When we talk to our children about earning their next stripe or belt in Jiu Jitsu, we speak to them about the development of character. Personal progress is inherently multimodal (which can be difficult to understand), and must be emphasized to our young practitioners. This means that these strong and capable young people must be expected to, and then helped, and then praised for being honest, hardworking, generous, focused, kind, positive, responsible, and disciplined. Of course the quality of their Jiu Jitsu is of great importance, because if we teach them something that is less than real we both put them at risk physically and we undermine the trust a child has in adults that teach them. However, it is the aforementioned character qualities that will help them grow into capable adults. Thus, each child progresses and is rewarded for their personal growth. It will never look quite the same as their peers, but it will always be just as valuable. This is so important for them, and for us, that I’ll say it again in a different way: it is not how you compare to everyone else today, but how you compare to yourself yesterday. Be better than that self.
Two of the most important characteristics that an individual can cultivate in their Jiu Jitsu, or Kickboxing, or any martial art for that matter, are patience and honesty. First, let’s talk honesty. Honesty is the ultimate tool for personal progress. Whether you are drilling or sparring it doesn’t matter. When you are reflecting on your training session, or perhaps even during your training sessions, ask questions: Did I really drill that new move diligently, did I actually roll light, when I giving my partner feeds, did I actually give my best effort to make them of high quality, did I give them that sub or did they actually catch me in something like I didn’t see coming or couldn’t defend, AM I PROTECTING MY EGO BY ROLLING IN A CERTAIN WAY, etc?! Be brutally, evisceratingly, honest with your answers, and then work to improve where you can. Training that falls short of honest is not only hollow in its value to you as a person, but also in its value to help protect you when you need it.
Second, is patience. We know intellectually that all things take time, but when it comes to developing skills, waiting out an uncomfortable position, dealing with adversity, or even securing victory, we almost always rush things. This leads to incredible amounts of frustration and the painful “almost, but not quite” moments. BE PATIENT. The right move at the wrong time is in fact the wrong move! The submission or escape that you so desperately want will only be available to you at certain moments and under the right circumstances. Breathe, be calm, and be patient. The time and circumstances can, and likely will, come about, but you must be patient enough for them to arise. My friend and head coach of Nemesis Jiu Jitsu @nemesisbjj in Portland, OR once told me that “Jiu Jitsu is the art of getting shit for free”. What he meant was be patient, and with control and awareness your opponents will give you what you want.
From one of our most dedicated members, @semprecrescendo1: Impact's Fight Fit class has improved the general fitness side of my BJJ game. I find certain movements easier and general muscle endurance has improved significantly. Prior to Fight Fit I was using power lifting as a supplement to my game, but quickly realized this was a mistake. Fight Fit is definitely structured toward practical use IN my game. As Coach Tim says it's better to have go muscles than show muscles. In addition to opening my eyes to how a BJJ athlete should be strength training, Fight Fit has also helped recover and strengthen some areas where I was extremely weak and had resulted in injuries in prior competitions. .
Fight Fit is offered MWF 6-7am with Coach Tim Erwin at Impact Jiu Jitsu Albuquerque.
On Wednesday’s at Impact Albuquerque it’s Women’s Night. What does this mean? It means that we are running our regular weekly classes, but during which all of our female grapplers (and those female grapplers, or even potential grapplers from throughout the community) show up to train with one another specifically. We believe in all people’s training together gives us a well needed understanding of reality. However, we also believe that finding and training with individuals that are as similar to your own self in term of size, weight, strength, experience, etc. as possible is equally valuable in terms of identifying and solving the similar problems that you’ll inevitably face. At Impact we support our whole family, the different groups that make up that family, and all the individuals that make up each element of our community. So tonight, is our women’s night to make sure they get time to train and work with their peers, amidst regularly scheduled classes, and workshop their skills together. See you on the mats ladies!