Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be intricate and tricky to learn. The instructor has just shown a technique or move and it's now time to drill the move with your partner. These four strategies will help you maximize your learning of the technique just shown.
Strategy #1 - Give Feedback
When your partner is doing the move on you, give feedback. If the instructor is not watching, their number one source of information of whether the move is working is you! Your partner can kinetically and visually see if things are working, but only you can give verbal confirmation. For example, if the move requires one to "be heavy" such as in Gracie Combatives Lesson no. 10 (Side Mount Control), the bottom person can help adjust the top person to the place where they feel the heaviest. Tapping is another form of feedback but verbal confirmation after the move is released can be very helpful.
Strategy #2 - Ask Questions
ALL questions are good questions or NO questions are good questions. When I was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I recall one of my influential professors staring me down with this statement. I had just started to ask a question and then decided my question was not worth his time and said "never mind, it was a stupid question". This memorable lesson followed me as I moved on later to become a teacher and realized my students also had a hesitancy to ask questions. I knew they had questions, but getting them to verbalize their thoughts was not always easy. At GRACIE DURHAM and all Certified Training Centers, we love questions. We love to help and we are here to help. If the move just isn't working and your partner can't help you, get our attention, we will make sure to give you the information you need.
Strategy #3 - Slow down
When performing the move, take your time and go SLOW. You will really be able to see what details you need to focus on and also you will eliminate your ability to perform the move based on momentum and force. Some moves do require momentum of course and so those would be an exception. Going slow reduces the risk of injury. ESPECIALLY when applying a submission. Sometimes people forget that when practicing a new technique, they are not fighting, they are learning to fight, therefore, slow slow slow is the way to go go go. The instructor will give specific instructions when intensity should be increased and also how to increase it.
Strategy #4 - Be helpful
Your learning environment can greatly influence your desire and ability to retain whatever material it is you are trying to learn. The Gracie Combatives classes promote a cooperative mindset. In actuality, self defense isn't about "beating" your partner, it's about preparing yourself AND your training partner for the potential enemy outside the dojo. Giving feedback is one aspect of being helpful, however it's possible to give feedback without having a helpful mindset. Having both is superior to having only one. It's quite possible, that without this, the other strategies may lose their effectiveness.
These are four strategies that when consistently adopted, will increase your learning retention, focus and overall enjoyment of the process. If you believe that this type of learning environment is right for you, please call or visit GRACIE DURHAM (919.964.5777) and ask about our 10 day trial.