Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Definitions Revisited

Jeremy asked me a few weeks ago to try to define my game as someone who were to watch me roll would define it.  One idea surfaced that someone's game doesn't really take shape until late in the blue belt or early in the purple belt stages.  I disagree.  Whether intentional or not, I think your body type and muscle memory starts shaping your game from your first class.

The very first jiu jitsu class I went to, I had no introduction or anything--just jumped into a Saturday class to get a sample.  I dug out an omoplata on one person for a sweep (I knew the setup from a youtube video), and shot a triangle on someone else (but of course had no idea how to finish it).  I had little-to-no athletic experience from which to draw; I had wrestled for one season when I was in eighth grade (and we all know how we remember everything from junior high), but the extent of my serious athletic pursuits since then were almost exclusively flying-disc based.  And running full sprint after a full-field backhand huck doesn't prepare anyone for being on the wrong end of side control.  But still, my body naturally went for moves that suit my body type.

So I spent my first six months doing little but figuring out how to slap a triangle on my opponent.  I threw some armbars from guard in there for good measure, but really, I just devoted as much time and effort as I could to learning how to choke people with my legs while lying down.  It fit my body, and it had the added benefit of seeming pretty cool.  I don't know what this says about my overall game though.  It explains why I resort to specific movements and setups, but it doesn't characterize my approach to rolling (except in that it is incomplete and lacking some fundamentals).

Since Jeremy posed the question to me, it's been percolating in the back of my mind and I've had a few weeks of training.  I'm sloppy and imprecise.  But that probably is not the first thing that someone (other than me) would think, either.  I guess the best word I might have for my game right now is cerebral; I'm still very much in my own head.  I think about movements and combinations rather than feel for them and flow with them.  It's a progressive process, and I'm becoming better over time, but--as with all things--not as quickly as I would like.  I'm not overly technical, I still muscle my way into and out of positions when I should just trust the technique.  So I guess if someone watched me roll, they would probably classify me as a novice with potential to improve.  My game?  Haphazard.

1 comment:

  1. Julia posted a challenge on her blog a bit ago-- define your game in 6 words. It was quite a fun challenge! Try it :)