Friday, April 27, 2007

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On Tapping, Chunking Down, Taking Ownership & other stuff.


Just returned from a quick visit to my good friends in New Zealand. What a great time. BJJ has really blossomed there; thanks to the efforts of a few good men! Now I get to kick back for a weekend - before seeing my students once again next week. Am looking forward to that!

Anyways, here are a couple of ideas that I ran past several groups of good people whilst teaching throughout NZ earlier this week. Thought a few of these things may be of interest.

On Tapping: Tapping is good. it's how we learn. Touch, burn, ouch; touch, burn, ouch ... don't touch! We do a lot of our learning by tapping; then modifying our response the next time that situation comes up. Think of it like this: Imagine you were 'mapping a maze' - would you berate yourself for turning the wrong way and discovering a dead end? Clearly not! it's just part and parcel of working out how the maze is laid out. Same with BJJ. Tapping just means you've turned left, not right. it's part of learning how the game unfolds. Learning the patterns and flows - not only is it not a bad thing - it is absolutely vital to figuring it all out. Tapping is good! be the 'heat seeking' missile - making ever finer adjustments on the way to the target (grappling better).

On Chunking Down: When we are breaking things down in the early learning process - it is important not to overdo that staccato/broken down process. Mainly because of the way we learn automatic responses/reflexive actions. The way we practice it is the way we will do it under pressure. If we practice too much 'broken/static' process, then that we will embed a neural pathway (an engram - a software program in your brain) that will automatically dictate the way we will do that in the future. So as soon as we get the idea of the move - start practicing it at 'The Speed of Life'. I use single-syllable commands during the training phase of running a class through a move so as to keep the PACE abreast with the speed of actual grappling. I call these Bark Commands! Will talk about them more later on.

On Transition Drills: Transition Drills are like brainfood. The give students EXPERIENCE without them having to go through all the work. This usually follows that, etc. Transition drills are like STORIES - and human brains are developed and designed to take stories on board. In fact, for most of our existence on the planet, that's how technology and info has been passed down from generation to generation - via storytelling. So when I teach a transition drill - it provides the student with a structure, upon which heaps of techniques can later be loaded. When I teach like this - everyone remembers everything I taught a week later. And that's important!

On Taking Ownership: If a student attends a lesson or seminar and doesn't remember the stuff, he has wasted not only his money, but more importantly , his TIME! Realize what you have done when you go to class -you have swapped a couple of hours of your life for that info - do you think it is important to REMEMBER it? hell yes! Remembering is the first step of taking ownership - then practice, then understanding, then application. All important.

On the Timing of Learning: More often than not, we learn stuff at times other than the PERFECT time to learn it. Meaning, that it is perfectly normal to learn things in classes and seminars that you may not necessarily be using right away; the time will come when you take them off the shelf, when your game/experience has allowed you to get to the point when this particular bit of info/technique is personally relevant to you - then you will use it. So look at new techniques and ideas as all going into the top of a giant CACHE, out of the bottom of which dribbles and trickles the stuff that you need today. It's all good!

I hope some of that is useful. Keep it fun, keep it exciting, keep learning like a little kid.
Train Smart - Train Safe.
JBW

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