Power in the Mundane

24 01 2010

Think back with me to your first day of Jiu Jitsu class. For me I walked into the gym/ dojo and there were a couple of guys stretching and talking while they waited for class to start. In came the instructor and he said alright guys get to shrimping. I remember being like what the heck is shrimping. The instructor proceeded to explain to me that it was a basic and fundamental movement in Jiu Jitsu. I tried it… Let me tell you I felt so stupid and awkward, I mean how was this ever going to help me fight someone?

After shrimping we did some other movements on the floor; sidewinder, inchworms, shoulder walks just to name a few. To be honest I was pretty tired after going through all these floor movements but I still didn’t see how what we just spent 30 minutes doing was supposed to help me fight someone. I mean I could barely do them when it was just myself. I did not put much faith in being able to perform these movements with someone’s weight on me.

Next the instructor began to show a technique. He used the movements that we had spent 30 minutes doing prior to technique to help explain and link the movements of the technique together. I have to say that doing the movements not only deepened my understanding of the technique but I felt more confident than I expected trying to learn the technique.

Overall when I left I feel that I remembered more the movements that we did on the mat rather than the technique. I think this is because of the amount of muscle memory that I built during the class in reference to those floor movements. Now of course there were small precious details that made the technique a technique but the bulk of everything was the movement!

I believe that in training everyone should strive to make their movements as effective as possible. Each day basic fundamental movements should be perfected. This is the foundation that techniques will be built upon. You might not catch all the techniques that the instructor is trying to teach but if you keep working on building a solid foundation (meaning your movements) techniques will begin to come naturally. The more solid your jiu jitsu foundation the easier it will be to insert the teachings and techniques that your instructor is showing you on a day to day basis. Below are some sample movements that we practice at ohana jiu jitsu.

Being good at jiu jitsu is not about knowing 100’s of techniques but rather on building a solid fundamental foundation based on movement. So even though I know it can be boring and mundane, working your jiu jitsu movement drills is the way to go…




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