with my attitude.

    I think in part it's not just ego, with me, but laziness. I can get away with not working as hard against a less clued opponent, so if I'm feeling at all tired by the time sparring rolls round, I'm more inclined to pair with someone who I need less effort to beat. There's no glory in tapping out newbie white belts, you don't leave the class feeling that you accomplished anything; but if you're afraid of giving away a tap to someone "worse" than yourself, you'll work the things you always use and not experiment.

    The conversation with my instructor a few days ago helped me look at it in a new light. Some parts of my game are stronger than others; for example, my guard and mount are much better than my side control (on top or underneath), and under side control I always tend to shrimp back to guard, which I can do reasonably well, with the result that other escapes get neglected. I knew there was a problem there, and so I asked my instructor to take a look at it.

    He made the point that the reason I was so hazy with other escapes was because I wasn't working them enough, and part of the reason I wasn't working them enough was because I was trying to "win" instead of work on technique. So since then I've been making a concerted effort to get into positions where I need to work on techniques, instead of staying in my comfort zone. Instead of using the same old mildly-effective stable of techniques to prevent better people passing my guard, I've started letting them take side control when it's a decent pass, and working my escapes from there. And conversely, to help me work on defensive positions, I've started letting newbies pull off the sweeps they've been working in class and get me on the bottom. And it's early to say, but I think it's making a difference.
  6. PointyShinyBurn is offline
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    Gnarly King of Half-Guard

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    Posted On:
    5/25/2006 6:08am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    At my club the instructor makes the matches for at least the first couple of rounds of sparring. You will get matched up against people who pose a specific threat to your game.
  7. FictionPimp is offline

    Sexiest Punching Bag Alive

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    Posted On:
    5/25/2006 7:39am


     Style: BJJ/Judo/Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I almost excuslivly train with people who are better skilled then I am or at least as skilled as me (of course i'm very low on the totem pole). I always feel like i'm in a stalemate or being pressed on the defensive. A few days ago I rolled with one of the higher ranks in our class and he let me work. He played laid back and kept his defenses up and only submitted me maybe 2 or 3 times. I learned 100 times more with him then I do with my normal partners. This made me realize that I had the wrong mentality too when I was rolling. After that I got paired up with a guy with only 2 weeks training. This was a huge eye opener for me. I realized I could basically control this guy and submit him at will. Instead though, I took a page from my previous partners book and just kept him working. I would put him in side control or my guard and keep him busy. Anytime he slowed down I would press a submission attempt to keep him working. He seemed to have a great time and I was really impressed at how he learned to avoid mistakes that were putting him in danger over the course of our training.
  8. fanatical is offline
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    Hi, guys

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    Posted On:
    5/25/2006 12:05pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by NSLightsOut
    The cure seems to be very individual. I've been lucky enough to never really have a plateau period of longer than a month. As Mongo mentioned, having a training plan really seems to help. Take a good look at what you seem to be doing wrong, create a long-term list of techniques to work and positions to start training in, implement it, and modify it as needed when you get some feedback.

    It's a hard and painful process, but ultimately worthwhile.
    Hell yes is it ever individual. I've come to understand that everything in JJ is. I've been going on like this for a couple of months, but I'm figuring out some steps to take.

    I used to write a training log. Then my schedule got a little busy and I stopped. And I didn't start again when I got some extra time back. Training log has to be started.

    I'm going to write down everything I know. Everything I can remember just to get it down. To see for myself what I can remember about techniques, positions etc. Maybe I'll get some kind of overview over what I'm lacking.

    But some things are loosening up. The other day I got a textbook scissor sweep. Now to some this might be daft. But I'm always the smallest guy in class and initiating a sweep is usually a problem. I get laid on and shut down pretty quick whenever I threaten a sweep. This kind of reflects back on what others have said here too. About letting people work. Perhaps I subconsciously on some level have just stopped trying because it never works. I haven't really thought like that, but we live and learn I suppose.

    Point is that when I got that sweep.. and sweeps being an area I suck at. (I usually get passed, have to reverse and pass guard to get a better position. ) But just getting it that one time.. it could have been a total fluke, but just that little piece of success got me thinking that maybe something is loosening up.

    It may just be wishful thinking. But I've always let people who are worse than me get different positions. Because my guard is my strongest aspect(imho) I could just as well kept them there the entire class and just waited to submit them. I might have been a little cheap on letting them submit me, ego does come into play. But I'm kind of hoping that when they are allowed to pass and allowed to try stuff, they get the same feeling I get when I'm successful at stuff I usually suck at. Motivation, and drive to keep going.

    This is getting kind of long winded, and there's no training this weekend, so I can't really get any feedback until next week :/ But then again, this thread isn't about me. So **** you guys :P
    More human than human is our motto.
  9. PoleFighter is offline

    Professional Swede

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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Posted On:
    10/30/2006 8:54am


     Style: Sandbagged BJJ white belt

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Wow, this thread is awesome. I was going to share a story, but then I just felt like such an idiot for thinking the way I did.

    The moral is: losing sucks for everyone. Grown ups learn what they can and keep the overall goal of being the best they can be and having fun at the same time in mind. Children cry about it.

    Edit: I actually think this subject is so important that some kind of FAQ about how to make the most of your training should be made, with this kind of reasoning as its centerpiece.
    Last edited by PoleFighter; 10/30/2006 9:00am at .
    I pointed at him [the panhandler], bringing my rear hand up in a subtle approximation of the double Wu Sau guard that is the default hand position in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

    "Step away," I hissed.
    -Phil Elmore
  10. NSLightsOut is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/20/2006 8:51pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Part the Third: BJJ as a team sport - the academy/team as gestalt

    I've been planning to write this for quite a long time, but life and the postgraduate studies that now consume much of said life have been in my way.

    So without further ado...

    BJJ as a team sport

    It's a strange concept, in some ways. We spar as an individual and compete mano a mano, yet teamwork from my perspective seems to be one of the greatest components for success in BJJ. Like many young Aussies, I've done a fair bit of travel. On those travels I've stopped into a number of BJJ academies, craving some training like the addict that I am. Honestly, a number of them...just don't feel homelike. The academy I train at, Peter de Been's St Kilda academy ( www.peterdebeen.com ) has a very tight-knit group mentality, which is one of the things that drew me there in the first place, my fellow teammates believing that it is one of the essential ingredients that brings about our competition success. I haven't got that at a number of larger academies, which feel more like...black belt production lines than an actual supportive team.

    Granted, I haven't trained at at least one of the places I'd categorise as lacking this team feel for anything resembling a long period of time, but on the other hand I've immediately recognized places with a similar team dynamic to my home academy whilst travelling.

    Before I go on, I'd like to apologize for the rambling nature of this article. I got drunk last night, and suspect that I'm still at least partially under the influence due to insomnia.

    Why teamwork is beneficial

    One of my teammates started up his own school under the auspices of my instructor about a year and a half ago, and has acheived significant competition success with his white belt students, considering the limited amount of time that he has been in operation and the need to build his own student skill pool from scratch. Part of his orientation to each new student includes the admonition that they have joined a team, and just as the team supports them, they are bound to support the team by sharing knowledge, helping the less experienced and so on. In my teammates words, he does not want to train anyone who does not support the team.

    For the record, his guys are as close-knit a team that I've ever seen. I would train with them with no hesitations whatsoever, and wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone looking for training in the area. With another instructor from our team in a nearby areas, he's started a number of joint programs, such as white belt tournaments to give novices greater competition experiences and open mats to experience differing styles of rolling to the academy norm.

    From my own experience, I began training at my current academy as an overly defensive, fairly crappy white belt. During my first summer there, I spent long periods of time being triangled by one of the blue belts (averaging about five times a session) being swept, and generally getting owned by all and sundry. They took the time to explain to me exactly what I was doing wrong, which resulted in me progressing more in three months than I had during the previous nine. That kind of environment, to which I have contributed in turn, has been responsible for making me into the BJJer I am today, and has made others progress similarly within very short timeframes.

    I'd like to hear any opinions as to how teamwork has aided the progress of others. Hopefully I can reply when I've completely sobered up (On a side note, Chimay Grand Reserve is a fucking awesome way to get smashed!)
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