An older grappler (OG) joins a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) class

March 30, 2008

An older grappler (OG) joins a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) class that happens to be full of young punk grapplers that think his dream of becoming a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt are a joke and waste no time showing him how he’s doesn’t belong on the team. So, after getting his azz kicked and run off the mat by the young punks, the OG realizes that he needs help and finds help by finding “The 7 Survival Secrets for Older and Non-Traditional/Non-Competitive Grapplers. After learning about the benefits of developing the three training areas known as the “Training Triangle”, the OG returns back to class to let those young punks know that he’s nobody’s grappling dummy!

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!

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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’s On Your Grappling Blame Wheel?

March 14, 2008

Are you familiar with the term, “The Blame Wheel?” It’s a business
term that describes how people to create a blame association
pattern to rationalize and justify poor performance and failing to
achieve objectives and goals. And if you need a visual description
of the Blame Wheel and how it works, think about the big spinning
wheel that they use on the game show, “Wheel of Fortune”, that has
dollar amounts around the wheel and contestants spin the wheel to
determine what dollar amounts each letter will have.

Well, if we modify that wheel so that it becomes a “Grappling Blame Wheel” and replaced the dollar amounts with reasons (or excuses) why a grappler underachieves, we can see why so many grapplers never get beyond being average on the mat and life in general.

For example, here’s what I think a typical Grappling Blame Wheel for an underachiever would look:

  • instructor only teaches basic techniques
  • instructor has lower belts teach classes
  • school only has classes 3x per week
  • school doesn’t participate in local competitions
  • teammates are a-holes and not nice people
  • teammates don’t want to drill after class
  • work too many hours during the week to train
  • can’t get out of house to train due to family commitments
  • spouse or significant other hates it when I train all the time
  • not enough time during the day to train the way I should
  • classes cost too much to train enough to get good
  • instructional DVDs that will help cost too much
  • All the reasons mentioned above can be seen as valid reasons for not achieving maximum improvement, but what’s missing from this list? That’s right…the grappler! There is absolutely NO MENTION on the Grappling Blame Wheel of the grappler being:

  • too lazy to go to class
  • doesn’t pay attention and misses key technical details
  • a know-it-all and don’t know when to shut up
  • doesn’t drill the movements outside of class
  • rather spar so that you can brag about who you’ve tapped
  • doesn’t want to be anyone’s drill partner, especially when you’re tired
  • never ask your instructor how to practice at home or when on travel
  • always looking for “free gold” and too cheap to invest in a product or instructional DVD that will help
  • That would be a more accurate Grappling Blame Wheel and more closer to the truth as to why grapplers underachieve. For every reason that’s mentioned above, the grappler has the ability to create a workaround solution that will enable them to continuously improve, even if only by one percent each day! Unfortunately, the easiest thing for the grappler to do is to find reasons to justify their mediocrity and accept no responsibility at all.

    How do you fix it? Create your own Grappling Blame Wheel and write down every reason (or excuse) that you used in the past to justify why you couldn’t train and see how often your name pops up on the blame list. Once you realize that you’re not as “innocent” as you thought, come up with a plan to workaround all those “reasons” and keep moving forward. And if you don’t know what to do, ask someone who does like your instructor, teammate, or any wise grappler that you may know!

    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.