Does Your Grappling Training Think Outside The Box

February 25, 2008

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students.  And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.


Have You Been Guilty of Rank Envy?

February 21, 2008

Have you had a time during your training where you felt really good about your performance and when it was promotion time, you didn’t get promoted? Did you find yourself analyzing the person that got the promotion and comparing them to yourself, with them not being as good as you with each comparison?

If you haven’t experienced this feeling, you’re either very new to grappling, a great liar, or a completely ego-less grappler (which I have yet to meet in 11 years of grappling). It’s natural for all of us to look around the gym and compare ourselves with our classmates and their skills. And at the same time, those comparisons can be counter-productive to our grappling progress.

Generally, when we notice someone else moving forward, we get anxious and start questioning why we aren’t progressing at the same rate. And if we can’t come up with what we figure out are rational reasons (e.g. they’re younger, stronger, more athletic, trains harder, takes more private lessons, etc.), we then settled into what I call “rank envy mode” and start challenging the decision behind their promotion and why we were overlooked. And “rank envy mode” has been known to make students go after newly promoted guys to embarrass and prove to everyone how the wrong person got promoted. Rank envy mode has also been known to make some grapplers change schools or quite grappling completely.

The biggest problem with comparing ourselves with our teammates around us is the presumption that everyone should learn a new skill and progress at the same pace, regardless of how each of us learns and processes new information. There is no standard pace for learning and progressing. Each of us has an internal rhythm that drives us to determine and achieve goals based on how important they are to us. So, a person with lots of non-grappling commitments demanding his time shouldn’t expect to progress as fast as a person with no commitments and lots of time to train. And at the same time, two people with identical external commitments won’t progress at the same rate if achieving grappling perfection is more important to one person than the other.

What’s the solution to training comparisons and rank envy? The best solution is to leave the evaluation to your instructors and to keep training. If you trust your instructor’s judgment and consider them a good instructor, let them determine when it’s your time to move up to the next belt level. You’re at the school to become proficient at grappling, not evaluate your teammates’ performance or determine if promotions are being handed out fairly.

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students. And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.


Can a Training Tip Be “Too Basic” to Hear More Than Once?

February 21, 2008

The other day, I received an email from one of my newsletter subscribers that decided the information didn’t provide any value to him. That’s fine with me because I understand what I have to say isn’t for everyone. But what got my attention was the feedback that he left in the comment section for me. He commented that the information was “too basic” for him.

Initially, I wasn’t sure how to react to that comment. Most times, I just thank people for the feedback and wish them luck with their future training endeavors. But this time, I decided to do something different and I sent him a thank you email that included a question. And the question that I posed to him was:

“You said that the information was “too basic” for you. Does that mean that you’re implementing everything now that you’ve read and consider basic and, if so, what were you hoping to find when you signed up for the emails?”

I’m hoping that he responds to the question because I’m curious to read his answer…but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for an answer that probably won’t be sent. But I wonder if he’s REALLY doing everything that he read so far that he considers basic. It’s possible that he could be, but I wouldn’t bet my kid’s college fund on it!

When I read that comment, I see a guy that’s having some training problems that are common to OGs, thought he could get some help, and apparently didn’t hear what he thought would be the answer. It’s very possible that my answers could be basic, but is it possible that the solution to the problems only require basic answers? And if he’s properly executing all the basics that I’ve laid out that he considers “too basic”, why would he be looking at my website for answers to problems he’s not supposed to have?

I’d like to say that’s the first time I’ve heard a comment like this, but it’s not and that’s something I’ve never been able to fully understand. I’ve attended many training sessions (grappling and business-related) over the years and I’ve never heard someone that was considered successful in their field make a statement that a proven operating principle was “too basic” for them to master. And for those that are “anti-basics” proponents, their success is usually short-lived (e.g. dot com investors from the late 1990s).

Comments that proven training concepts are “too basic” consist of a mixture of inexperience, ignorance, and maybe a lack of exposure to successful people that are considered champions in their field. I wish the OG the best of luck. With that attitude towards the basics, he’ll need it!

 

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students. And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.


Do Winners Whine After They Get Their Butts Kicked?

February 21, 2008

Let me say for the record that in professional football, I’m a Washington Redskins Fan. And last season, the Redskins had to play a game against the New England Patriots. Now, what made this game so important was the fact that the Redskins’ Defense was ranked in the top 5 for the entire NFL and the talk around DC was that the Patriots hadn’t played a top-ranked defense this year. So, the town was set to see the Patriots take their first loss of the year
at the hand of the Redskins.

What ended up happening was a Redskins’ beatdown from the Patriots by the score of 52-7. Now, part of me was shaking my head trying to figure out how “the best practice that the Redskins had all season” (that was the week before the game as described by the players) turned into such a one-side butt-kicking. Well, I understand that in competitive sports that everyone (or every team) can (and will at some point) take a beatdown at any moment. But what really ticked me off about the game was the number of Washington Redskins Players that felt the Patriots had shown no class by “running up the score” when it was obvious that the game was out of reach for a Redskins comeback. And the more I heard the players (and reporters) talk about it, one word kept popping up in my mind…disappointment.

I say disappointment because I’ve had the pleasure of being around and training with many martial arts champions (and a few pro football athletes) over the years and the one thing that I’d never heard any of them do was expect mercy from their opponents. Those champions understood that it was a contest to see which person (or team) was superior on that particular day. And they understood that it was their goal to dominate their opponents, hoping to leave a permanent scar on their mental psyche that would make their opponents to never want to tangle with them again. And if the outcome didn’t turn out the way those proud champions expected it to, they took their butt-kicking with pride and expected NO MERCY from their opposition! They didn’t get mad at the end of the contest for getting publicly embarrassed; they took it upon themselves to stop the embarrassment or to store the anger from the embarrassment for payback in the future! They didn’t try to gain support from the media or rationalize the beating they received from the opponent with their fan base. They took their beating, focused on what they could’ve done differently with their preparation, fix the mistakes, and hope for a second chance for redemption in the near future.

I’m not sure where this attitude of “losing with dignity” came from…but it stinks and anyone that thinks losing with dignity is what a real champion would do is completely off the mark. I’m not saying that champions don’t lose because it’s obvious they do, but a real champion would NEVER look down at his opponent and expect mercy or an explanation for why there was a need for such a public humiliation. A real champion would consider it his responsibility to do something to stop the beating during the contest. And if they couldn’t stop it, then they’ll just take the beating without expecting or asking for mercy. And truth be told, a real champion understands that if the shoe was on the other foot, that they would’ve done the EXACT same thing by showing no mercy to their opponents. That’s why champions stand out from the pack of contenders.

If you want mercy, stick to competing in little league and high school events because there’s a place for it. But once you’ve elevated your competition above those venues, you need to know how to finish your opponents once you have them in trouble. And not only should you expect to receive a merciless beating from your opponent some day…but you should be prepared to give one as well. And if this “classless act” doesn’t suit you, then get used to being a contender for the rest of your life!

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students. And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.


Doer or Talker…Which One Are You?

February 21, 2008

At least once a week, I am approached by some grappler (either by email or in person) asking me the best way to improve their grappling. And every week I give the same advice: show up for class, drill, listen to the instructor’s teaching, and trust us to give you a fundamentally sound grappling base.

That advice is usually taken with lots of enthusiasm and promises of carrying out the instructions. And there’s usually some challenge to wait and see how they perform. And that’s what I do; I watch and wait for them to perform. And the performance rarely happens.

The reason the performance rarely happens is because good training advice was given to and wasted on a Talker, not a Doer! A Talker is the guy that wants to make an impression on his instructors or coaches by talking about all the big things they’re going to achieve on the mats. The Talker wants to be recognized as a “big dog” in training, but won’t put forth the effort to be one. The Talker has 1000s of questions that need to be answered so they can see the “big picture” and take his game to the next level. The Talker needs a different training approach than the one that’s been proven to work. The Talker would rather sit around and talk about how Randy Couture or Quinton “Rampage” Jackson train and how we should “train the way they train” at the gym. The Talker signs up for my emails; but rarely reads them since he already knows “the basic stuff” I’m talking about each week. Last, but not least, the Talker needs to be constantly convinced that the training method he’s being taught by his coaches will work for him, especially when he’s getting contradictory information from the “forum experts” during one of their training debates.

Most grapplers will NEVER be anything more than Talkers and that’s by choice! They have the ability to choose what direction their training will take, just like the Doers.

Now the Doers, those are the future mat animals! The Doers are the ones that take every piece of information given to them; dissect it, analyze it, figure out how it will work for them, and puts it into action! Doers aren’t spending time debating training philosophies or if The Wise Grappler knows what the hell he’s talking about in his emails. Doers don’t determine a resource’s value by the number of emails they receive per week, but by how it benefits them. Doers aren’t worried about getting attention or being the “big dog” at the school. They just train and eventually become one of the team’s big dogs by working harder than the Talker. Doers aren’t asking 1000s of questions so they can debate the answers with their instructors. If it doesn’t contribute to their grappling progress, Doers don’t waste a whole lot of time with it. Doers are offended by hearing “the basics” being repeated to them. They realize if it’s being emphasized, it must be important and should be remembered. And finally, Doers are smart enough to realize that they can benefit from the Wise Grappler’s mistakes. They don’t have to touch a hot iron see if it will burn them, they can learn from The Wise Grappler’s scars!

So, which one are you, Doer or Talker? If you don’t know, take a moment and think about how you train. If you’re not doing everything you can (within your legitimate constraints) to improve, then you’re just a Talker! And if that’s what you are, do me a favor. Keep your voice low while you’re “talking” about training…you’re disturbing the Doers!

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students. And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.


What Do OGs and NY Giants Have in Common?

February 11, 2008

The Super Bowl: the crown jewel of the National Football League has come and gone. And with the conclusion of the Super Bowl,”experts” get to stand around and congratulate themselves for being right by picking the champion or try to rationalize why they were wrong. And with this year’s Super Bowl, so many of those “experts” had to explain why they were wrong. This year’s game was supposed to be the coronation of a champion (New England Patriots) after having completed the perfect season with a 19-0 record. And though it would’ve been a historical moment to see that achievement and a great story to write and talk about for years to come, that happy ending left out the underdog New York Giants and how they felt about “having no chance to win” this game. And I sat there watching the Giants celebrate their victory, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the NY Giants and OGs.

The Giants started off the season terribly; they had star players refusing to come to training camp, there was some infighting going on within the team, they had an ex-teammate throwing hate on the club as a commentator, there was open talk about firing the coach mid-season or who his replacement might be, they had some embarrassing losses during the season, and critics even talked about how goofy and clueless the team’s quarterback looked (which has absolutely NOTHING to do with winning championships). And in spite of all that, they beat the team that was being considered as one of the best teams (if not the best) of all time.

How did this happen? Well, the Giants realized that all those things that happened to them during the season didn’t have to have a permanent effect on the season’s outcome. They realized that it really doesn’t matter how strong you start the race, but how you strong you finish. They realized that they could still achieve what most people thought impossible if they worked harder than everyone else, didn’t give up on each other, united and listen to their coaches, used the blueprint adopted by other teams that had success against the Patriots, and played hard right down to the last second.

For those of you that haven’t figured it out yet, THAT IS THE STRUGGLE OF THE OG AS WELL! Each OG (in our own way) has to believe in ourselves when others are telling us to hang it up. OGs have to train harder and longer than the person next to us. OGs constantly flirt with the idea of quitting because things aren’t turning out the way we expect them, but NEVER yield to the urge to quit. OGs must believe in our coaches that tell us we’re progressing when we have little or no evidence to support it. And finally, OGs have to fight for everything we get (like being considered serious, competent, and tough grapplers to be taken seriously on the mat) right down to the last second.

I know when I initially coined the term “OG”, it was meant for older and non-traditional grapplers and it will always apply to them. As “The Nation” continues to evolves, I’m forced to see
that “being an OG” also embodies the struggle of being the underdog. And that struggle has no age limit.

So, I ask you this question. With all those similarities between us and them, how can the Giants NOT be considered OGs?

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my students and he wanted to know what gave me the idea of using a folding chair to demonstrate and teach the proper posture for the “Bullfighter” Guard Pass (as he saw in on the OG Clinic DVD) since he had never seen anyone use furniture to teach a grappling concept before. I told him the reason I was able to use the chair to successfully teach the concept of proper body placement and weight distribution was based solely on the fact that no one ever told me that I couldn’t use a folding chair to teach my students. And since no one told me I couldn’t use a chair (or anything else that comes to mind), my teaching was bound ONLY by my creativity.

The motivation for using the chair was to teach my students the proper hand positioning and to show them where the weight should be distributed to neutralize their opponent while doing the pass. The reason I used the folding chair was the fact that they’re light and mobile, which allows me to put several on the mat at one time to create a unique drill for the students that immediately catches their attention and presents them with a simple training tool that most of them have in their homes and workspaces. Once they put their hands on the chair in the proper position, the feeling they feel in their hands lets them know exactly where the weight is being distributed and if their feet and hips are properly positioned for successfully neutralize their opponent for a successful guard pass.

The whole idea of using a folding chair seems so foreign to many grapplers (of all experience levels and ranks), but that’s one of the reasons that so many grapplers can’t improve outside the traditional setting or without black belt level instruction. They lack the imagination and creativity required to help them learn, understand, and to teach grappling techniques and concepts outside of the traditional setting that you see in lots of training academies, grappling books, and instructional DVDs.

Would I consider myself an innovative genius for using chairs (among other things) as training props? Well…yes and no! I am innovative because I haven’t seen anyone else doing it and no one’s accused me of stealing it from someone else…yet! At the same time, I know that I don’t own the patent on training creativity and quite certain that there are TONS of non-traditional training methods being used in gyms around the world that teach grappling concepts that are unknown to the masses.

THAT’S what I consider “thinking outside the box” in grappling. So, if you’ve got some “crazy” idea that helps you or your students understand a grappling principle, keep up the good work and continue to think outside the box. And if you think using a folding chair as a guard passing training tool was cool, wait until you see how I use a stationary bike seat and an umbrella in my OG Shadow Grappling DVD, which will be available within the month!

————————————————————————————————————–

Paul M. Greenhill, “The Wise Grappler”, is the creator of The Wise Grappler System and author of The Wise Grappler Ezine, a weekly ezine that provides grappling and mental mindset training tips for the older (over 35) and non-traditional/non-competitive martial artists. To learn more about “The Wise Grappler” and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit his site at www.thewisegrappler.com or contact The Wise Grappler.