I have had the distinct pleasure of being able to train and hang out with 8th degree red-black belt Jean Jacques Machado several times this year, and it has been nothing short of amazing. This past week I got the opportunity to ask JJM a few questions one of which was who coached him all those years through various championships, and his answer was deeper and better then what I expected, and on the eve of yet another training opportunity I wanted to share this sage's sound advice:
"Let me ask you Jake, who knows your game the best in your gym? Is it truly your teacher, or is it your training partners? My coaches have taught me many great things, but the best people to have in your corner at a competition is surely your training partners! They know your game better than anyone because they fight you every night on the mat. They are defending your attacks and seeing your moves every day. These are the best coaches."
I mean... again... details of simplicity. I am not sure what exactly I expected as an answer; I guess a bit of me was fishing for an awesome story of 20 years ago. But what he offered was not only pure and honest, but it gave me much to think about over the past week. I mean... how simple and true is this advice!? And most likely something we have all overlooked at some point in our training.
One aspect I would perhaps add would be the importance of communication to the equation. No matter how well I know my partners game, if I cannot communicate to him during a hectic tournament then my knowledge and wisdom is rendered useless.
I will share more tidbits of wisdom I have picked up over the coming weeks, but let Jean Jacques words marinade a bit before chewing more. In the meantime come join us in Cincinnati Ohio for a three hour session with the Professor tomorrow morning!