Friday, May 20, 2011

Go With the Flow!

The other day I attended an ECU day class. ECU Fundamentals instructor Eric Guido ran a great class.

Later Eric and I did a first-round of sparring. As two similar-weight Purple Belts it’s natural that we’d both resort to our standard games. When I talked about it later with JoJo, he said, “So you and Eric ended up hugging each other for six minutes”.

I sheepishly admitted that JoJo’s evaluation was pretty much the case. However, a round later, I suggested to Eric that we follow JoJo’s advice and have a “non-competitive” round.

So we did.

Eric and I hit submissions, but didn’t finish them. Sweeps we could have fought, we let happen. At the end, Eric and I opened up our games so much that most people watching us didn’t think Eric and I were capable of so much movement.

I want to thank JoJo for putting the idea in my head, and Eric for making the round so much fun.

Sometimes, the way to advance isn’t trying to dominate every opponent. Sometimes, we all need to put our egos aside and just have some fun.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Every Hurt is a Lesson

I don’t know how many readers of this blog watch the excellent new HBO show “Game of Thrones”, but I recommend it to everyone.

The reason I mention “Game of Thrones” is that it perfectly fits something that JoJo said the other night.

JoJo: “Who cares if you get tapped out in class? Class is when you try new things. You find out what works for you, and what you need to work on."

A couple of days later, I watched an episode of “Game of Thrones”, when Eddard Stark saw his daughter standing precariously on the top of the stairs, he expressed his concern:

Arya Stark (fictional character): “Master Syrio says every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes us better.”

I’ll talk more about this in the future, but I thought it was really cool that fact and fiction fit together so nicely.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Too Much Competition Talk

My most recent posts have focused on competition. That’s simply because it’s competition season. However, ECU operates all year. While I think the competition posts have been interesting, JoJo and I want to give everyone the full picture of what ECU has to offer.

Most ECU students compete rarely - if ever. However we all train to the best of our abilities.

ECU offers MUCH MORE than some of the most intense BJJ Competition training on the East Coast.

JoJo offers striking training by professional MMA fighters. He also makes sure that there are BJJ Fundamentals classes for beginners (and I’ll add that even the more experienced students would do well to stop by the Fundamentals class from time to time). He has also begun a “Women Only” BJJ class. Saturday mornings, JoJo also adds a Yoga class to the mix.

ECU students range in age from three to fifty+. Every single student is a member of the family. We may approach our journey in different ways, and for different reasons, but we all do our best to help our family reach their goals.

ECUBJJ welcomes everyone. Even if you don’t think you’re quite ready for “The Grinder”, you can find an ECUBJJ class that’s right for you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Actually Like “The Grinder”

A while back, JoJo asked JT to put the ECU Competition Team through, “The Grinder”.

JT introduced us to “Beat Down” training. It can be long, intense and brutal. It’s designed to make sure that ECU competitors can stand up to the toughest conditions possible. As an older student who rarely competes, I wasn’t enthused at first.

ECU Competition Team members are placed in “no-win” situations, and challenged to win.

So far, JT has introduced us to two different scenarios – both of which I’m particularly ill-suited for – involving defending yourself in open space.

While my first thoughts were negative, I eventually realized that these drills would help me tremendously. They forced me to do, as Rob G. had suggested, “Open Up your game and have fun.”

While I don’t think that any sane person would consider their time in the crucible of a “Beat Down” session “fun”, it’s definitely opened up my game. I’m constantly forced out of my comfort zone and find myself trying all sorts of new things. Some work, some don’t but the further we go, the more I learn.

After a competition class, I had the chance to talk with JT about my revelation, and he agreed that it was purpose of the drills.

As last week’s “Grinder” ended, I realized how much I had learned in a single week. When talking to JoJo later, he said, “I want to make training here so hard, that competition is easy.”

While I rarely compete, I like to train like I do when I’m healthy. While I cannot provide personal proof of how much this has helped me, I can provide proof that JoJo’s methods work in the form of Jordan Lutsky.