Since starting to learn BJJ I have discovered like most people that it is more than just a sport, it is a way of life. My first BJJ instructor Marc Walder taught me the most important principles of BJJ, the first being develope your technique before using your power and endurance to overcome your opponent or training partner. As a beginner learning to relax during sparring was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
I always used to get told Dave use your technique not your strength, as if you don’t you will eventually find someone as strong as you and lose. This is now my philosophy on BJJ and I emphasize this in my classes. After lots of time spent on the mat developing my ability to be able to relax I found that eventually I would not even find myself out of breath after sparring and then it clicked! However I find myself in competition to this day that when adrenaline kicks in its hard not to go back to my old ways and more often than none losing due to lack of endurance.
Finding an instructor that stylistically suits your style and body type.
Since I started training with my current instructor Michael Russell I have found that his creative and intuitive style has rubbed off on me. I find myself using his type of attacks in sparring and I feel not all but most of them suit me very well. I also enjoy watching other people’s styles and how they tend to be an extension of their character. This is why BJJ is so special, it allows us to express ourselves on a day to day basis and be unique to everyone else! For example every class I have participated in all the instructors have their own little way of setting things up or countering a submission or passing the guard etc. So does it matter if your instructor has the same way of thinking? Or the same style and character as you? I think it does to a certain extent however as an instructor myself I find it difficult to teach techniques that match every body type, it is up to us as a student to use what works for us and throw out or change what doesn’t.
Watch out for future Topics and blog posts