Rollercoaster Rides

 For most people, BJJ can be quite an emotional rollercoaster ride because of the many 'highs' and 'lows' one endures during the long and hard journey.  When BJJ students talk about having a great training session it’s usually because they pulled off a submission or two, or maybe just gave somebody a hard fight; that means a ‘high’ for one person and a ‘low’ for the other. 

This type of martial art is particularly made up of these ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ but students need to accept and deal with them without resorting to an emotional crisis and call off sick at work the next morning.  If BJJ is your thing and your only goal is to submit, then you may be gravely disappointed because that may not happen often enough to satisfy your indulgence and you may be missing the whole point of the exercise.  Rolling (a more diplomatic term for wrestling) should be about exploring and discovering where both persons can benefit from it.  It's not about feeding someone’s ego at the expense of the other. 

If you are in this game try helping each other to try something new to experience it under pressure.  One can be the ‘master’ and the other, the ‘student’.  Then they can swap roles. This sort of training is a great self-esteem booster, this is how the professionals do it.  Try it first before you say you don’t like it.

What a Fluke!

If a novice gets a good technique in on a more experienced opponent, it is often called, by many, a fluke. But if you look at it closely it is a case of being at the right place at the right time, and that my friends, is called good timing.  Speed is important but not the only source of success; an integral part of success is timing.  That good timing is not so good for the other opponent and not good for the parachuter (great for the crocs, though).

This got me really thinking when Jean Jacques Machado, last weekend, wrestled everybody at the seminar in Melbourne (JJ is a world class master grappler and teacher).  He did not submit anyone immediately (although he could have) but just rolled around with his opponent until it was the right time to finish them off.  Sensei Benny ‘the Jet’ Urquidez (undisputed world champion kickboxer) has proved to be a master of timing in the ring, countless times, knocking out his opponents with kicks and punches.  All it takes for those techniques to become null and void, if the target is slightly out of focus, the strikes are thrown too quick or too slow or the balance is compromised.

If we can focus our minds on the importance of timing we will be more successful or better off.  This shouldn’t be too hard because we do it everyday in our lives such as mapping our routes and times to avoid traffic.  My last classic case of timing, outside of the martial arts, was the trip to Melbourne, there and back, in one day for the JJ seminars.  Planning time to leave home for Airport, check in, fly across, pick up rental vehicle, 1 hour drive time to location and, after the seminars, do it all over again to make sure I didn’t miss the flight back.  Of course, I allowed time in between, should anything happen such as traffic, vehicle breakdown or any other misadventure; that extra time and planning was my insurance if my timing was out which might make some sense to anyone in their martial arts training.