There are many ways to approach the study and practice of martial arts – and there are also, many ways to approach the study of practice of even one specific martial art.
BJJ has many faces. We can take it on as a lifestyle – a way of being, looking at or living, in the world. We can approach it as a problem (or infinitely evolving serious of problems) and reap joy and understanding from solving those puzzles. We can approach it as an athletic endeavor – a physical and mental challenge to urge us toward better fitness. We can take it on as a self-improvement vehicle; and through practice, gain better and deeper understanding of ourselves and others. We can take it on as a sport; providing us with an arena in which to compete against others … oh yes, and then there is the ‘self defence’ aspect to boot …
As far as the sporting face in concerned; we need to build (over time and after we have established a solid foundation of basics) ourselves a ‘game’. Many people ask me these sorts of questions – ‘what is a game?’ – ‘what sort of game should I be working on?’ – ‘is there a best game?’, etc. Now even though this is a large topic (among many topics) – I’d like to offer my two cents worth on ‘game development’.
Pre-blue belt – my opinion is that we should be learning and focusing on rounding out our understanding of the ‘fundamentals of BJJ’ – including, how best to deal with the more common ways that we can be assaulted (headlock defences, grab defences, etc). Once we have an understanding of the basic principles and techniques of BJJ, and have been rolling (grappling/wrestling) for some time to hone these techniques and instill them into muscle memory – we need to begin working on or developing our ‘game’. And remember, this ‘game’ will continually evolve and transform over time … and initially, will to a large degree be driven by what is happening on our mat. (eg: if everyone is standing up to initiate the guard pass – then back-sweep will become an important part of our game – if not, then it won’t – simple as that)
But how to begin … ?
Sorry – gotta run – time to hit my Monday morning workout … will continue in a day or two ….