17 01 2015

This discussion keeps coming up when visitors come around about different schools and systems and who’s is better, and I try to stay out of it. It almost always leads to someone getting their feelings hurt or getting really defensive, and it rarely ends well. While things seemed relatively okay today, I think it is wise to always keep in mind who you are talking to, and remember that we don’t all have the same goals in our training.
When people commit to training at a gym, they commit (at least on some level) a loyalty to that particular system or style. The people who don’t, are the people who jump from gym to gym, and never really grow roots and build a foundation for their technique to grow from. Unfortunately, the type of people who do this, seem to end up being the ones who become instructors who can promote the students too rapidly, and the system eventually crumbles when it’s needed the most, on the mat. Then the students find another gym who will cater to their need to keep building upon a flimsy foundation. These students don’t sign up at our gym. These are the guys who are all talk about what they are going to do, their future in the sport, and how their current gym is the best, but then they can’t even follow a technique that builds off of one of the most basic passes in all of bjj. They rarely come back after they get exposed. They go elsewhere where it’s “easier”.
With that being said, it’s pretty important to also keep in perspective what their goals may be. Today, we had a guy in to visit from a local mma oriented school, and it led to the usual conversation. I don’t think that anybody really questions the validity of the instruction at our school, and the quality of our students’ abilities, especially not after they take a class with us, but it really isn’t a fair comparison. We take a different approach than some other schools. We are a technical, gi oriented school, who believes in a strong foundation of fundamentals. As you guys know, it isn’t easy to get promoted here. Dave has no interest in promoting someone who does not have and apply the fundamental knowledge at every level. The last thing he wants is for what I saw today. There wasn’t a problem today. Nobody got hurt or anything. Most of you guys didn’t see anything wrong. I did and Ricardo did, as he was drilling with him. His sparring was okay on the surface. He moved well when things are dynamic and there isn’t any emphasis on technique. He “grappled” well. If we had a sparring only day today, he may not have been exposed, as it’s easy to hide lack of fundamentals with athleticism. But it was very apparent that his current system is flimsy at best, from a pure sport bjj perspective. There was much difficulty following the techniques we worked today, as i required you all to try to focus on perfecting the technique instead of doing it fast. He probably won’t come back and take class, and make more excuses about his system relies on strikes to make openings..
Then again, you need to consider the goals of our competitors. Had our situations been reversed, and one of you had gone to his school and trained in mma style no-gi, would you look like a fish out of water? Maybe a little at first, since we don’t usually consider being hit in the face while we are playing guard, but I’m pretty confident that the majority of our students could translate their game, because of the foundation we have built. You wouldn’t be put in a situation where our system is in question, because you have earned your rank. You didn’t just meet the requirements on the surface, by the way you roll, or coming to X amount of classes, but you have put in the time in class to learn the fundamentals that can answer most situations you will be put in. Even if you have a hard time under pressure sometimes, and make simple mistakes, the knowledge is in there ready to be accessed. The ability to relax, stop thinking about what you need to do, and get out of your head will come with time (and lots of drilling).
I guess what the point of this all is, it’s good to have confidence in our system, and maybe even brag a little bit, but there is no point in arguing with guys like that. Their current system will always be the best, even if that system changes every 6 months. They always put on this show of being so humble, and admirable of our school, but they always go back to the “easier” route of progression, and usually have a warped view of what really happened today. That’s why I try to stay away from those discussions as much as possible, even though some guys keep trying to start it. I’d recommend in the future to do the same.

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