Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Move It!!

It's funny to me how Fabio can tell me something and show me something over and over again and it still doesn't take. I understand the concept, but I can't seem to reproduce it in grappling. There's some kind of block. Then, out of the blue one day, something clicks and that little piece of the puzzle falls into place.

That's how it was this afternoon.

I had been having a lot of trouble defending my guard and was using strength, even though I knew that was stupid. I was trying to keep people in my guard. Fabio kept telling me I needed to move my hips. I didn't get what he meant. I thought I WAS moving my hips.

Then, this afternoon, I was sitting out during for one roll and watching Fabio go against another blue belt in the school. He was defending his guard for most of the grapple. He looked effortless while the blue belt was just scrambling trying to get around.

While I was watching, something clicked. I noticed the way he was moving his hips. He was never sitting facing his opponent straight on. He was always on one hip or the other. When his opponent tried to power through on one side, he'd slip out the other side and get his back, or hip out and return to guard, or go inverted and return to guard. Hip, hip, hip. Move, move, move. THAT'S what he had been trying to tell me!

What I was doing was killing my movement by trying to hold the person in my guard with my arms and legs. I was sitting on both butt cheeks most of the time, or worse, laying flat on my back with the person in my guard. It goes against my instincts to think that the way to control someone in a fight is to move. Normally, you'd think the way to control someone is to get them in a position and hold them there. But that's not BJJ. And it doesn't work.

How many times had Fabio or Ben explained this to me? I don't even know. But I couldn't wait to roll again and try it out. When I did, the difference was like night and day. Moving made it easier to stay in a dominant position. It wasn't the SAME position the whole time. But I actually felt less vulnerable. I felt a LOT more mobile to do different things.

After class, I told Fabio that I was finally beginning to get what he had been trying to tell me. He said he knew I would, but that this is how it goes. You hit a wall, get frustrated. The instructor can tell you what you need to do, but only mat time brings you to the place where you can FEEL it and understand it yourself. That's why a lot of people end up quitting. They get to a certain point, hit a wall, get frustrated and decide it's not worth the frustration. The people who stick it out and keep working are the ones who really love BJJ.

Hopefully I will remember this the next time I hit the wall. A friend of mine in class says I go through cycles like this in a regular pattern, every couple of months. I wonder if he's right. I should be able to find out from looking back at my blog. lol

3 comments: said...

Glad I'm not the only one this happens to!

SkinnyD said...

Those breakthrough moments are what makes BJJ training worth all the sweat and bruises. Way to go!

Aparna said...

It's funny...we just had a lesson on maintaining guard last week, and another thing my coach taught us was to open your guard on YOUR terms, not theirs. I've noticed that every time I do this, I find a way to close it back up within a few moments. When I get lazy and wait for them to break, I get passed.