Have found myself studying more instructional footage over the holidays, with little urge to write. In a lot of ways this is full circle, as from 1996 to 2007 received most information studying film. There was a little bit of fault in this, as I could have used the coaches and fellow students around me more, but for better or worse, studying instructionals and tournament footage was ‘my thing.’
The problem with the above is during that time period I didn’t understand the principles that form the building blocks of BJJ very well, so was studying VHS, DVDs, YouTube, and Online Instruction from the perspective of some one ‘out there’ having ‘my’ answers. In short, copyin!
The problems with such assumptions were numerous!
First off, we need to understand that all practitioners, even a legend like Rickson Gracie are individuals using Jiu-Jitsu to suit their particular needs (in Rickson’s case you could argue living out a role he was born into). So the lesson here is taking the time understand an individuals journey, and likewise the context in which their art evolved.
Second, married with understanding people’s needs are YOU and your needs. This is the ‘art’ part of Jiu-Jitsu, and probably a massive reason why I ended up blogging with English being my best subject in school coupled with personal needs. To the point, the key is being open to possibilities as they relate to Jiu-Jitsu, and playing the most fulfilling way you can.
Lastly, as discussed previously, everything you see some one else teach is an application of principles. So they key as a student is filtering information through a growing understanding of the ‘big picture.’ Also, never assume you’ve got or are learning the most efficient application of principles, as problem solving and understanding are processes subject to both personal and community driven evolution.
Cliff note summary: “Understand yourself, understand your teacher(s), understand principles.”