The Problem with UKMMA Coaching Today?

The growing poularity of mixed martial arts has led to a large demand for mma coaching. Unfortunatly the number of high level or even competent coaches is nowhere near to matching this demand. The scary part is that anyone can call themselves a Mixed Martial Arts coach its not like there is a governing body to regulate.This regularly happens when someone looks around and sees there is no mma in an area and decides to give it a go.

They convince a small cult like following that they are the shit and strut around in the head coaches shirt teaching utter nonsense.  Beyond tarnishing the good name of the sport this is all harmless fun. That is until these coaches decide they want some fighters and throw a few of their most talented guys in the cage with a professionally trained athlete. This problem is compounded when traditional martial artists market themselves as running MMA programs with no relevent backgrounds. They simply do what theyve always done but replace the karate gi for some venum shorts.

This all comes down to paying your dues. With any other sport or industry an athlete is coached themselves. Then when that coach decides they are ready they get to coach on a limited basis. As they develop the athlete gains more responsibilities and after a while they may be adept enough to run their own gym. The problem is that a lot of us OG mma guys are self trained and the guys who had coaches often had bad ones. This first generation of coaches has a responsibility to constantly strive for better practices.

Even a successful career in Mixed Martial Arts is not sufficient, in my eyes, to warrant the title Coach. This sport evolves so fast, the requirements for success change all the time. I began competing at a time that if all you had was a good overhook triangle you were a total bad ass. You could amasss an undefeated record just with that skillset. You’d also get a lot of guys killed if thats all you brought to the coaches role today. A few years ago no one in the UK had any wrestling, now they do. Do you know how to use the cage as a tool? If not then it will cost you as this is where fights are lost and won in modern mixed martial arts.

The distinction must be made between the informal training group and the mixed martial arts business. A group of guys working among themselves to get better is a very cool thing, it is how a lot of us got started. But when someone decides to make money from the enterprise without having put the time in thats upsetting. If you are coaching MMA you have a duty to continually improve your coaching skills. This is not a job where you clock in and clock out. When you are not coaching, you are training to improve your own skill set, when you have done that you are watching fights and instructionals, but then again you can’t slack on your strength and conditioning knowledge, but theres that book on sports psychology to read and before it all you have to update the weight cutting and reconstitution stuff.

What Makes a Good MMA Coach?

Technical Knowledge

You dont need to have won the Mundials, an Olympic Gold Medal and a belt at Lumpinee Stadium to justify a coaches role, but a high degree of technical competence is a prerequiste. You need to know the fundamental principles in each of MMA component sports before you can coach mma as a whole. Can you imagine a jits coach glossing over stuff like posture and weight distribution or a striking coach not starting with balance and stance? The more proficient you are in the technical aspect of the component sports the more of an asset you will be to your fighters.

The better you are technically the better you will be at reading a fight and the gameplanning aspect of the coaches role. Last year at the Superior Challenge event in Sweden I was lucky enough to watch a UFC card with a bunch of guys like Urijah Faber, Pedro Rizzo, Thales Leites, Rich Clementi and Kyacey Uscola. Listening to these guys talking about fighting was eye opening. They were experts at reading a bout, they understood fighting. At times I thought big Pedro was playing a Jose Aldo videogame, he would say what Aldo should try and seconds later it was happening.

If there are technical areas you are lacking in make sure you have access to someone who can plug these holes and having multiple sport coaches is great for differing perspective. This is one of the reasons the griphouse has on last count  16 different coaches, 10 of which work directly with the pro team.

Having a coach who has competed in a lot of different combat sports is uusally a good sign.

Communication skills.

There is more to coaching than being a bad ass. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. If its evident by their actions that a coach does not give a crap the guys will pick up on it and their compliance with the system will suffer. The role of a coach is to bring a positive learning atmosphere to every session. The coach is the guy that has to make a room of people battering each other way more enjoyable than it could ever be.  I met Martin Rooney recently and he’s a master of this aspect of coaching, I was literally working my ass of during glute activation drills that I had done a million times and rarely paid much attention to anymore. That intensity continued throughout the workout as the level of coaching was so high.

Being a great motivator is not something anyone is born with and can be trained just like any other skill. A great coach will read up on different learning models and constantly be trying out new techniques to get people to do what they want. If fighters does not buy into the system the coach cannot do his job.

Project Management

I spoke about this in the previous blog post and its probably the aspect of coaching thats done least well. Rest assured you will need a black belt in excel, an never ending to do list app to work from and a calender which might as well replace sat and sunday with the words @ a fight show.

This is still the weakest part of my coach game but it is something I am working to improve upon all the time. For a guy who gets punched in the head a lot my organisational skills have improved despite the impact related damage to short term memory.

If your coach is covering all these bases congrats you have a keeper.

This revival of the blog has been in many ways inspired by the new year, our imminent catastrophic deaths (2012 mofos) and a desire to be more productive. Playing the crap out of Skyrim has been a lot of fun but after 80 hours you realise that all your doing is chores for other people. Running around collecting their shit, cooking food and sending messages to people. Pretty much exactly what you were doing in real life but with less dragon slaying

I am currently a tiny bit crippled with an elbow that hates me and for the first time in many years I find myself not able to grapple, wrestle, punch or generally be a sparring asset for our fighters. Ive been pretty lucky with injuries and this is the first time anything potentially a bit dodgy has raised its nasty head.

So instead of self harming or closing the gyms fire door on my head I decided to throw myself into coach mode in a much bigger way. This got me thinking about what is an mma coach, what qualifies somebody to become an mma coach,  what makes a good one and what are their responsibilities?

What is a mixed martial arts coach?

For me this guy is the problem solver, organiser, policy setter and motivator of the fight team. Hes the guy that tells everyone whats going too happen on any given day of a camp. He  gets the fighters to the appropriate people and organises the appropriate sessions. Hes the guy that remembers to buy albolene in 100ml tubs because you only have hand luggage on the flight. Everything to do with the fighters and fighting is in some way his responsibility. The growing professionalism in the sport means this reguires even more work. You need databases with fighters passport numbers, records and addresses, you need to know somewhere to get bloods done , have access to a sauna 24hrs a day and knowing someone who can hook up an IV will make you a fighters best friend.

So we are looking at someone who has mad project management skills and thats before we even discuss stuff like technical ability in the various ranges of fighting, strength and conditioning knowledge and game planning ability.

I think the best definition is this: Hes the dude the fighters rely on to ensure that all they have to do is  train ridiculously hard and assualt a guy in a cage with very few clothes on. It can be a crap tonne of work and If your managing the same fighters its an even bigger ballache.

But when they compete you get to bask in the reflected glory and take a bit of pride in the fact that you did your part in helping an individual experience something that very few people have. Totally worth it.

And with the relisation that anything over 600 words will never be read by anyone ill leave it there. Part two will be on its way tomorrow, What qualifies someone as an MMA coach?

The CW40 Gameplan

March 8, 2011

Ive been talking up a lot of the game planning stuff we have been doing recently and for good reason. We have had a lot of success with figuring out opponents and implementing gameplans. What Id like to do is show you an example from CW 40 and my fight with Andreas Bernhard hopefully you can put together something simalar if your a fighter or have a better idea of what a coaches role is if you arent actively competing.

Part 1.Opponents details and Stuff to watch out for.

Andreas Bernhard is a 5’1 Judoka with a 7-1 record.

Notable wins: Jesse Bjorn Buckler and Timon Esposito

Notable Losses: Ben Boekee 11-1 by triangle but he was dominating that fight till the last round.

 

Very fast overhand right which has dropped a lot of guys. Its thrown usually as a counter to the right leg kick or knee (dont throw right leg without a set up) it lands well as opponents have to punch down towards him. Great high level double leg (no need to level change). Bit of a grinder on top but seems to mess guys up. Stays in guard and chips away mixing up high and low posture to good effect. Small stature makes it difficult to get feet on hips or knee shield in the way. Good at preventing guys from standing up out of Guard. If he can get on top he can stay there and steal the round.

Probably quite strong, seems durable at least two guys have lost due to gassing out trying to kill him in the 1st round.

Part 2. Opponents weaknesses and stuff to exploit.

Covers up well but tends to take a lot of shots (elbows and knees through guard good option dont spass out). Hasnt thought in a cage or with elbows in last few bouts so take advantage of that. Left High kick even if he covers it should keep him off balance, left teep also an option. Doolan’s cutting of the cage and  long knee stuff against the cage should work well here.

Not great of his back if I can get him down should be able to work the same old crap standing pass to mount to strikes to back mount and choke. Single leg or single to Double leg Gunni Nelson sequence against the cage is probably best bet trying to throw him from clinch probably a wank idea.

Has a tendency to get tired in later rounds and as we are playing with five rounds that could be something i could work with.

If he clinches go to Seans overhook barrier and knee and elbow the crap out of him, and break dirty.

If he gets top position he has a tendency to post his left arm on the floor SWG (Sean williams guard to armbar, triangle and omoplata) the shit out of it and be ready to upkick, single leg or knee bar when he stands out of the submission attempt.

 

Part 3. Fight Gameplan

Round 1

Use jab and left kick to feel him out this round. Gauge his range and be aware of the overhand right and high level double. Use aggressive footwork and head movement to back him into the cage. If his heel makes contact with cage thats when I land long combos when his stance is fucked. Halfway through the round clinch up and prevent the takedown (to mess with his confidence) and go to work with elbows and knees (try to the body as I havent seen him hit there that often). With 10 seconds to go break the clinch and land a long combo for the judges.

Round 2

Use footwork and Jab to back him up again. When the clinch is initiated (probably by him) drive to the fence and go Double- single -double try to finish the take down in side control. Look for the beatdown and finish. Allow him to turtle and either Guillotine or back take attempt. Look for the finish in this Round from beatdown or from back mount with strikes.

Round 3

Keep this round standing up, to regain cardio after Round 2. Use foot work to make him miss and alternate between stepping off and pressuring him to the cage to land bigger shots. Spend this round trying to make him walk on to the right uppercut. Lots of double jabs and lead crosses. No takedowns this round. Land one or two flash techniques to keep the judges interested flying knee or pettis kick.

Round 4

Try to put him away standing. Still being aware of the overhand start being more aggressive. Lots of knees and elbows standing. Against the cage land shots to the body and try to overwhelm him with strikes. You will have done 8 5min rounds against fresh for this camp a few times 5 5 min rounds should be cake. Try to keep the majority of the combos along the fence line landing big hooks when he steps off the cage.

Round 5

Start this round with a big low level double and either finish it open or along the cage. Work into half guard with an overhook and pressure him into the cage throw strikes and look to finish or snatch a guillotine when he gets to his feet. Last chance to finish the fight keep work rate up and overwhelm him. Do not stop hitting for this entire round look for beatdowns constantly.

Review

 


Apart from getting twatted with a big left hook and throwing a shit spinning back kick the game plan panned out really well. I was constantly working him towards the cage and defended his takedowns well. Landed some good shots standing but didnt manage to finish the round with the combo I wanted.

Remembered to switch up the gameplan in the second round while he was tiring and from there manged to trap him in mount and finish the bout.

 

Game plans usually dont go this well, but having one gives you something to focus on as opposed to the sense of immenint doom and excitement that usually precedes a fight. Prior to the fight i think of it like project management, I have a job to do and a plan of how to do it, the fun part is implementing the plan. All the hard work should be done in the weeks prior so that you can deal with your opponents unique traits and exploit weaknesses.

 

Hopefully this hasnt sounded to much like an ego chug and you get something from it.

Failing to plan is planning to fail and all that baws.

Pow

On Sunday I picked up my 19th career win at Cagewarriors 40. My opponent Andreas Bernhard had been mauling boys in Germany and was a great opponent to find after David Arranda was unfortunately injured.

I have been fighting on CW shows since my career began. It’s kinda freaky to think that I fought on CW3 and this was CW 40. The promotion was excellent, everything from the venue to the hotel to the commentators to the runners. The fights were pretty awesome too.

When you compete on a show that is this slick and professional you almost feel that you have to step up your game.

The fight itself panned out pretty much as expected and I was able to follow the gameplan well. I’ll outline the specific planning we did in a subsequent blog post.

What was significant about this fight for me was the change in clarity. In the past I’ve had a tendency to spass out and react to whatevers happening as opposed to implementing my own game. This time with a solid gameplan behind me I was able to take my time and pick the techniques that were appropriate.

If you are fighting without a gameplan you really are doing yourself a disservice. When Rosi was warming up for her bout with Roxy I saw at least five different things she used during the fight.

If you have analysed the opponent, trained appropriately and have the correct mind set the fight itself should be the easy part.

Obviously no plan will survive contact with the opponent 100% but it’s way better than winging it and hoping for the best.

Thanks to Graham, Ian and Clare at Cagewarriors.

Ez sports and sports therapy Scotland for all the help.

And Danny Mitchell as if it wasn’t for him I’d be fighting in a baw guard.

Dammit pressed publish instead of save I’ll do the editing later.

I have just finished up another great article for Fighters Only. In that article I wrote about the importance of being able to cook interesting tasty food thats going to fuel your training, stop you getting fat and during a weight cut stop you killing people.

I get asked nutrition advice almost as much as I get asked “when is your next fight?”. My first question is usually do you eat shit/ can you clean up your diet? Most people know what they should be doing avoid processed carbohydrates, sugars and trans fats and eat a lot of protein, fruit and vegtables. Its the implementation of that last part that is the hard part. If you cannot make your lunch taste better than a bacon double cheeseburger meal you are screwed.

I am a firm believer in anyone who can read can cook healthy stuff so with that in mind I thought I would show you some of the stuff I make when im being good.Once you have made a meal a few times you can pretty much rattle through it in no time.

Lime Chicken with sweet potatao mash

Ingredients

  • 1 lime keep juice and zest
  • 1tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger if you can be arsed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 450g of sweet potato chopped up
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • some broccolli, sugar snap peas, green beans and other green crap you have in the fridge

Method

  1. Mix half the lime zest with the lime juice, ginger and honey. Slice across the chicken 3 or 4 times and place in a ziplock food bag over night (this is better but if you dont have time just cover the chicken in the juice and leave for a bit).
  2. Cook the sweet potatoes in salted water for 10-12 minutes. Brain then mash the crap out of them adding some seasoning and the rest of the lime zest.
  3. Cook the green stuff and the red pepper in a steamer for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Put it all together and eat it.

Bonus vegtable dressing.

Eating brocolli and green beans everyday can get boring this should help

  • Go to nandos and rob their big bottles of extra extra hot sauce. Cover everything you eat in it.

Alternatively

  • Mix one tbsp of wholegrain mustard with 1tbsp of olive oil add some maldoon salt and mix with the vegtables.

I know this is a bit different from my usual content but hopefully a few of you try it out and enjoy it. Eating like an athlete shouldnt mean that you cant enjoy decent food.

This serves 2 people and depending on the sort of roid your chicken is on should be about 400-450kcal with 37g of protein

Im cooking this tomorrow so will have a picture up then.

Its been forever since I have gotten round to updating this blog. What prompted me to start it up again was to let everyone know some of the developments we have been making with regards to MMA technique, strategy and within strength and conditioning for the sport.

This post will act as a preview for whats to come in the next few months as I am commiting to blogging once a week from now until forever, feel free to hang around. If your involved in the sport you will be glad you did.

So here is what ive been thinking and playing about with.

Cage work

    Cagework describes the offensive and defensive techniques and strategies that take place along the fence. This is unique to mma and is such a vast animal that I believe it can be considered as the fifth physical aspect in MMA (the others being boxing, muay thai, wrestling, jiu jitsu and strength and conditioning). Its practically an entire discipline in itself. If you can back a guy up and shove him into the fence, unlike in a boxing ring, his back heel makes contact with the cage his stance goes to crap and he becomes a victim. I see that paticular thing happening a lot. More and more people get their balance screwed up and get KOed along the fence.

    We also have takedowns, takedowns defense, stand ups, offensive and defensive clinch striking and off course ground and pound. You may have a handle on this from training the individual sports but if i add the prefix Cage to each of the above aspects are you really confident you have it covered? If you do not have a cage or wall to work on you might be screwed as the top teams develop.

    Apart from a few things here and there I havent seen a solid resource shedding education on cagework. So ill take it on myself to create one. As always your feedback is appreciate so feel free to comment.

    A true offseason.

    I always hark on about the importance of strength training and prioritising it. when you have no fights coming up get lifting 4days a week eat crap loads and stop sparring. In my experience what happens is that guys will do the 4 day programs, leave out all the rehab stuff, stretching, warming up etc (all the stuff that stops them breaking), dont eat enough and spar more than ever.

    This really but the brakes on strength development and usually sent them to overtraining ville. Fortunatly Lovey came to the rescue. After trying to stop the love machines knee with his face Titan came up 2nd (he wishes me to state that he completed his takedown). Now i had a subject who wasnt allowed to spar, had a good static strength base and great lifting technique.

    So after 12 weeks of programming that aimed to maintain his static strength and improve his spring strength and reactive ability I have created the 5 minute nightmare. The guy who helps prep guys for fights but doesnt do extended rounds himself. All of his physical characteristic (well apart from conditioning) have leaped. We are talking vertical jump, 1RM,s, drop jump, 5RM’s etc. His technical ability has been maintained (from jumping in to the technique classes) but know hes a much better athlete. He will be able to get in shape again quite easily (conditioning is more about sparring and willpower) but is now a crazy super athlete. Due to Titans sucess everyone seems to be more willing to stick with the program which rocks. Moral of the story do as I say and you will be awesome.

    My Next Fight

    I will be competing against Andreas Bernhard 8-1 on Cagewarriors 40 in London for their first show of their 2011 campaign on February 26th, at the famous HMV Forum in Kentish Town. Ill be fighting alongside my Team mate Graham Afterburner Turner as we both work towards rocking out some matching belts. Training has been superb what with almost the entire pro team training for bouts in the same weekend.

    If your interested in viewing some organised ultraviolence let me know or check out cagewarriors.com.

    That will do for now my new plan is to keep these short, sweet and regular.

    But as always, ill give you what you really came for

    No this isn’t a screenplay for a porno involving an older lady. This is a tale of two very different kinds of strength.

    One of the most important jobs of a Strength Coach is to design programs on an individual basis. What works for one guy may not necessarily work as well for another and may even be detrimental to performance.

    A Tale of Two Athletes

    Let us take for example two individuals who I train that are the same weight. First up we have Felix. This is a guy who would beat a sloth in a hanging off branches competition. He is monstrously strong, his rate of force development isn’t world class nor is reactive ability, but his brutal hulk like strength makes up for it. Felix would be at the Static end of the static- spring continuum

    Cougar on the other hand is no where near as strong as the Felix. He is however one of the most explosive guys I have met. His reactive ability is so good that even as a big fat heavyweight he was still able to knockout out back flips, somersaults and other acrobatic shenanigans at will. Guys like Cougar are proficient at storing energy within the muscle-tendon units when they are lengthened (upon landing) and are able to release it during subsequent muscle action (when jumping) to produce an extra forceful contraction. This is known as the Stretch Shortening Cycle. Cougar is an example of someone who is at the spring end of the Static spring continuum.

    The Static – Spring Continuum

    The guys at the static end are uber strong, think power lifters. They are able to shift huge loads but the rate at which they do so is often slow. The spring guys have natural bounciness, they are not necessarily very strong but they are adept at using the Stretch Shortening Cycle mentioned above.

    Where you fall on this continuum can have a dramatic affect on the direction your programming should be taking. Felix would benefit from movements that allow his nervous system and muscle tendon units to get better at storing elastic energy and releasing it during subsequent muscular action. These sorts of movement would include various forms jump training, medicine ball throws and speed lifts.

    Cougar is already a freaking Gummy Bear and gets enough reactive training during skill practice and sparring. He will benefit the most from  focussing on becoming brutally strong by picking up really heavy stuff in the lower rep ranges. If you are somewhere in between the two, you will benefit from a mix of both maximal strength work and reactive training.

    So how do you know where you stand? A lot of times you can guess where someone is just by watching them compete. Anderson Silva seems springy, Matt Hughes seems very statically strong. But it is always best to have quantifiable data so here are the two tests I use.

    The Drop Jump vs. Vertical Jump Test

    First we need to find your vertical jump height. This can be done with an elaborate system of chalk on a wall. Drop into a ¼ squat and explode up marking the chalk on a nearby wall at the top of your jump.

    Next we will do a drop jump from a 12” box. Step of the box and bounce up and mark the wall. If your depth jump performance was lower than your regular vertical jump you aren’t great at using stretch shortening cycle and are probably at the static end.

    If your drop jump was more than your vertical jump move on to an 18” box and keep going until your jump height fails to improve.

    If you drop jumped more than 20% higher than your vertical jump you are at the spring end. If your drop jump was between 1-20% you need a mixture of reactive training and maximal strength work with more reactive training being done the closer to 1% you get.

    5 Rep Speed Bench test

    Find your 1 rep max (1RM)in the bench press. Get in 10 minutes rest and then load the bar with 50% of 1RM and try to perform 5 reps in less than 5 seconds (without crushing your sternum). Keep increasing or decreasing the load until you can just barely complete the 5 reps in 5 seconds. If you managed to get all 5 reps in 5 seconds with 70% of 1RM you are freaky reactive, 55-65% 1RM is the middle ground and 40-55% is at the Static end.

    Try out these tests and see what direction your training should be taking.

    Oh and i almost forgot its been a while….

    Having a Doctor as a girlfriend has many benefits. Not only is she a dab hand at stitching up faces and draining cauliflowered ears, she also comes across tonnes of interesting information relating to the sport of mma.

    Here is a really practical piece on the management of head injury.

    Gradual Return to Sport after a Head Injury

    • You have sustained a concussion/minor head injury.
    • Prior to full return to sport it is important that you follow the stepwise system to allow you to return safely.
    • It is vital that your symptoms (listed below) have completely cleared at each level for a minimum of 24 hours before you progress to the next level.
    • You should not return to any full sporting activity in less than one week.
    • Where any unconsciousness or significant loss of memory has occurred there should be no full contact activity (Level 5) within 4 weeks. In these circumstances a medical review by your GP should be undertaken before any full contact activity.

    Step-Wise Return to Sport Hierarchy

    Level 1

    No physical activity/ complete rest

    Level 2

    Low levels of physical activity i.e. symptoms do not come back during or after the activity

    E.g. walking, light jogging, light weightlifting, light stationary bike.

    Level 3

    Sports specific training or   of physical activity with head and body movement

    E.g. moderate jogging, moderate weightlifting, technique practice.

    Level 4

    Heavy non contact physical activity/ training drills

    E.g. Sprinting, High intensity stationary bike,  non contact sports specific drills.

    Level 5

    Full contact controlled training/practice.

    Level 6

    Return to competition/ full training.

    Possible Symptoms

    Headache, dizziness, memory problems, poor concentration, irritability, tiredness, sleep disruption.

    If symptoms develop at any exercise level then return to Level One (i.e. 24hours rest).

    These guidelines are simple to follow, please ensure that your team mates and friends follow safe practices following a head injury, their brain will thank you.

    10 Things That Will Improve Your Jiu Jitsu

    1. Be a fan of the sport.

    In the beginning people get hooked on jiu jitsu because it’s fun to do. Unfortunately it does have the potential to be one of the worst spectator sports ever particularly if it’s too early for you to spot the more technical stuff.

    A way round this is to head to You Tube and check out the highlight reels of guys like Marcello Garcia, Cobrinha, Rafael Mendes, Jacare and Romulo Barral.

    I’d also recommend subscribing to Grapplers Quest’s  you tube channel where the do a great job of uploading the best fights from their events.

    Watching fights has a weird osmotic effect with me, if I am doing it a lot my game gets better. You get to see what the best guys are doing on a regular basis more so than by just checking out an instructional video, which is often full of filler.

    2. Check out the instructionals

    Initially I would look for products that emphasize basic fundamental techniques. Splashing out on a DVD entitled “Inverted Tornado Guard of the Damned” might not be a good investment for the time being.

    Stuff by Demain Maia, Saulo Ribiero, Robson Moura, Mike Fowler and Andre Galvao are all great resources. You can check out a lot of there stuff on YouTube.

    3. Buy the books.

    There are some great books on jiu jitsu on the Market right now. There is something about reading about a technique or a principle that really sticks with me in a way that simply watching doesn’t.

    I personally feel that Jiu jitsu university and the Essential Guard have really helped me develop.

    4. Think about Jiu Jitsu

    I can’t even recall how many times I’ve had a jiu jitsu break through while crimping of a length on the crapper.

    If you can’t train, visualizing yourself practicing and applying technique is an undervalued tool for development. Everyone who is successful does this to a certain degree, but by allocating 15mins a day to  visualisation your jiu jitsu will be so much better.

    5. Avoid becoming a technique junkie

    Despite having recommended a vast array of educational material I must warn against trying to learn everything. In part one we mentioned how vast jiu jitsu is, in the beginning find the stuff that works for you and work on it until you own the technique.

    Knowing tonnes of stuff without being able to apply it as as much use as shank made from faecal matter (actually in a previous blog post we discussed the practicality of such a weapon).

    Concentrate on a certain number of interrelated techniques for a certain amount of time. I usually go with one tech for 3 weeks but that’s just me.

    6. Put the time in.

    If you have read Malcolm Gladwells excellent book Outliers you will know that generally talent is overrated.

    The guys who put the most time in are the guys who tend to be the best. The more time you train the better you become. Provided that time and training has structure. It’s easy to come in and throw down with one of your friends but how much better have you gotten.

    Of course sparring is the proving ground but there should also be time to work on new positions and try to improve weak areas. If you aren’t getting better your getting worse.

    7. Set goals

    Start out with an outcome goal like “I will get a Blue belt within 6 months” then implement an action plan to achieve this goal.

    Include some process Goals like

    • I will train Jiu Jitsu 5 days a week.
    • I will drill technique mechanics 3 times a week
    • I will drill technique in isolation 3 times a week
    • I will watch Saulo Ribierios DVD’s till my eyes bleed

    Review your goals regularly and change them up. Having an action plan like this will help ensure you don’t stagnate and continue to improve.

    8.  Look After Your Body

    Everyone has had those days when there body feels like crap and there movement and jiu jitsu suffers as a result.

    Foam rolling stretching and pre training dynamic mobility warm ups can help ensure that the quality of your movement is never an issue.

    After Purple belt the number one reason why guys leave the sport is injury. The modalities above can reduce the occurence of injury and prolong your career in jiu jitsu. Look after your body and your Jiu Jitsu will improve, you will feel better as well.

    9. Ask Questions.

    Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport not a Martial Art. The traditional hierarchy is not an issue here. Your coach should encourage you to ask questions and think for yourself. The knowledge you gain for yourself  is always retained better than the knowledge you have pushed on you.

    As a coach it is way more fun to work with guys who are engaged and inquisitive.

    10. Check out other gyms

    At the Griphouse we have systems in place to help our athletes develop. Your  gym may have a completely different way of doing things. Chances are both places are producing decent guys.

    Visiting other gyms gives you the opportunity to see different systems, techniques and train with guys who have different games. All of this is very positive and you might pick up something that will help you improve.

    Weird stuff about Brazil

    March 27, 2010

    Apparently the sewage system in brazil can handle monster chuhascaria fuelled jobbys but can’t handle used bog roll.

    The waste product TP goes in the bin. But before that you can power hose the crap out/off yourself with the bad boy below.

    Weird yah?

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