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.
Be honest and master the fundamentals. To progress in Jiu Jitsu you must be brutally, objectively, sincerely honest with yourself about your true strengths and weaknesses. Knowing them gives you the direction and focus needed for progression. As you build your skills and hone your craft, never forget that the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu MUST be at the heart of all your progress. The fundamentals are the ingredients required for every recipe that you ever bake in your Jiu Jitsu kitchen.
Jiu Jitsu is a pursuit that is greatly affected by what we can “see”. When we roll, our mind decides what data that our eyes take in is important, and what isn’t. In this way our mindset, or focus, controls what we see, and therefore what we can capitalize on. So whether it is a selection of techniques, a system of control positions, a set of conceptual tools, or even a personal game plan that requires a particular entry, your mind will focus on the data relevant to what you believe is valuable to your pursuit, and discard or diminish the rest. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, like you’ve plateaued, etc., then change your focus! Give your mind a new set of data priorities, and you will change what you perceive. If you change that, then the way you express Jiu Jitsu will change accordingly.
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.
Engage in the conversation of Jiu Jitsu. All too often we see one athlete trying to force their game on their opponent, or conversely hunkering down permanently into defense positions. These tactics are the equivalent of shouting at the top of your lungs, or refusing to acknowledge another person in order to dominate and “win” an argument. Instead when we train Jiu Jitsu we should engage in the conversation!! Just like in an exchange of ideas, in Jiu Jitsu we learn significantly more about ourselves and Jiu Jitsu and our opponents by allowing exchanges of technique and position to take place. Playing the game is why you are here!! So play, learn, have fun, be vulnerable, attack, let go, attempt submissions, give up positions, explore, etc. If you cannot engage in grappling with humility and a desire to engage in “exchange of ideas” then you will be limited to aspect of Jiu Jitsu you already know, the thoughts you already think, and you will plateau. So open your mind, let your ego die a little, and have fun engaging in the complex and rewarding physical dialogue of Jiu JitsuRead More
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!
Our goal at Impact is to make the initial transition into BJJ as fear-free and easy as possible.
It took me 6 years to step foot into a Jiu Jitsu gym after meeting Ben. I used to rather sit in the car while he rolled than go inside. I was intimidated by it being a "man's sport"(sometimes I still am), by it being "full contact", and I really just had no concept of "what Jiu Jitsu was". At the time, I was very satisfied with running (still am!) and group fitness classes. Begrudgingly I agreed to go one evening after another girl persuaded me to try it, and real talk: I cried the whole way to the gym.
Jiu Jitsu, for me like most people who try it, from day ONE changed my life forever. It was and IS the most physically and mentally challenging sport I've ever tried. It's helped me understand my body (it's strengths AND limitations) in a way that life and other sports never could. I better understand when I'm safe and when I'm not, both inside the gym and out. I grapple with men and women twice my size and with certainly double my strength and I feel just as powerful and capable (or I discover MY limitations and understand what I need to learn). Empowerment at it's greatest.
On Mondays at 5:30pm, we offer a free introduction to BJJ. This is usually a 1:1 group with one of our instructors to ease you into Jiu Jitsu and your first class.
Wednesdays at 6pm is our Women's Night during BJJ 1. I, alongside the other ladies at our gym, will be there to help you and answer any questions/alleviate any fears you may have. As a female owner of the gym, it's my absolute mission to create a friendly and safe environment for all of our members to start and continue this journey.