Maybe, It’s Time!

 Recently, a 14 year old male signed up for BJJ classes and had his first lesson last Saturday. He did very well for the first time. Toward the end of the class I let him have a roll (wrestle) with the other students and he did surprisingly well and was asked by his opponents if he had done any training before. He answered ‘only from what he and his mates have been doing at school from watching UFC matches and YouTube’. Of course, this young man has just signed up and now he will get proper instruction.

About two weeks earlier, a 16 year old signed up with us, and he seemed half decent for his first lesson. This is the scary part! Two weeks into his training one of my female students (a 16 years old) who is not a BJJ student took on this guy for a roll. She gave him a bit of grief and embarrassment. I asked her ‘where did this come from’? She said, "Just watching you in class, Sir". What on earth are they feeding kids today?

During my younger years of practicing Karate I did 2 years of Thai Boxing because I wanted to be a better martial artist than the person next to me. Multi-skilling leads to an improvement overall in your martial arts training; that does not mean specializing in one area is a bad thing but I believe every specialist should have some knowledge of other martial arts as well. You have to know a bit of grappling to know what to look out for if you ever come across a grappler and the same goes for a kickboxer. In fact, just about every kid in school knows a little something about grappling and kickboxing. It's all about learning more and more. If we stop learning that is when you actually believe you are a 'master'.

Did you know the following BJJ Instructors have Black Belts in other styles:

  1. Steve Perceval (Hapkido)
  2. Rob Naumoski (Ninjitsu)
  3. John Will (Silat)
  4. Richard Norton (Goju Ryu Karate)

In fact, many of the Kickboxers have Black Belts in Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Kung Fu. Maybe, it's time (the alarm is ringing). Don't keeping hitting the snooze button because sooner or later you are going to have to get up!


The Way to Go

 Amateur Tournaments can be very controversial when compared to Full Contact events such as Kickboxing, Full Contact Karate and Ground Fighting. The reason for this might be because anything less than full contact can be difficult to gauge making it controversial whether a penalty should be given or not. I am not advocating everybody should do full contact but people should be aware of the shortcomings and perhaps give tournament promoters and their judges of these tournaments a fair go. If you don’t like it then perhaps it’s time to move into the bigger arena.

I really got a surprise when I first entered a full contact tournament (1986)! However, I made my debut with a knockout kick to my opponent (see photos). However, I did also compete in many of the lesser type of contact style tournaments and also did very well. Overall, tournament participation is a great way to check yourself along the way to assess your ability and progress. Also, opportunities present themselves to meet new people or even make a name for yourself on the tournament scene. It’s a great feeling. I believe tournaments give the martial artist a more meaningful purpose for their martial arts and continue training. Whilst, self defence, may be one of the main reasons for taking martial arts, it should not be the only reason. If you want some challenge without getting into trouble then the tournament scene has got to be the way to go.

There are many events in which people can enter so if full contact is not your cup of tea, there is plenty to choose from:

  1. Points Sparring (non contact)
  2. Continuous Freestyle (light contact)
  3. Full Contact Knockdown (bare knuckle full contact)
  4. Ground Fighting

Others events include:

  1. Kata
  2. Self Defence

Good night. I am going to bed right now to rest my poor body after 10 rounds of wrestling with my BJJ Coach, Steve Perceval. He is a pain in the neck (he choked me out at least 3 times, to say the least). I think this is retribution of what I did to others in the early days.