May 10, 2010

On Creativity & Stagnation

Last week our coach Brian (Mr BJJ) was on a well deserved vacation, and like anytime he is away the senior students all step up and help out covering classes ensuring everything runs smoothly and the classes experience no interruption. It is always refreshing to get different perspectives and ideas from the various students, as this is how we all grow as martial artists. Korbett, Eric, Denise, and Chicken Wing (yeah you Mike) all brought something different to the table that gave all of us different looks at BJJ. Eric gave us a great warm up and started the class with some light and technical rolling which I felt was a great way to get the blood pumping.

The one shining star was Johnny Fu with his Fu Jitsu on Monday night. Johnny had written out on 3x5 cards the previous evening various "handicaps" accompanied by a goal. For example: you must keep your dominant hand in a fist and finish a darce in free rolling. Now obviously ones partner had a different card. We picked new cards each round making sure everyone got different cards then the previous round.

In my humble opinion this was great! Johnny has a knack for making us think outside the box of conventional martial arts. These types of restrictions (for lack of a better term at 1 in the AM) forces us to approach our art in a different manner, which in turn forces one to become creative. Was it easy? No. Did the handicap work smoothly? Of course not. Many did not match up with what our partners goals were, but that is the frickin' point!! We had to adjust and move differently, just like BJJ!! Brilliant class Johnny! The academy will suffer when you leave us brother.

And with the positive of course comes the negative. It seems like some students have an attitude that if Brian is not teaching then they do not have to show up to class. What these students fail to realize is that though Brian is certainly the captain of our ship, it takes more than just a great teacher to make an academy. We are no greater than the parts that make up the academy, so when students ditch classes because a black belt is not there it only weakens the academy as a whole. This is frustrating especially to those who are training to compete! Not to mention it obviously makes those students all the weaker in their game, and really shows some true colors of their attitude and approach to training.

So for those who were at the academy all week training hard and helping me prepare for the Copa Nova I want to offer my heartfelt thanks! I was all the better because of you and your efforts. For those who decided their time was better spent elsewhere, well... what can I say ... your selfish approach to the arts will only make your progress stagnant in the grand scheme of things.

Train Hard. Train Smart.

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