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Note-taking and shadow grappling

    Mon, 2007-03-26 13:23 — 21tomlinson

    Hi guys. One of the problems I have encountered so far in training BJJ is that it seems like it's very hard to retain everything the instructor says. He'll show us some different sweeps, passes or submissions and then a week later I find myself sparring with someone and totally forgetting the way the instructor showed us how do to the given move. One of the ideas I've come up with to combat this is that I could take notes immediately after each class and write down what the instructor taught, then spend 20-30 minutes each night "shadow grappling," or running through the moves on my own without a training partner. A training partner would be nice, but I've found it very hard to find guys to train with outside of class. Do you guys think that training this way would help me to improve my game and sharpen my skills? Thanks for the info.

    GrecoMan's picture

    what I think, being a white belt and all, but having two years of judo behind me, is to find a buddy to train with outside the dojo, and do what the judokas call 'uchikomis' basically, repetition drills. Just practice the move without resistance/full cooperation until you have the movements down. then gradually increase speed. then gradually increase resistance. And then, once you have it down pat with technique, speed, and against resistance, then you can do it in rolling. Just my thoughts.

    Of course, the biggest problem is finding a buddy who has the same free time as you, plus you need mats to train on, and there's always danger of injury, etc...

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    Ezekiel's picture

    Yes, that is very good. I always try to gather people to train with me and then we will do all kinds of moves over and over again. I think it's ridicilous to think that someone will remember a move if you teach 10 moves each session (yes, I've met people that think quantity conquers quality). Rather do 2-3 moves, and repeat them over and over again. On a white belt level you will not need to know any fancy moves anyways. When you become a blue belt you should have your foundation built by effective basic techniques.

    Say like 4 moves (sweeps, guard passes, reversals etc...) from each position and the most common submissions (excluding the likes of the gogoplata etc.). This is atleast what I try to teach the whitebelts when I'm in charge of some training. It is very good for anyone to repeat the most basic moves. Until one reaches blue belt I don't think it's important to learn any fancy moves. Of course you can spice it up once in a while and show something flashy and cool, but it shouldn't be essential until a person is in the position to apply it while sparring against someone of their own level.

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    gubbs's picture

    I'm a terrible when it comes too notes. I used to keep notes with the highlights and key details to the moves I learn, but eventually I forget about the book or always misplace it. Shadow Grappling on the otherhand, I do constantly. I find myself sitting at home and alot of times at work, running a certain move in my head. It has helped me tremendously. That is a cool term, shadow grappling!

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    fragile's picture

    I try to take notes after I learn something that seems really different. Then I will revisit the technique if I don't think to try it again while it's still fresh. I've learned that trying to use any kind of shorthand is just a waste of time though. If I trained more regularly or learned better it probably wouldn't be worth it...

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    Gerald Rhoades's picture

    i visualize a lot ...i agree with what is said, it helps a lot and a lot of the times im having trouble with something, when i visualize ill come up with a way to fix it...ive recently come upon a good training partner to train outside of class but he always wants to do fancy moves, and i want to work on the basics so i just told him we´d divide up time, and on his time he can go over whatever he wants and ill go over what i want.......
    yeah it bothers me that guys that are higher ranked dont want to work on their technique...i think it was gumby that said that helio gracie is still not content with his technique on some moves and look at how long hes been doing it...

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    Gerald Rhoades's picture

    i visualize a lot ...i agree with what is said, it helps a lot and a lot of the times im having trouble with something, when i visualize ill come up with a way to fix it...ive recently come upon a good training partner to train outside of class but he always wants to do fancy moves, and i want to work on the basics so i just told him we´d divide up time, and on his time he can go over whatever he wants and ill go over what i want.......
    yeah it bothers me that guys that are higher ranked dont want to work on their technique...i think it was gumby that said that helio gracie is still not content with his technique on some moves and look at how long hes been doing it...

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    slideyfoot's picture

    21tomlinson wrote:
    Do you guys think that training this way would help me to improve my game and sharpen my skills? Thanks for the info.

    I'm merely a white belt, but I've found that writing up each class has really helped me. It makes it easier to remember technique: the process of putting what you've just learned into words means you have to carefully think about exactly what you did in class. Even if your memory of it isn't that great, that will still mean you know specifically which parts you're unsure about, so can then ask your instructor next time you train.

    That also helps with recollecting terminology, which I find can be a big problem in BJJ. Of course, that normally means you only learn the terminology used in your particular school, but still of benefit. Ideally, I'd like to be able to learn the most common terms used globally, as well as just in my school: it then becomes easier to search places like the net for hints and tips on specific techniques.

    In addition to remembering technique, writing notes also means you can track your own progress, and identify what you feel you need to work on. As with writing up techniques, that then means you can focus on what went 'wrong', for want of a better word, asking your instructor and training partners how you could improve. So in effect, your notes become an action plan for the next sparring session.

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    Ezekiel's picture

    Gumby wrote:
    For me, this doesn't really help.

    I need the feedback of trying this on a live, squirming opponent as well. Anytime I'm trying to work on a move I try it on a lower ranked guy first and then work my way up until I'm comfortable doing it against anyone.

    Yes, indeed! This is why you need people with different ranks at the gym. People say sparring with lower ranked peopel doesn't give you anything and such. But that's just a load of bs, you can test so much new moves and get them to work on these guys and then work on them until they are perfect :)

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    lorenzodamarith's picture

    hello,

    hey 21tomlinson!! taking notes is always a good habit. one thing that may help even more with the note taking is to use a few minutes of your mat time and ask your instructor questions (particularly the things you didn't understand properly) and take specific notes on the answers.

    if you are like most, you generally remember the "gist" of things but it is the little specifics that escape you. ask your instructor for note taking material on these items and then write a full set of notes on the class later.

    as far as shadow grappling, have heard both views (it is good!!! or it is bad!!!). shadow boxing is simpler because of the more linear nature of striking. most would advise you against it because it is far easier to miss something under grappling type conditions.

    hope this helps a bit.

    thanks

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    Ezekiel's picture

    I find it very effective to visualize the moves in your head for instance when you lie in bed just before you fall a sleep. I've often pondered over a move that I haven't been able to do really good and come up with some sort of solution. It is a lot easier to remember things you come up yourself than stuff someone has told you etc. So instead of shadow grappling just imagine the moves and slight variations to them.

    ps. Sometimes I wake up trying to finish an imaginery opponent with a triangel or armbar :eek: :D

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