Do you have to strength train for Jiu-Jitsu?
The simple answer is no; however, to get the most from Jiu Jitsu, you should. Because the goal here is strength for Jiu-Jitsu, there are two paths to paths for strength training. First, a workout regimen that improves your core strength, muscle endurance, and conditioning is recommended, because the movements and techniques of Jiu-Jitsu rely on the use of your core muscles. The MMA Fit class Mark Mills teaches is an ideal daily workout regimen that focuses on these things. Secondly, rolling at a very high intensity will accomplish the same thing as well as increase the strength of your techniques. Listen to a multiple World Champion, Marcelo Garcia talk about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wiTILJAPWE The point is you do not have to strength train specifically to do BJJ, but to be the best you can be, find a way to improve you strength either in the gym or on the mat.
Our Summer camps are limited in size and fill up quickly.Prices vary depending on number of weeks. Only a few full time spots remain. For prices, information or to reserve your spot call us at 356-9755.
Thursday Morning MMAXFIT – 3x run 400m/5 Tire Flips followed by grappling class – 18 rounds of position drilling – side control, guard, half-guard
This Saturday 2 special workouts with certified instructor Scott Garman
8am – FREE Ropes and Sandbags Workout – open to everyone (bring shoes, we may be outside)
9am – Ladies Only FREE Ropes and Sand Bags Workout (bring shoes, we may be outside)
Please RSVP to either at 356-9755 or at the CMA front desk
Learn the wonderful tricks of trapping, from Wing Chun, to JKD to Kali traps.
The seminar is FREE.
Bring a family member, a friend, a buddy, and have some fun.
Mom’s – come enjoy a great FREE workout with Certified Instructor Scott Garman. You will have a blast playing with the ropes and sandbags. The workout can scale to any level! The workout is this Saturday from 9am – 10am. No equipment or experience is required. Please RSVP at the CMA front desk or by calling 356-9755.
A common question asked by students and potential students is how do you promote students? Within this question there are several other questions. Do you have tests? Is time a consideration? Must I compete in tournaments? All of these questions are valid, and each question has its own philosophy. And, each philosophy has its own of advantages and disadvantages.
Do you have tests?
Testing is a powerful and common tool to assess knowledge, but in martial arts it is a guide for many students. Instructors teach techniques that will be expected to be performed on test day. Since no one likes to fail, this becomes a great way to motivate students to spend adequate time drilling the necessary techniques. The disadvantages of testing are students learn to regurgitate the technique versus a static opponent, and students tend to show up en mass on test day believing they have done what it takes and expecting to be promoted.
Some BJJ instructors simply promote students when they are ready. This philosophy allows students to learn at their own pace and creates an atmosphere in which the quality of technique is more important than the belt rank. Students are constantly testing giving the instructor a more in depth picture of a student’s quality of technique rather than a snap shot a test day gives. The disadvantage is students can become disinterested without some feedback moving forward.
Are promotions based on time?
The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) established reasonable time requirements for belt rankings (http://www.ibjjf.org/20130201_GraduacaoIBJJF%20EN_vs1.pdf). Clearly, some minimum time requirements should be implemented to ensure student’s have a reasonable understanding of what they are doing. A strict timeline should not be the sole reason for promoting someone, because students need time to make the techniques their own. And, that may take longer than the prescribed time frame. Jiu-Jitsu is a lifestyle. Take the necessary time to really learn it.
Do I have to go to tournaments?
This is a great way to test ones understanding of knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu. At a tournament, one would compete against unfamiliar opponents grappling at a very high intensity. Can the student work the techniques when under pressure? At some point, everyone should compete. The disadvantages are students rarely compete and tend to become specialists, and regular training partners know your weaknesses and can push you as hard as an unfamiliar opponent.
Give me your feedback. What do you think is the best way to promote students?
I have to admit, I am not the brightest in many areas of life. I’m not a doctor or a surgeon; an astronaut or an anthropologist. But if there is anything I can easily observe is that nothing is new. Sure, maybe some technologies that we have today were not around 2000 years ago. But we are all human, and therefore we all think and act and move in the same way. Our ideas, concerns, priorities may all differ on the surface… but due to our genetic makeup we are all 99% identical.
If I look at my professional field, the martial arts, I can see this with the utmost intensity. If I look at Miyamoto Musashi’s 五輪書 “Go Rin No Sho” (Book of Five Rings) compared to Fiore dei Liberi’s “Fior di Battaglia” (Flower of Battle), I see very little difference on how both Musashi and Fiore approach the use of 1 or 2 swords, and empty hands in the context of war. The contrast really is only on the surface; meaning the language, the art, the shape of the weapons, etc…
When I study the Mooye dobotongji 무예도보통지, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, the Bansenshukai 萬川集海, and the Shoninki 正忍記, I find the approach to compilation, core structuring and refinement of techniques for efficiency and ease of practice, philosophy, spirituality, mental acuity, etc… all incredibly similar. Again, the differences are simply on the surface. With of course a difference in time period (Bruce Lee in the 1970′s being much later than Fujibayashi in the 1670′s), war ITSELF was different but the approach to war was the same… how can we be more efficient?
In this aspect nothing is new, all has been built upon and borrowed from earlier ideas. Miyamoto Musashi borrowed from Iizasa Iienao and used ancient Zen and Shinto ideas, Fiore borrowed from Giovanni and Nicholai of Toblem (German Masters) and used ancient Catholic ideas, Fujibayashi borrowed from the Shinobi Hiden and Sun Tzu and used ancient Shinto and Mikkyo ideas, Bruce Lee borrowed from Ip Man, and other masters of different arts (Savate, Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, etc…) and used ancient Taoist and Zen ideas.
I liken the best martial arts to Descartes main philosophy on which he builds his entire treatise… “Dubito ergo Cogito ergo Sum” meaning “I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”. Descartes’ idea was to whittle away at every single thing he doubted so that he could arrive at a core, fundamental notion that he knew indubitably. Only then could he approach questions without doubt. I see true Martial Arts in this light. And it was preached by Musashi, Fiore, Fujibayashi, and Bruce Lee. If a move is not efficient, get rid of it. Whittle your arsenal down to those techniques that are most efficient, that you can rely on indubitably, then you can build upon your foundation with techniques that may be less efficient.
So what does this mean for us as Martial Arts practitioners? Literally how can we make our practice new, when it really isn’t new? It means that the art isn’t what matters. It’s your own practice that matters. I asked a class recently who they thought my most influential teacher was? Who taught me the most? I got answers ranging from Sifu Mark, to Tonya; Jackie Chan to Splinter; and even to the students themselves. The answer of course, is ME. A good student does not just copy and perform techniques. A good student absorbs the technique and makes it alive. It is this practice that makes them “new”. And I know without a doubt that this is what all of the great masters throughout time have wanted from their students.
I came across a quote last week that while mis-attributed to William Butler Yeats, I think sums it up nicely.
“Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire”
Some would argue that many techniques are antiquated and useless in modern situations. Others would argue that a technique or approach may work, but requires years of dedication and mastery in order to apply.
But I think these agreements grow out of some American sense of instant gratification, and a need to obtain a technique today that you can use today. For many people, microwave popcorn just does not pop fast enough.
If self defense is your only goal, you would not study a martial art. You would study self defense itself. Much of it would be learning where not to go, and things not to do. Things your parents tried to teach you. Don’t go out alone. Avoid dark alleys. Keep your eyes up. Be aware of your surroundings. Then you might spend a little time learning a tiny handful of basic tactics. Poke them in the eye. Kick them in the groin, then run and shout. Boom. Your self defense training is complete.
That said, I would argue that any martial art style, no matter how arcane or antiquated it might be, is a path toward self defense. Not because the techniques may be the best, but because you are being active and applying yourself. You are getting exercise. You are learning to be aware of your surroundings in more subtle manners. You are learning balance and control. Your overall personal carriage improves. You probably obtain a better sense of those old cliches’ your parents put forward and tend to be better at avoiding those dark alleys because you have learned a sense of how bad a fight can really be.
So in the end, it does not matter that mastery may take decades or that some of the techniques may be less effective than they once were. Each day you train, you improve your overall ability to be truly self defensive. At least you have more wind for a long run.