Saturday, May 7, 2016

Training tip: Grappling w/ Patience


Today in the Adult JJ, I had a discussion at the end of the class about a few live training tactics that, most of the time, goes unknown by beginners. The first one being PATIENCE. This was going to be shared within our closed group page as a follow up, but I felt that this could help a lot of people out there so here it is. 

This conversation got originated from the training method we utilized today, which was about resisting at only 50% of our physical capacity when it was our opponents turn to try the techniques. And along with that, all the benefits that it brings as opposed to always going to 100% full resistance mode.

First, we had the students drill with no resistance in order to get acquainted with the moves, which in today's class was about a reversal from closed guard that had as an alternative attack, a back take technique.

Once I felt they understood the sequence and were satisfactorily executing it, they headed into the 50% resistance mode. The rules were that only the opponent on top would go 50%. The person executing the move would try and hit it as if their opponent was also fully resisting. It was a 2-minute round for each role, which I estimated should have been accomplished 2 or 3 times in the allotted time. Which they did.

We did 3 rounds with different partners every time, for allowing them to feel each person's ability to control their strength usage and stay true to the 50% resistance "agreement" while on top, despite how much intensity their bottom opponents would give. This ability to stay calm and not allow their opponents intensity to affect how relaxed you stay at any given time in the match is actually the other topic we talked about, which I will post more about later. 

I will also talk about more of the incredible benefits of 50% live training in a later post.

About patience. There just isn't another possible way for an individual, half of the size of his opponent to come out victorious other than knowing when to attack and when to wait. You can't just implement an aggressive, uncalculated, do-what-I-want, when-I-want strategy against someone potentially bigger, more athletic and stronger than you. You need to know that there are times you will have to wait to attack. And that's an undetermined amount of time as it could be 10 seconds, minutes, etc.

Knowing how to maintain a defensive approach is crucial to improve your position within the match at times (and probably everytime if your opponent is physically more gifted than you). Often your patience will pay off in a way you won't believe, such as in a moment where your opponent will make a mistake, due to either lack of technical skill or even due to his own lack of patience in what to do next.

The right technique won't work if timing is off. If it did, it likely required a lot more strength to work. This repeated approach will eventually exert your energy, and hopefully you submitted your opponent/attacker before completely gassing out. 

If you did finish your opponent (in class), you still have  to complete the round stipulated by your instructor anyway and now what? Now you have a smaller, more patient and energy-conserving opponent smothering you with chokes and joint lock attempts until time is up. What's the point of all that? Another factor that exhausts people is the desire to finish their opponents too quickly. 

Defense allied with patience will always provide the tools to winning. What is the point of doing a 2-minute strength sprint against your opponent, submitting him/her and then asking to quit, when there's still time left in the clock. That's not fair. Another point of the training is to learn to recover within the match. Learn to survive until you can fight back. Otherwise, you might just turn into "the guy" that will have very limited training partners, rendering your progress. 

Not every roll has to be to the death and those who understand this will reach mastery more easily but more importantly, more safely, likely reaching black belt level.

The goal at the end of the day is to learn, to train, have fun but efficiently manage your energy and execute each move with minimal effort and maximum efficiency. This should be everyone's motto in life professionally and personally speaking, more efficiency, less effort in our actions.

So then, when the day that you are really exhausted arrives, you can still, first of all, survive against any attacker of any size, and/or train for long periods of time with your friends/ teammates without no strains on your body, contributing to a fun therapeutical session and, long- term, an extended lifespan on the mat.

Many practitioners will never be given the chance to know what to look for in training other than sweeps, submissions, etc. Jiu-Jitsu is so much beyond that. The mental spect of the training is the biggest benefit we can all get from it. That's where real confidence and peace of mind comes from.