How much of your BJJ mat time do you spend listening and watching? How much do you spend executing or repeating shown grappling techniques against an opponent (cooperative and progressively resisting)?
I remember when I was studying to become a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) the following table of how much time an average student will spend training communication skills was introduced:
The percentages indicate how much of our communication time we spend training in each skill. Of course, these are not hard and fast rules but they do paint a picture. We spend far more time listening than, for instance, writing. This blog is partly my way to become more rounded as a communicator and a human being.
At the same time, I always see direct links between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and communication. A roll is very much a physical dialogue, the more honest and candid the better it feels. If I was to take the above table of skills and relate it to grappling skills I think it would roughly translate to something like this:
Watching (instruction, dvds, online media, matches...etc.)
Executing (performing techniques and movement drills against partners)
Analysing (trying to understand not just what happened during a BJJ roll but why and how it could apply in other situations)
Experimenting (scientific play, doing things no one has shown you before)
The question becomes, how much time do you spend in each area? How much time do you spend watching, really watching, your instructor or coach? How much time do you spend executing and drilling shown grappling techniques against a variety of partners with progressive resistance? How much time do you spend analysing grappling matches or BJJ moves? How much time do you spend experimenting with logical solutions to grappling challenges (framing with the elbow instead of the hand, what is the best way to shrimp? where should your head be when you bridge?...etc.)
This is one of the reasons I love Rolling Reflections type videos like the ones Roy Harris put at the end of his instructional DVDs and the ones often put on YouTube by BJJWeekly such as this one here.
How do you distribute your BJJ time? What can you do today to become a more rounded grappler and martial artist?
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
----Did You Like This Article?--- Click here to add The Part Time Grappler to your Favourites / Bookmarks