I remember reading an interview in Ultimate Grappling years ago with Ryron and Rener Gracie where they explain that a beginner should not feel totally exhausted from training the first couple of weeks.
I also remember thinking to myself that that was too soft. I filed it under “marketing” or “McDojoism” but I’ve come to change my mind recently.
I have a passion for the mat. I love stepping into the LABS and seeing my friends’ faces. I love putting the gi on and rolling and drilling. Most importantly, I love the way it makes me feel. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu makes me happy.
I spent an hour last Friday teaching my 14 year old brother the upa escape and a couple of mount maintenance techniques ala Gracie University. I had a great time and so did he (at least he said he did). He worked against progressive and suitable resistance and when I checked on him on Saturday, he wasn’t aching or too exhausted. He is asthmatic so I made a point to check that he was OK.
Yesterday, a completely new guy walked into the LABS. His name is John and it was the first time he'd ever stepped on a mat. Order of the day was Side Control Escapes. Martyn covered all the details of getting to a better survival position before working a number of escapes. He made sure everybody was on the same page and walked around the room correcting details during the drilling portion and ensured the resistance was progressive and suitable. It was an hour of work. Technical work, but work none the less.
I paired with John for the first couple of rounds and then he paired up with another player for the remainder of the session. He worked hard and struggled a little with the new geography, the long-forgotten muscles and the other usual suspects. He did, however, pull off a few moves against the appropriate resistance. What was the most important thing, however, was what he said after he got changed and was heading out of the door:
“See you all on Wednesday”
The magic is in the long-run and I’m in it for the magic.
I thank Allie and my brother for inspiring this post.
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