Monday, October 03, 2005

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Raising the Bar

This past weekend I was teaching at the ADF's (Australian Defence Forces) MUC (Military unarmed combat) course. A great group of people led by a progressive and forward thinking personality - Major Travis Faure. The subject matter for Saturday was ground-fighting and I ran eight 50 minute sessions on the subject. At days end the entire group was grappling, acheiving good positional control and no-one was injured. A good outcome. I am often asked what i teach such groups and although i wouldn't wish to go into detail on the subject, it is worth understanding that various military, police and opther law enforcment groups are not interested in the sporting applications of BJJ - or the sporting apps of any other martial art for that matter. What they need are functional systems designed for their particular and often highly specific environments. Air Marshalls don't need round kicks for instance, they operate in a tubular environment - if working a miltray policing role for instance, a soldier is more likely to need control and cuffing technique rather than knife technique - different roles, ops and environments require different approaches in training.
It is good for everyone to sit back every now and then and ask of ourselves, what are we training for? We may decide that we are training for basic self defence - and then think, well, why do we really need to be able to pass the X-Guard (for example) - when clearly, the chances of us getting into a scrap with someone in the street that brings their hot X-guard out to greet us - are exremely remote. We may not need to be able to pass anyone guard, or defend the triangle, or escape an armbar, for everyday self defence purposes - but we do need to do these things if we want to do well against people who are good at BJJ. So my answer to the question of 'why do we have to train in techniques that we will never employ in the normal world?' is this - we need to learn these things to grapple with good people and do well. Why do we want to do that? Simply, to get better and improve our abilities. You don't get better by fighting people who are not very skilled. Want tp play good chess? Start playing people better than yourself - not people who can't play chess. I call this idea - RAISING THE BAR! We always want to be raising the bar - improving our abilities - if we want to teach ten things - then we need to know one hundred things.
Well known author and zillionare, Robert Kiyosaki once told me that the attitude he dislikes the most is the "good enough to get by" attitude. Most people "settle" - they settle for the level of skill that they need to get the job done and that's all - they fail to raise the bar. Think about it though, we all strove for something at once time or another - we all said, for example "I am not living in a cardboard box" I will do whatever it takes to get out of this box, and move into a flat. And then what - id we "settle' for that - some did, some didn't. those who didn't, used energy and thought to move up again, and into a house. Think about it this way - if you did it once "raised the bar" - you can do it again. You saved the depossit for your first house - you can do it again. What motivted you to do it the first time - and how did you do it - well, get that back, and do it again. Same for training - same for relationships. food for thought - Raising the BAr.
Good training all -
JBW

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