Sunday, November 29, 2009

The process of learning BJJ.

I'm writing an article for another publication (which I will link to here, eventually) on the process of learning BJJ. So, of course, that's been on my mind while I have attended class and rolled the last few days.

I really wish more people would roll with me like Clayton and Mark did today. I have the memory span of a goldfish; every eight seconds it's all new to me. Leslie often astonishes me with her detailed accounts of every roll during a class, often posted hours later, on her blog BJJ Grrl-- whereas I apparently can't follow the twists and turns of an individual match long enough to store them in RAM or whatever. As a result, it's hard for me to learn efficiently from the rolls I get... I remember at best a couple highlights, which quickly fade by comparison of the next roll's adrenaline.

Clayton is always a pleasure because he'll do a fair amount of rolling, but when I make a stupid mistake or get stuck, he'll stop and commentate, walk me through the proper response, suggest a workaround solution, etc. Mark, my buddy from Faixa Preta MMA, a Marcelo affiliate up near Dallas, came down this weekend and turns out he does things similarly. Mark's a well-cooked 4 stripe blue, IMHO, and he had a lot of very helpful comments to make while rolling. What helped me the most, I think, were the "cheers"-- the little "yeah" "good" "just right" kinds of things-- that gave me the immediate feedback... the hints I was on the right track.

People give me googly eyes when I say I train seven days a week, but I don't think it's all quality training time. I think if I was able to train with people who gave feedback like Clayton's and Mark's, I'd be able to narrow down my focus and improve faster.

4 comments:

cy said...

I'm like you when it comes to forgetting what happened during a roll. I remember bits, and usually the ending, but never the whole sequence. And by the time I've had several rolls in one evening, then it becomes really difficult. I always makes notes after class and I can report on the drills in great detail, but my written description of individual rolls literally contain dots and question marks. So I must have a goldfishbrain, too ;-).

I also agree that it is great to roll with advanced people who will stop and explain where you went or are about to go wrong and give you a chance to work it out. And if need be, give you help. In fact, those rolls I not only get more out of as they happen, but I remember them better, so the learning benefit is substantial.

Instant feedback is also helpful, be it from the guy I roll with or one who is watching. We have a good crowd and this happens often.

I try to do the same for people with less experience than I have.

Good training partners make such a huge difference to our bjj progress, and we prize them highly!

Chris

Mark said...

I can't wait to see you smash at the Mundials! So exciting!

Georgette said...

Um.... hope you are patient... :)

leslie said...

My brain's just weird, is all. And it sometimes remembers more than I write or remembers more later. Bah.

The bad thing is that I have a hard time actually moving it on from something once it gets stuck. Jiu-jitsu can sometimes be replaced with more jiu-jitsu, but anything else can get stuck on playback for a looong time...