As a follow up on my last blog - I'd like to talk about TAKING OWNERSHIP. When starting out in BJJ, we may be exposed to only a handful of techniques and therefore we are not all that confused by choice - we either have an answer to a situation and we try to apply the technique we know to that situation, or we don't have an answer - in either case, we either have the tool for the job or we do not - not a lot of confusion. The real confusion begins to creep in, when we start to collect a lot of techniques, loads of options, for any given situation - this can lead to 'mental log jam' - which of the 40 sweeps do I use .... which omoplata do I try to set up ... which escape, etc. I am sure ost blue and purple belts can relate to this problem - and even more so nowadays, when we are bombarded with too much information (Youtube, google, etc) The solution to this problem can be found in 'ORGANISATION'. If you own one house, and only get one lot of bills (gas, electricity, rates, etc) then you might not need a filing system = you just throw them all in the drawer and deal with them as needed. But what if you owned ten houses - then you need not only a good filing system, but a method of prioritising them, etc. The more you know - the more you need to organize that information. One of the first things that is worth doing - is this - to make a clear distinction between 'resource' and 'personal game'. Everything you know and everything you will ever learn, goes into the 'resource' file - whilst those techniques and strategies that you really like to use, they go into the 'personal game' file. Not everything you will learn, will fit your game - but those many techniques that you do not like/use/find a use for in your game - those techniques are still important to remember, because they may give you some other 'less obvious' benefit - or skill - that you might indeed use in your game. And from a coaches point of view - you need to have both deep and broad knowledge so that you can help or teach all kinds of people, not just those who like your own personal 'game. I see a lot of very successful competitors trying to force their game on every one of their students - this is a classic mistake. Clearly, people are different. I have many ways to CATALOGUE techniques and strategies - but one of the most basic methods (one that I have used in more than 25 years of BJJ training) is to catalogue techniques according to POSITION. Eg: If I think SPIDERGUARD - I am immediately clear on what I consider to be the main sweeps from that position, the ways to set up Omoplata from that position, the ways to set up triangle armbars and Kimura's from that position, etc. This simple method works well, because you can add to it easily, over time - but to help you with your personal game - you should always have clarity on which of that collection of techniques (for each position) you prefer to execute first. You might have 12 or 15 techniques in the SPIDERGUARD file for example - but you are very clear that your favourite technique to try is the TRIANGLE - for example. You then, over time, become clearer on how your opponents will tend to react to your triangle - and you will come up with combinations, by reaching into the rest of your SPIDERGUARD RESOURCE file. To help with all this - a journal (of some sort) may really help. Don't be too worried about keeping it all need and overly ordered - just do SOMETHING. Even just thinking about organisation the information in your head - really helps. Best wishes: JBW


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