Judging Progress at MMA gyms
Not sure if this is really the right place for this thread, but I was just wondering how the folks who are training at MMA gyms judge their progress.
We all rag on the traditional Belt System (As implemented in things like TKD with the 401 different belt ranks), but how do your instructors recognise progress? I got to thinking about it because at the gym I train at there really are only two ranks, Instructor and Not Instructor in the regular classes. I really have no idea how good I am in relation to anything because I have no idea how good my partners are when we're rolling in class. Does anyone's gym do school tournaments or anything of that sort so people can get a feel for where they are in relation to everyone else? How do your instructors evaluate you if they do so at all? It seems to me that for their to be high quality instruction there has to be evaluation by the instructors.
If you spar, it should be obvious if you are improving or not improving.
Not necessarily. How much "better" can I judge myself to be if I have no idea how good my opponent was? If I roll with someone and totally take them to school then I usually assume it's their first week (Because I don't think I'm all that great) but if I continue to tool everyone do I just assume they all suck, or am I some kind of phenom (Clearly NOT the case, I assure you)? Right now my list has 2 columns, Column A is "People who are worse than me" and Column B is "People I haven't rolled with". It's come down to where I'm just trying to find someone in class who will tool me so I know what I need to work on.
The way you judge your ability is through competing. A good instructor/coach, will be able to judge your progress through watching you spar and sparring with you.
With 50 people in class the instructors don't really see more than your ability on one individual technique. As for Competing, that's kind of why I'm trying to get a handle on how good I am. I don't want to sign up as a Beginner if I'm going to just chainsaw my way through, but I don't want to sign up as Intermediate (Or, God forbid, Advanced) if I'm going to get taken to school. So, that brings me back to my original question. Do your instructors have inschool tournament style things or does everyone exist in some kind of quasi verified state of ability until they get a amateur fight or make it out to their first tournament? Cause as far as I know the guy teaching the grappling/BJJ portion of class has never actually seen me do a technique, much less taken the time to evaluate me in any fashion. The same for everyone else.
So, your instructors don't watch you spar or spar with the students? Also when I took BJJ at another school, for competitions they would have little competitions to see who would represent the school
Last edited by ojgsxr6; 5/21/2007 12:29pm at .
That's a lot of people for a class! I'm not surprised that it's hard to evaluate someone with so many.
If i were you I'd have a word with the instructor. Mention to him that you are interested in competing soon and want to know what level he would recommend you go in at. In any case I'd say you should probably go in at semi-pro if the rules are the same as in the UK. Semi-pro is usually along the lines of:
No headshots on the ground
No knees to the head
And the other obvious rules ie no fish hooking, gouging, spiking etc etc
Amateur seems a waste of time as there are no head shots at all
Right now I'm primarily trying to ascertain my grappling proficiency. So I'm not worried about MMA competition yet. And really the question has little or nothing to do with me, it was just part of my train of thought and I got to wondering how other gyms handle their evaluations.
Are there any guys there that are graded in BJJ or any other grappling art? I'd be surprised that, if out of 50 people, none of them have any grappling experience so therefore weed them out and train with them.
There are 4 levels of fighters. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Elite. Its pretty easy to know where you stack up if you honestly assess yourself. If you are tooling 50% of the class then your intermediate no matter what system your under. If your tooling 90% of the class your advanced. If you have or had a title belt from a major organization your elite. This is for MMA or submission grappling classes that involve real contact and sparring.
Take that to a competitive setting and after each match your tired and so is the other guy and he had to bust his ass to win or vice versa then your at the right level.
One reason people are happy today without the belts is just that since of pressure to perform. While everyone wants to win its great to not have a black belt that says you should win. New guys in the sport like the fact that they are just a fighter with a record. As a coach I like it because the egos are easier to deal with. They are only as good as their last fight. So I can critique them all day long and not get any **** about them being a BB now so they know better. Hell even when they win I am looking at the mistakes they made to correct for the next fight.
If your not competing then look at your personal progression. How many techniques are you pulling off in class? Are you able to employ a wider range of techniques this month? Are you getting caught by the same move? Really its all about self evaluation. Even in the Judo class I wait until I see a notable progression to warrant a new rank. By placing an emphasis on skill rather than rank accomplishment. I believe I have put out a better quality student