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  1. Cassius is online now
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    Posted On:
    1/29/2007 7:52pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Aesopian's Acceptance Speech

    Even though Aesopian is currently injured and probably going to have to have surgery to fix the problem, he is still writing material for his blog. This piece is something I think a lot of you will find interesting, and you can perhaps add to it here. I'm going to loosen up a little with my moderation of this thread, but if you post something completely worthless, I will still own you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aesopian
    As is the fashion when one receives a new belt, I felt I should offer a handy list of advice on what helped me get my purple.

    The problem with pieces like this is how easy it is to blow off their truisms. I hope I can avoid this a bit by offering less common tips like…
    Don’t feel stupid.

    As a beginner, especially before you realize how understanding and supportive your school is, it’s easy to suffer from “feeling stupid”. So much is unfamiliar and unknown to you, and you’re being constantly required to do things before you know what to do.

    Add to this that you’re having to deal with emotional issues like the discomfort of physical contact with strangers, the pressure of performing in front of others, wanting to fit into the group, not wanting to be embarrassed, trying to make your instructor proud, and so on.

    Overcoming these concerns can be a lot to deal with at first, and I think it is psychological issues like these they cause most white belts to quit.

    Realize that everyone else went through the same issues and understands what you’re going through. You’re not stupid if you don’t know something yet—that’s the whole reason you’re at class.

    So relax and don’t sweat it.
    Be optimistic.

    Eduardo had a saying that has stuck with me ever since I was a white belt:

    “Jiu-jitsu is for the optimist.”

    An optimistic outlook will aide you greatly as you learn and improve at BJJ.

    Let’s say you get caught in sparring with a move you didn’t expect at all. You could react to this a few ways.

    You could beat yourself up for getting caught, start muscling the guy so he won’t get you again and get a “revenge tap” out of him.

    Or, as I’d suggest, you could admire his success and ask him to show you what he did so you can learn it too.

    Your mindset, negative or positive, can affect how quickly and smoothly you improve, as well as set the vibe at your gym.
    Believe in the techniques.

    Your optimism or pessimism can extend specifically to how you learn new techniques.

    I’ve seen someone learning a new move and dismiss it, saying “I’ll never get that to work.” This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, since they go on to half-heartedly drill it, and then never attempt it in sparring, so it “never works”.

    Drill each technique like it’s you’re favorite move and look forward to using it. Try to get it in sparring the same day. Don’t get discouraged when you can’t get it to work at first. Just keep drilling it and going for it in sparring. It will come to you in the end.
    Don’t be a douche bag.

    This would be the spot normally reserved for the trite “Leave your ego at the door”, but I don’t really like that cliché. I think “douche bag” explains the problem better than “ego”, which is why I’ve gone with my saying.

    Ego can be a good thing, since you should feel an appropriate sense of self-worth and be proud of your accomplishments. What people really don’t want is for you to be self-important and make others feel bad.

    In case you still don’t get it, here’s a handy list to get you started:

    Don’t

    * Don’t worry or gossip about who can tap who, who you can tap, who can tap you, and so on.
    * Don’t use needlessly rough moves and especially no illegal or injurious techniques.
    * Don’t get caught up in rank and hierarchy and running after the next belt.

    Do

    * Do help less experienced training partners and answer their questions.
    * Do put up a good (and safe) fight when seriously sparring.
    * Do your best to be as technical as possible.

    It’s just training and you’re all there to learn together.
    Find good training partners.

    Make friends at class and find someone else who shares your interest in improving. This is easier if you’ve got the last point down.

    What should you look for in a training partner?

    * They’re happy to put in the time to do the extra drilling and sparring with you.
    * They’re someone you can exchange techniques with who will help with the R&D.
    * They’ll work on a move and give you details and tips they’ve figured out.
    * They’ll spot a mistake you’re making and help you fix it.

    I feel I owe much of my biggest improvements to my great training partners who are willing to put in the time and energy to stay after class and come in on Sundays to get the extra training.
    Visualize.

    Use your otherwise idle time (driving, taking a shower, laying in bed, etc.) to do mental exercises like visualization.

    Remember each step and detail of a technique. What did the instructor say about the move? What mistakes did you make? What adjustment did you have to make? What happens if you do a step wrong?

    Try to vividly recall a round of sparring. What did you do? What did they do? Where was your weight? How was your balance? What should you have done differently? What did you do right?
    Keep a training log.

    I’ve kept a log for most of the time I’ve been training, and it is what I attribute to my being able to remember each technique in detail. It is the most involved form of visualization I use.

    It’s not that I return to what I have written, since I rarely read my old notes, but the act of finding the words to describe the techniques makes me run through the move over and over again in my mind.
    Drill drill drill.

    Eduardo thought back on what he saw the top Gracie Barra black belts doing that set them apart. What were guys like Nino and Soca doing different? They tirelessly drilled their best moves.

    The importance of drilling is one of Eddie Bravo’s messages. He told a story about how it was only once he could put in extra sessions of drilling that his game really took off. His slang was to find the “magic number”, the number of reps where the move suddenly sinks in and becomes automatic.

    From personal experience, my best moves are the ones I drill the most. The reverse omoplata was a novelty until I drilled it to a point that I could do it with my eyes closed, and by then it had become my top submission.
    Spar spar spar.

    You can’t just “think” your way through BJJ. Analysis and gaining a conceptual understanding is important, and putting in reps on a move is valuable, but you need to balance it all against a healthy dose of sparring.

    It’s through sparring that you’ll hammer out the techniques you drilled and put all of your thoughts into action. Sparring is also where you develop the attributes associated with experience and skill, like timing, sensitivity and awareness.
    Keep training.

    You will have ups and downs, peaks and slumps. You’ll have good days and bad weeks. You won’t always feel like getting on the mats. You’ll get bumps, bruises and serious injuries. You’ll be off your game or be caught by surprise and get tapped by lower belts.

    Accept all of this as an inevitable part of our sport and the art. Then just keep training.
    http://www.aesopian.com/127/nuggets-of-advice/
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  2. Cassius is online now
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    Posted On:
    1/29/2007 7:56pm

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I suggest you read it from the original link, but I went ahead and quoted it anyway. Here's the part that I feel is most relevant to me:

    Find a good training partner

    I don't have one right now. At my old school, I could pull almost any blue belt aside and say "hey, want to work on [insert technique or series]?" There would be an enthusiastic "yes" to this question, and usually we'd get help from our coach. My current coach is more than happy to help, but I've found very few likeminded individuals (i.e. people who spend more than 20 minutes a week thinking of BJJ outside of class) here. I am really missing this aspect of training.
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  3. Kokujin is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/29/2007 9:58pm


     Style: BJJ(blue)

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's funny how I related to what was written in Aesopian's piece. It's not like I have tons of bjj experience, but a year and a half has passed since I started this road and I've experienced a lot.
    Bjj has helped me regain physical stability after a bad patch in life and with the physical comes the mental and next thing I know, I'm well balanced again. It was another life experience for me and for that I'm always willing to share my experience to anyone who's not bored to death by listening to me, just so as they too can achieve balance and well being. (DAMN, I SOUND NEW AGE)
    I remember the doubts, the "I can't do that" days and now I feel like I'm capable of doing anything when I put my mind on it, physical training will do that to you believe me.
    I guess ego is the first thing to go out the door the minute you start practicing. There are so many lessons in humility that you learn troughout practice (and still do), while drilling, training or sparring...so if you're a smart person, after a while, you'll simply let everything go and focus on your development...and if that means getting choked a lot or armbared until you build a game, so be it. I'm all for the roman mentality, incorporate your enemies in the empire and make them romans, you'll learn from them and grow stronger, so if that guy kicks your ass a lot of times, learn what he's doing and make it your own.
    ****, I'm pretty much repeting what Aeso said...

    Garbanzo:

    I thought I was fortunate to have my best friends coming to train with me, but then life and lazyness came along, so now they just come up with weird stories not to train. I have a really good blue belt who helps me a lot, but because I'm a lot heavier I don't get that much out of sparring with him. I do morning practice and there arent a lot of people to spar with, but we get all the attention of our instructor which is cool. There are bad and good things in my practice, but since the good are more then the bad, I consider this a excelent experience.
  4. Cowardly Lurker is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/29/2007 11:32pm


     Style: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As a white belt, I can relate to many of the comments directed at... well, white belts. I've also found that keeping a training log has helped retain techniques, although I'm becoming increasingly concerned that I might be retarded.

    I can also relate to the comments about being an optimist. All this talk about ego has made me laugh, because BJJ has been extremely hard on mine. I'm at zero risk of becoming an ego guy or a douchebag (well, ****, I may be a douchebag, but I don't think so). It's so easy to suck, and difficult to be good. But I've learned to enjoy my successes and my failures, and try to learn from both.
  5. War Wizard is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 12:12am


     Style: Judo - Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Garbanzo Bean
    I suggest you read it from the original link, but I went ahead and quoted it anyway. Here's the part that I feel is most relevant to me:

    Find a good training partner

    I don't have one right now. At my old school, I could pull almost any blue belt aside and say "hey, want to work on [insert technique or series]?" There would be an enthusiastic "yes" to this question, and usually we'd get help from our coach. My current coach is more than happy to help, but I've found very few likeminded individuals (i.e. people who spend more than 20 minutes a week thinking of BJJ outside of class) here. I am really missing this aspect of training.
    I've got the exact same issue. At the school I was previously at, everyone was down with extra mat time to work on stuff, with my current club I had one guy who would work with me, but now he's out of the country for at least several months, so now I'm stuck because everyone else has a sort blase attitude when it comes to doing extra work. Argh.
    "Keep a sharp knife, shiny boots and be on time."
  6. JohnnyS is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 12:54am

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     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've got an excellent training partner - one of the brown belts from my club. We've both been working on the same technique and are able to drill it, compare notes etc every chance we get and as such we're both getting a lot better at it.

    It's amazing to me but there are other high ranked guys who either get discouraged when something doesn't work and so stop doing it (even though they can see it's value) and/or they are so competitively minded that they won't allow their partners to drill properly. Last weekend was a good example where myself and two browns were trying to drill a certain style of passing. But one of the guys would try every other guard he could to stop the passing instead of giving his opponent a chance to work the pass. He managed to sweep me at one point and I said to him "You used a lot of tard to pull that off" and his reply was "But I had to". The thing is, he didn't have to. It wasn't about winning, it was about giving our opponent a chance of working a particular pass and providing him with problems. But this guy couldn't see that or gets so caught up that his competitive urge takes over.

    Another training partner is excellent and will say "Let's go light" but within seconds the match is going the speed of light because he's also very competitive.

    So I'm going to stick with training with the one guy, and continue to learn and get better, and most importantly, enjoy my training.
  7. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 1:33am

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     Style: BJJ, wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Another vote for excellent training partners making a huge difference in your understanding of the jits. Good training partners are worth their weight in gold. If you're lucky enough to find someone who has a similar style to yours and strives to be technical, then train with them as often as you can. You'll be surprised at how much better you can get with his feedback, and vice-versa.

    I now have two like this and am feeling as rich as Croesus.
    Shut the hell up and train.
  8. Gumby is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 1:45am


     Style: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What did he injure and when did he do it?
  9. Aesopian is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 1:48am

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     Aesopian.com 

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Inguinal hernia and last week.
  10. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/30/2007 1:49am

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     Style: BJJ, wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aesopian
    Inguinal hernia and last week.
    Oh ****. Was it from training?
    Shut the hell up and train.
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