Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unconventional Methods

I tried to get creative at the Women's class on Thursday night. I knew that the older girls who normally come weren't going to be able to make it. I had a class of two 6th grade girls. Both girls show a lot of promise and really enjoy bjj. I wanted to cater that night's class to them: what I thought they needed to work on the most. But bjj is hard work and I also wanted to try to make the class fun for them, so we tried a couple of games.

First, for technique, I taught 3 mount escapes. One they had already seen and two new ones. The hip out, the upa roll and the upa roll/hip out combination. The girls are small--we're talking maybe 90lbs soaking wet--and, as you can imagine, being able to escape mount is crucial for them.

But when I split them up and told them we were going to do timed mount escape drills, they were looking pretty long in the face about it. So, I decided to try to make it a game. I told them they had 2 minutes to escape the mount five times. If they could both do it, I told them I would take them to this place in town called Rita's Italian Ice and buy them each a small gelato.

It is amazing how quickly their motivation returned.

I wouldn't normally do this, but I have a soft spot for kids (I used to be the youth pastor at the church where one of them goes).

Anyway, they each had to escape 5 times in 2 minutes. Man did they work hard! I was impressed to see them putting their hands in the right spot and using their legs. They did great. Needless to say, they accomplished their goal!

The other thing I wanted them to work on was learning how to get a resisting opponent into their guard so that they could use some of the positions we had taught them in previous weeks. Usually, when newer people grapple, they are thinking more about submissions--either how to use them or escape them--than they are about positions.

So to make them think about how to get the other person in their guard, Stephanie and I tied our belts on backwards and told them that their goal for the next 5 minutes was to untie our belts. I told them they needed to think about what position they needed to get Stephanie and I in so that they could untie the belts. They also went once with each other, with both of them having to untie the other person's belt behind their backs.

I can tell you there was a lot of laughter and creative grappling that happened. It was really fun and I think it made the girls think a little more about what they needed to do to get a person into their guard.

We had normal grappling to wrap up class. There was a torrential downpour going on outside, but the four of us drowned rats made it to Rita's and basked in gelato paradise. All in all, it was a pretty fun night. :)


Megan said...

Great motivation...cuz Rita's is awesome:)

slideyfoot said...

Cool - I wonder if that would work for my girlfriend? "Come train with me, then I'll buy you fish & chips and an ice cream!" Worth a try. ;p

Liam H Wandi said...


Veronica said...

I love the bow game!! We have a women's open mat coming up in SoCal Sept. 17 and this game is great!