When we first start training Jiu Jitsu there are tons of things being thrown at us all at once.
Between the new environment, mat etiquette, the names of all of the different fundamental positions, there is a lot going on. In addition to all of this, we have the stress of wanting to do well, but not really knowing what that means just yet. For the first few months, at most academies, you are only drilling and working on technique in a somewhat controlled environment. But soon, a few months typically you will be given the freedom to start rolling or doing what we call live training. Essentially testing your technique in a simulated real world situation against another trained opponent.
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It’s my opinion that in most cases students who are just starting to do live training should always be paired with another student that is more than capable of handling anything wild that the new student may try. Things may go perfectly in drilling, but things change when the fight or flight response kicks in and for new students, that may be aggressive. Once the student develops an understanding of what is really a threat and what is not, this should be greatly reduced. I think these moments are the most humbling moments in my opinion. It is in these moments that people realize their true ability to fight or defend themselves, or lack of ability as it usually goes. These are the times where respect and camaraderie deepen and the student starts to dig in to the training, or leaves to go do a less combative sport if they can’t handle it.
As we progress through the ranks it is our responsibility to protect our Jiu Jitsu family. There will be times along the way where someone with an ego may drop in and try to show off their abilities. Make sure this person gets partnered with the right people. It only takes one bad experience for someone to decide not to come back and we certainly do not want to lose students, Jiu Jitsu family members over someone’s ego. In these situations, it is always better to have the drop in student with someone that is a high rank and can adjust their game to match the intensity that is being brought to the table.
It has been said that the safest person on the mats to train with is likely also the most dangerous. I love this. It could not be more true. The reality is, the person at your academy that is capable of doing the most damage to another human being is likely the most aware of their capabilities and most capable of controlling their body movements in such a way that no one gets hurt.
Injuries in Jiu Jitsu are rarely if ever intentional, but unfortunately, they do happen. My stance on this is that on the mats of your academy, it is your responsibility to take care of your training partner and personally ensure their safety. On the mats in competition, I feel that each competitor is responsible for their own safety and no one else’s.
The bottom line is, especially once you have been training for long enough to learn to control your body, be respectful. No trophies are being passed out for being the biggest jerk on the mats. This means you need to know your partner, and their capabilities, if you’re unsure, gauge the match as you are training and match the intensity. There should not be a need for being overly aggressive, especially with things that aren’t even Jiu Jitsu like one handed chokes and other various “techniques” that do not add value to the training.
Think about your journey, the people you enjoyed training with the most. No one wants to be the training partner everyone avoids, therefore, it’s your responsibility to do your part to be a good training partner. What made you keep coming back and training? Who were some of the people you liked training with and why did you enjoy it? Who do you like training with now? What do you like most about your training partners? At the end of the day, I feel like it is pretty simple… Be the reason someone comes back and trains tomorrow.
One of the best examples I have seen of adapting your intensity to match your training partner (not in competition obviously) has come from Professor Tom DeBlass. Professor DeBlass is constantly training with people of all sizes, and skill. I mean, let’s face it, when you’re among the best in the world, it’s not everyday your skillset is matched, but that does not stop Professor DeBlass from getting in some good training.
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Check out Professor DeBlass’ newest edition to his video instructional library available on BJJ Fanatics. “The Road to Black Belt, and Beyond” – By Tom DeBlass. In this series you will be exposed to the mindset training that was previously reserved for those closest to Professor DeBlass, as you will see in the testimonials. I can confidently say you will get exactly what you need from this video instructional, but moreover, come back and revisit this instructional every 90 days and my money says you have new, different takeaways each time. Like Gordon Ryan says in his testimonial, “Tom is the type of guy who will always give you exactly what you need”…. And once again, he is providing that, but now, on a global scale. Don’t miss your chance to learn the mental training and fortitude from one of the best and most influential Jiu Jitsu practitioners of our time.
Professor Tom DeBlass is here to share his wisdom and to set you forth with the information to improve you BJJ, and your life. His DVD “The Road To Black Belt and Beyond” can help with injuries, competing, relationships, and MUCH MORE. Check it out here!