Robot Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Active Listening / Coaching
As your grappling skillz continue to improve, you will notice that there are different training methods used to improve specific areas of our grappling skillz set. For example, positional sparring is used to isolate certain areas encountered during sparring and draw your focus to a particular area. Our warm-up emulates the movement patterns we encounter in drilling, drilling allows us to practice the mechanics (step-by-step process) of our techniques, sparring allows us to apply our mechanics in real-time against a resisting partner. Every portion of our training has a purpose and if we understand the purpose of these different sections we can improve our effectiveness in training. In that way, we can maximize every minute we spend in training.
Since competition season is coming up and we had a good showing at the last NABJJF tournament, I’d like to discuss one way of improving your own training that will translate to improved performance in both training and competition. By learning how to effectively take instruction during sparring / competition (“active listening / coaching”), you will be able to help close the gap that exists between drilling and sparring during class. Additionally, this skill carries over to competition – by being able to see the situation from your Coaches’ perspective, you can work your way through positions you aren’t confident with and see openings that you may have overlooked before.
Here are some tips for improving your “active listening / coaching” skillz:
1) When you are giving advice during sparring, avoid looking up, changing grips, etc. Even the slightest change in positioning can render your Coach’s advice useless. Remember, it’s perfectly fine to try and execute what your Coach is suggesting and have it go awry – when we are training we are trying to refine all of our skills, including our ability to coordinate our movements with our Coach’s advice.
2) When you are given advice during drilling, implement the adjustments without stopping the drill, if possible. Second, trust that your Coach is telling you the correct limb to move and how to move it. For example, if we are adjusting a basic hip-escape movement and your Coach says “keep your elbows tight the whole time and push more with your right foot on the mat” then continue to do the hip-escape movement, tighten your elbows to your side and focus on pushing with your right foot more as you continue moving. The ability to make adjustments like this on the fly in drilling will pay off huge dividends when you can do it during sparring! (I know it can be tempting to think your Coach said right foot but meant left foot!)
3) The communication is a two way street! If you hear your Coach tell you to do something but you don’t feel like you can (for example, if the advice to change your grip would unintentionally allow your opponent to escape) give a short nod “no” to indicate that something feels off. You will likely be walked through how to securely cover yourself before following the advice you were given. Likewise, if you hear some advice and are preparing to follow through, a short nod “yes” lets your Coach know that you heard their instruction and are hunting for the opening they pointed out.
I remember several instances where I have been coached through difficult positions and I have coached our students
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This past weekend, we had several fighters step up and compete in both MMA and BJJ. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work and stellar performances!
Big congrats to Coach Alex “White Shadow” Leavitt who was able to submit his opponent in the second round with a Rear-Naked Choke.
Also big congrats to Coach Andrew “Andrewwwwww” Moskowitz won gold in his weight division and silver in the open weight a couple weeks back but also won two of his matches this past Sunday at a submission-only Jiu Jitsu tournament.
We are proud of all the competitors who tested themselves – Coach Mike Martinez, Sasha S., and Jonathan M.! :]
P.S. – If you’re interested in competing, just talk to one of your Coaches and they will start preparing you for your time in the spotlight :]
Robot Fight Fitness – LA’s Top Martial Arts Training Facility in West LA/Santa Monica. We always offer a free trial class so come check us out!