Informal way to lean Jiu-Jitsu, effective?
Hi guys, first of all let me say hello to everyone since I am new to these forums. I have read many threads, articles and looked at some vids, and I think that this is a very unique site. Anyways, on to my question...(lengthy post)
I am a "gaijin" currently residing in Okinawa, Japan. I studied Karate back in the states when I was a teen, and even though Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate, I did not want to get into it. Instead, with the help of some Japanese friends, I found the Okinawan Submission Club...I did not know what it was at first, but I wanted to learn submission grappling so I went. It turns out that twice a week students meet up for 2-3 hours at a middle school Judo gym. We pay 300 yen each per class( 2.30 us or thereabouts) basically just to pay for the place we use.
I did not know what to expect, but basically it is a group of people with mixed levels of experience in JJ. One guy is the champ in Okinawa, with 7 years of exp. Another has 6, another 4, etc etc. I was a begginer. Basically everyone is super nice, and it consists of maybe 30-40 mins of technique training by the elder students, and then its basically 2 hours of sparring. You roll with whoever you want, and get challenged to either 3 or 5 min rounds, or no time limit rounds until someone loses. (record for me was 20 mins)
Mind you this is not Japanese JJ...no striking here. All grappling, but it incorporates moves from both BJJ and JJJ. Some people have studied BJJ in Brazil and they teach their techniques to other students. Very cool atmoshpere. On Friday, the sensei comes. Hes a man in his late 40s, chubby, but a black belt in JJ and in Aiki-Juijitsu...He is there as a volunteer and does not teach...only gives us hints and tricks etc. So my point being this is not a formal dojo by any means.
My question is do you guys think this is a good way of learning JJ? It is not through a formal dojo, but through mostly improvised training. We do play "games" aka drills...limited position sparring, guard passing etc...I found out that I have a passion for JJ and I am thinking about it during work and odd times...I really love it and eventually get a black belt no matter how long it takes. So is it wise for me to continue this route, or should I try to seek out a formal dojo.
PS. I also found another "gym" very similar to this. Except they do JJ with no GI, and they also do full contact sparring (MMA rules). Again no real sensei just students teaching students. I am once again wondering if this is a good way to learn these martial arts. I have been doing this for 5 months now. 2-3 hours a day 4 times a week.
Last edited by sharpacid; 3/02/2007 2:38pm at .
Seek formal training immediately, regardless of whether you have any previous grappling background.
So you are saying sparring and technique training in an unstructured environment (just because there is no sensei, does not not mean there are no highly experienced people there) is ineffective??? Care to elaborate why...
I am just curious why you think this. What types of programs do conventional Jiu Jitsu dojos offer??
Thanks in advance.
You can teach yourself how to play the guitar, and if you're a prodigy you can become good. But most people need lessons
Same thing with martial arts.
The thing is Im not teaching myself....
Other people with lots of years of experience are, they are not black belts, but nonetheless....
Can someone with formal training describe what the Jui Jitsu program in a dojo is like? I am really curious and want to find out more information in order to persue this route. Thanks guys.
If there is no nearby school with quality instructors that you can learn from, then what you're doing now is "effective" in that it's better than nothing. But a good school is more than just having a great instructor - it's about having the depth and breadth of students around that you can roll with and practice/experiment. When you get a bunch of people at different skill levels consistently being available for you to train with, and add on top of that a defined curriculum, you'll see your training take off. I find it hard to believe that your club, as disorganized as it is, can offer that to you.
For example, I try to spend at least 40% of my rolling time with senior people so that I can a) get tooled, b) ask questions on what I did wrong, and c) practice defense against very tight offense.
The rest of the time I split between people who are my level, so that I can go more all out and test my game, and people less experienced so that I can take more risks and experiment more.
Added to this, I mix the sizes/weights of the people I roll with...sometimes > 200lbs, sometimes my weight, sometimes lighter. My school has enough people that I can experience all of this.
Some of the people who show up at your club may be experienced, but are there enough of them that you can get breadth of experience? BJJ, ultimately, is about learning through experience.
I still go back to the music analogy. It's like a jam session where you can pick up licks.
You can learn to play guitar, but you lack methodology and fundementals and are going to be a hack.
Many people are happy being a hack
hack guitar players are fun at parties
If you want to get really good you have to pay for quality lessons.
At best you'll only ever become a talented hack.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Thanks for your reply weechy. Yeah the problem is not the amount and the variety of students I can roll with (there are quite a few of various skill levels), but more or less that there is no cirriculum at all. This is why I would like to know what kind of a cirriculum exists in a structured school.
That sounds like it would be an awesome place to practice the things you learn in class.