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gabreus
12/15/2007 10:40pm,
I'm a college student in Manhattan, and I started looking for MA training in the city because of this site. As far as a little background on myself:
I'm originally from Texas, where I was a smallish football player and a bad powerlifter, so I was considered athletically useless. I moved to the city for college, became a smallish rugby player, and fell in love with the sport. After the season ended, I was pretty much left with school and weights, so i started looking into other sports that would keep me in shape or get me into better shape. Now I'm trying to find a bjj school. So far I've gone to a trial class at NY San Da and one at the SBG at Ronin Athletics.

Questions:


I looked into the Matt Spaz thread, as I am a pretty competitive guy and don't want to end up hurting anyone, but I still have questions as to certain behavior. A lot of the fun I have with BJJ training is the aliveness of the drill, but I've started wondering just what aliveness means. That is, should I be trying to escape/control as best I can (I'm not talking about crotch grabbing or eye gouging, more like framing [might not be the right word] in such a way that I just don't give up the key lock). I mean, I'm not exactly a 90-pound weakling, so i start to wonder how much muscle I should be using. I don't pretend to know anything about this, although I can see how learning technique is the most important aspect of the class, but shouldn't I put a lot of effort into rolling so that my partner and I can put our skills to practice in the toughest environment? I don't really give a damn about winning (I know two submissions- key lock from sidemount and a neck crank if you try to screw around before the key lock) but I really like the exhaustion of rolling for more than ten minutes.

This leads me to my second question, rolling with the instructor after hours at SBG, he got me in the RNC pretty quickly in one of our early rolls (?). In response to this, if I ever needed to put myself in a position where I gave my back, I brought my arm up to defend my neck so that he wouldn't be able to lock in the choke again. Let me put this into context, the bjj instructor is very good at bjj (obviously) and I'm not (obviously) so he can pass my guard or get a sweep type thing going almost every time and end up in side mount. Under side mount, I would frame, and if possible I'd try to shrimp to get away. The problem is that I would sometimes screw it up (or something) and my back would be exposed, thus the arm at the neck. Was using my arm in that way wrong? I assume I spazzed out to a degree that first day, so I'm not trying to avoid that label, I'd just like to find out to what degree.

My final question has to do with how to choose a school. I know one of the guys on here trains at ronin, and I haven't seen one from San Da--so I'm not looking for recommendations or anything--just to know what criteria I need to be using in my selection. So, how do I choose a school?

BJJbot
12/15/2007 10:41pm,
Welcome to Bullshido, the best Martial Arts forum on the entire Internet, gabreus. Seriously, you won't regret your choice to join us. We're a great bunch of folks, except for Hannibal. And Sirc. And TaiGip. And MMA Kid. And... well, you get the point.

cyril
12/16/2007 10:12am,
Questions:

I looked into the Matt Spaz thread, as I am a pretty competitive guy and don't want to end up hurting anyone, but I still have questions as to certain behavior. A lot of the fun I have with BJJ training is the aliveness of the drill, but I've started wondering just what aliveness means. That is, should I be trying to escape/control as best I can (I'm not talking about crotch grabbing or eye gouging, more like framing [might not be the right word] in such a way that I just don't give up the key lock). I mean, I'm not exactly a 90-pound weakling, so i start to wonder how much muscle I should be using. I don't pretend to know anything about this, although I can see how learning technique is the most important aspect of the class, but shouldn't I put a lot of effort into rolling so that my partner and I can put our skills to practice in the toughest environment? I don't really give a damn about winning (I know two submissions- key lock from sidemount and a neck crank if you try to screw around before the key lock) but I really like the exhaustion of rolling for more than ten minutes.



There is a season for everything. There are times when you should indeed muscle your way around, and time when you should see if you can do better via technique.

In my limited experience, I'd say that the best bet is to muscle your way around about 30% of the time, and work on technique 70%. This way, you get aware of where and when you can use muscle to your advantage, but you're still working on building that technical base, since that is really the most important thing.

Only use your strength in such a manner as to discover what it can do to help you, not just to go all out other white belts.




My final question has to do with how to choose a school. I know one of the guys on here trains at ronin, and I haven't seen one from San Da--so I'm not looking for recommendations or anything--just to know what criteria I need to be using in my selection. So, how do I choose a school?


Depends on what you're looking for. In striking, you want to make sure that the school is maximizing its partner drills, since, you know, we fight with other people, not just bags of leather. And make sure that there is little wasted time on the matts. When you're in class, you shouldn't have to wait for an instructor to adjust everything before you can continue the actual training.

Also with striking, make sure they do good conditioning. That's important.

I'm not a grappler yet. I'll figure that out some day.

slideyfoot
12/17/2007 12:11pm,
Welcome to Bullshido!


Now I'm trying to find a bjj school. So far I've gone to a trial class at NY San Da and one at the SBG at Ronin Athletics.
If you're just starting in BJJ, I'd recommend the following threads:

Training, Stagnation and Tapping (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=974042)
Maximizing what you get out of rolling (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1253088)
Protecting Yourself During Sparring (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1234198)
Grappling Basic Principles (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=20609)
First Day Lesson (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1232603)
Fundamental 5 (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1019474)
Obvious Epiphanies (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=62601)

And the following articles:

Starting BJJ Classes (http://www.grapplearts.com/Starting-BJJ-Classes.htm)
Nuggets of Advice (http://www.aesopian.com/127/nuggets-of-advice/)



So, how do I choose a school?

I'd recommend you take a look at the FAQ (http://www.bullshido.com/articles/finding-a-good-martial-arts-school.html) on finding a good martial arts school. In general, signs to look for are a competitive record, regular heavy contact sparring and 'aliveness' (if you're unfamiliar with the term, Matt Thornton has a long article (http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-aliveness.html) on the topic describing what it is and why it's important: he is the man most associated with popularising the concept).