Helping newbies during rolling

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by theFelix, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    I used to train at one of those gyms where the head instructor was an expert on all facets of modern combat sports: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA. The place seemed clean and it was in the Houston Heights which is close to where I live so I gave it a shot.

    After the 5th month he started pairing me with people that were in their first DAYS of training. I remembered how frustrating those first days were so I gave them advice and pointers. I would also coach them through a submission defense rather than tap them out so that I could try to figure out what to do next.

    This really rubbed the owner the wrong way and he would often chastise me in front of the class saying that I should focus on training and not be a teacher.

    The people I helped seemed grateful, I got to learn new things instead of falsely feeding my ego with a submission that I should make 9 out of 10 times but, most importantly, I figured that people less stubborn than I would quit this amazing art because the learning curve is so frustrating and when asked about it they would probably say "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sucks, nothing but egos and jerks" thus turning more people away from trying it out.

    Now I am at an awesome new school where I am actually developing a game tailored to my capabilities and not limited by my trainer's knowledge or dedication to me.

    I don't want to piss him off though and am curious as to helping newbies is generally frowned upon or if I just happened to stumble upon the one place where it is a no-no?

    Thanks in advance for your contributions!
     
  2. Reveen

    Reveen Purple Belt

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    You did the right thing.
     
  3. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    thanks man, I was starting to get bummed because I don't want to be a part of something where the objective is to ridicule and bully your training partners because they're new.

    If I wanted to haze somebody I would of joined a frat in college.

    I appreciate the reinforcement!
     
  4. Waxwingslain

    Waxwingslain oiseau rebelle

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    It's a tough call. I'm not saying this is you but I cringe when I see beginners teaching other beginners bad habits.

    It's a difficult spot for you because the guy did put you with the beginning students and you can't roll with someone who knows next to nothing.
     
  5. Noskill

    Noskill Created Monkey

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    The thing is : we can't see you in class, doing your thing.

    IF what you say is true, then it seems alright to me. Better than tapping the noobs out.

    But maybe you also do that extra ''too much'' that makes the instructor cringe.

    I know guys in my gym that just talk - or ''teach'' - too much. Not only during sparring, but also during instruction.

    Maybe you do that extra something that makes your instructor want you to shut up a bit and train harder.

    But, as I said, if what you say is accurate, it seems to be a good thing.
     
  6. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    Wax: That is a really good point man. However I don't think that was an issue in this case since I already helped in teaching the children's class. I am not saying I am a prodigy, I'm the first to admit that my game has more holes than a colander but because he had me help instruct an actual class (albeit with children in it) that would just be an inconsistent train of thought.

    He told me that the way he learned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was with the Gracie's in the early 90's in Torrance and that the way they taught was by throwing you off balance and letting you feel the sweep so you learn not to do that again.

    This struck me as odd because I attended a Royce Gracie seminar once and he struck me as very affable , he was extremely vocal in his directions and hands on with instruction and kept stressing that we should be careful.

    I think he learned this way because the Gracie family had just settled in the states and I believe they were still perfecting their grasp of the English language and therefor verbal communication would not have been as plentiful as I've seen displayed by Robyn, Royler and Royce during private lessons and seminars.

    thank you man, again, I never thought about the inheriting of bad habits that is a really good point!
     
  7. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Artemis BJJ Co-Founder

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    I think helping anyone of less skill than you is an essential part of good training. Helping newer people out should aid you in better understanding the technique yourself, and perhaps most importantly, will result in higher quality training partners down the line. Of course, senior students helping out their juniors should never become a replacement for newbies getting advice from the main instructor, but tips from senior students are definitely a valuable supplement (particularly when its a big class, meaning that it can sometimes be hard to get hold of the main instructor to clarify some detail or other).

    Speaking personally, my training partners have had a massive impact on my progress. If helping newbies was frowned upon where I train, I'd have missed out on some great advice.
     
  8. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    Slidey: you hit it on the nose dude, this guy runs an extremely profitable business where it is easy to get lost in the crowd and a lot of the attention seems to be lavished on the senior students.

    Its not for me, though it seems to work there. I really think the attention and coaching should be on the newer students to ensure they stay.

    The owner had a surfer mentality that you had to earn your right to be a local and surf the beaches. Maybe this is a bad analogy but its the best way I can describe it.
     
  9. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    like I said: my game has more holes than a colander but you don't need to be Carlos Gracie Re-incarnate to tell someone on their third class that it is not a good thing to turn away from me when I'm on top of them in side control.

    thanks man!
     
  10. Darksky

    Darksky Blue Belt

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    I generally just follow directions during class and do not help or instruct until the free roll.
     
  11. Cash Bill 52

    Cash Bill 52 Brown Belt

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    Unless they are using a "running escape". I help people all the time. That's how I roll.

    I say things like, "Where are you going with that?" "that's not going to work." Scoot, scoot.

    I do something called a guided submission. It's like I put them in a maze and try to help them get out.


    (with beginners of course)

    There is a fine line though. You only know where it is when you cross it.
     
  12. theFelix

    theFelix White Belt

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    I noticed in both the old and new school I'm in that the senior students tend to stick to the same training partners and are very vocal with each other during each step of the drill practiced. Should the newer students mimic this behavior or stay quiet? I think they would benefit from repeating the steps to a new technique aloud so that they don't skip a part.

    I mumble each step to myself during instruction for the reasons mentioned above and if I am rolling with someone completely clueless I tend to instruct as I roll. If the person is better than me I tend to ask them how to defend the submission I've been caught in.
    If I train with an equal level partner I will ask them if they know the defense to a technique I seem to be having repeated success with.

    So I guess I don't shut up!
     
  13. NinjaKilla187

    NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

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    As a relative BJJ noob, I have had good experiences and bad with this. I do appreciate it when I get stuck and the guy I am working with gives some pointers because otherwise I just thrash sometimes.

    I've also found coaches saying, "Where the hell did you learn THAT" and been like, "Oh, Bob showed it to me last week" and got a lot of rolled eyes.

    Mileage may vary and you can't teach what you don't know. Some guys really like telling other people how to do things...
     
  14. B3rserk3R

    B3rserk3R Brown Belt

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    I've always really appreciated any help I get from people who have been doing this a while. A couple of my favorite people to roll with have very similar styles. They'll put on a clinic, but at the same time afterward the sub, they'll break down how they transitioned, or show me a sweep I could have used or something so that they're working too, and I'm learning.
     
  15. SteveQ

    SteveQ I'd rather be fishing

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    I am really new to the sport and I can tell you I get a lot more out of it when I roll with a purple who can kick my ass slowly and point out my mistakes rather than just tap me in 10 seconds before I even realize I am out of position.

    As long as you are pointing out correct technique, I cant imagine why it would bother anyone

    But along the lines of what some others are saying, I agree, I would hesitate to take advice from anyone at my own experience level because they probably have a lot of the same mistakes I do
     
  16. Jim J

    Jim J Purple Belt

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    It is important for everyone to get rolling time in. The instructor realizes this and doesn't want you giving the guy an seminar when he should be getting the feel for live grappling. At the school you are talking about, they usually only roll for about five minutes at the end of beginer class. That five minutes should be spent rolling. I really don't think the instructor has a problem with you helping newer students out, it just wasn't the right time for it.

    If you show up for open mat on Saturdays, there is a lot more time.
     
  17. Rocked

    Rocked Brown Belt

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    I love the help I get from the guys in the gym, as I have no grappling experience, and any help I get, I take. One guy helping me has been a white belt for two plus years, just because he couldn't train in a gym, but has years of experience gi and no gi, so I love to learn from him as well as the instructors.
     
  18. Will_N.O.

    Will_N.O. Orange Belt

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    Yeah, there is always the question of what to do when asked by the instructor to roll with brand new guys, particularly if they are also a good deal lighter. My main goal is to try to make it fun for them.

    Generally I opt for going about 50% and working positionally at first...if they seem to be able to handle that then I slowly start turning it up; if I'm just completely dominating the guy then I will turn it down, ask them what they were shown in class, and let them get it against some light resistance. I also look for something positive they did to give them some encouragement, "hey, that was a nice snappy upa," etc. (though if it's just a total disaster, I won't make something up just to have something nice to say).

    When it comes to giving advice I try to limit it to only very, VERY basic stuff. For complete newbs, usually just getting them to relax and not kill themselves every second of the roll is all you can ask.
     
  19. Tony Manifold

    Tony Manifold Brown Belt

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    I have learned more teaching than I have any other way. When I am teaching someone a technique, they often ask questions I don't have immediate answers for. Maybe they ask where I place a hand or something, one of the small details that you just do without realizing it. I am forced to examine my techniques and thus get a better understanding of them. Also, if I show my training partners what I am doing, it makes it harder for me to do it next time, forcing me to raise my game.

    When it comes to drills or learning new techniques with a partner, I am very vocal as well. I help my partner with details that he is missing and he helps me. If neither of us can answer the question, we call the instuctor or a senoir student over for help. IMO that is the best way to do it for student that have been long enough to know the difference between a properly applied technique and a fucked up tangle.
     
  20. armbarking

    armbarking Green Belt

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    Yeah, I remember the first guy who smashed me. He armbarred me real quick. Then, as humble and nicely as a man can be, he showed me exactly what i was doing wrong and why he was able to do what he did. Apparently it is bad to push a guy's chest with both arms while on the bottom end of the mount position ;) After he told me that, I never did it again. We continued and after each submission he would tell me what I was doing wrong.

    I'll never forget that cuz I was so overwhelmed when I first started and everyone else just smashed me and moved on. I remember thinking that he was going to be a great training partner cuz he seemed to care about the new guys.

    Now, I try and do the same for new guys. I have been at it for over 5 years though. So, usually I only speak about something if I'm sure it's right. And it's usually in the interest of making the new guys feel a bit less like a fish out of water. Otherwise I'll tell them to ask the instructor.

    I do hate guys that teach but don't know what they're talking about, though. I would say if your in your first year, be careful with how much "teaching" you do. Some guys are very good at remembering the details properly and some screw things up and end up sharing bad habits. I usually cringe when I see a guy who's been training for 6 months trying to "teach" anyone anything, but we do have some guys under a year who even I'll ask from time-to-time to go over a technique with me cuz they are better at remembering details than I am.
     

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