Improved Grappling without training?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by mrsneakyz28, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. mrsneakyz28

    mrsneakyz28 Green Belt

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    Does this happen to everyone or is it an anomaly for certain people because of how their brains work?

    I trained BJJ and no-gi for a while, I was a 1-stripe white belt in BJJ and I competed twice. I trained close to 20 hours a week between strength training, muay thai, grappling, and crossfit but most of my focus was stand-up. Anyway I injured my knee right before a MT fight 2 years ago and eventually stopped training altogether.

    Now I am a very analytical person. At work they call me spock. I fully understand most aspects of the ground game from years of watching and some time training. I am still a little in shape but not like I used to be. Even though I have not trained in 2 years I feel like I am exponentially better at grappling than I ever was. Like I had time to sit and think about the techniques, and watch and understand the game a little bit more. I recently have been rolling with some friends, including a guy who is a blue belt and has about 60 lbs on me that I can submit regularly and do very well against. I see myself using techniques (effectively) that I never learned when I was training or would have even thought to use. This happen to anyone else?
     
  2. Kimuralex

    Kimuralex Brown Belt

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    Although I believe you can get a lot better at grappling through watching, studying, analyzing it etc., nothing beats training. In training you learn how to balance your weight, position your body, fight when your tired, fight when you feel weak, you learn how to defend many different situations and the list goes on and on. Those things you can pretty much ONLY get from actually training.
     
  3. mrsneakyz28

    mrsneakyz28 Green Belt

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    Of course you are right, obviously training > not training. I just found it unusual that I feel like I am much better than I ever was, even when I was training 4x a week. Now if I went back to training 4x a week I'd be a beast compared to what I am now. My take on this however, is I think that 2 years ago I was still too new to grappling and I had to mature in order to understand it a little better. Sometimes you spend so much time emerged in something trying to improve in the wrong areas and you need to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective.
     
  4. mrsneakyz28

    mrsneakyz28 Green Belt

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    I probably give myself alot less credit than I was due, I felt like I sucked for the amount of time I trained. But you're right, the first thing I learned was how to fight while tired and control my breathing, no panicking. Which I learned by rolling with 265lb classmates as a 145'er :icon_neut.

    For whatever reason it took me awhile to properly balance my weight at the right times and that's something I feel I have improved more recently. In other words my offense and top game much much better, but I became entirely too familiar with being on my back when I was training, so that part of my game has probably weakened a bit.
     
  5. Kimuralex

    Kimuralex Brown Belt

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    Then were on the same page, I agree with you.... studying and watching the game will help you a lot
     
  6. Sloth

    Sloth Brown Belt

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    I think it depends on the person. There are a few guys that I know that trained often and hard for years and then taper off because of injury, etc...to training once or twice a week and somehow still improve at Bjj/grappling. Some guys are just wired a certain way that allows them to visualize, study video, do supplementary physical conditioning and only actually roll once or twice a week and still manage to assimilate new skills and refine old ones.

    Sometimes people say that grappling is 90 percent mental. I think that for some people that reach a certain level this is true in a more literal way than for most. That's not me, but damn do I wish it was lol.
     
  7. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    It's more likely to be the fact that your are fully refreshed and able to take a different view of your grappling. A bit of extra enthusiasm (and of course all the extra ideas you've picked up from watching/thinking about techniques) can make a helluva difference. You're more likely to try things out with an open mind, and generally enjoy it more. Be prepared for things to quickly start feeling "not as good" after a couple more sessions, when the first impact has faded, but then it will level out.
     
  8. Drew Foster

    Drew Foster Silver Belt

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    This is interesting. Thanks for the read. I'll be following this one.
     
  9. DanimalJr

    DanimalJr White Belt

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    I notice this kind of thing quite a bit, though usually with shorter intervals. (I also would describe myself as a very analytical person) I haven't noticed it when it comes to BJJ because (thankfully) I have been able to train very consistently.

    However, I especially remember this kind of thing when I used to play guitar. If I couldn't play for more than a week as soon as I got back everything would just feel better than it did before. Yes, some of this was probably due to the renewed energy, but even technical playing exercises or songs I was working on would get better without practice.

    Another experience I had was about two months ago I signed up for the intro class at a boxing gym. I went in and I was the only person so it was like a private. Anyways we worked on my cross for a while and I was terrible at it. I couldn't seem to stop turning my head and kept leaning forward and crap. By the end I was a little better, but I still sucked. Then I went on vacation for three weeks with no training. I come back and the first muay thai class I get back to we spend time on the 1-2 combo. Suddenly my cross just feels so much better. I am getting good rotation and my head isn't turning. My instructor even commented on how I have a natural cross.

    So I would say yeah, it happens at least for some people, but obviously actually training is the best option.
     
  10. BruceLeeMMA

    BruceLeeMMA Purple Belt

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    Helio Gracie was too sickly to train, so for two years IIRC he just watched Carlos teach. Then a new student came in (when Carlos was away) and Helio was able to start teaching. So it is possible just from observing though sparring and drills will really get it into your muscle memory.

    Alot of times though if we learn bad habits or instruction/techinque then we can learn bad muscle memory, so in some sense something like Helio getting the right training from 2 years of observing might have given him an advantage.
     
  11. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Everyone is different.

    I have a teamate who is a IT guru. He needs to understand each technique, the why and how it works, I can spend 15 minutes explaining a move and he will listen...

    while some other guys just drill it 10 times and do not need to understand or think about it.
     
  12. DiscipleOfPog

    DiscipleOfPog Green Belt

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    When I take more than 2 weeks off, the first day I come back I usually roll really well, but after that one day I'm back where I was.
    I think when you aren't training, your brain is still toiling over techniques and almost committing them to muscle memory without even doing them.
     
  13. Amiro

    Amiro Orange Belt

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    ive experienced this with lots of different things i think its because of information overload

    i think it takes longer for things to settle in my mind (not just bjj) then theres the first time i think of something at the right time (say a guitar lick that was too tricky at first) after a while and do it properly when i realise ok ive got it permanently etched in my brain.

    that and you get a fresh start
     
  14. blackers10

    blackers10 Orange Belt

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    I found when I started driving I was real tense and jerky etc. Next day I was awesome. Real smooth etc. Just kind of clicked..
     
  15. mrsneakyz28

    mrsneakyz28 Green Belt

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    Yeah it all makes sense. I am a musician as well (pianist), I actually stopped playing for almost 9 years and even before that hadn't "trained or taken lessons" for another 5, but I picked it back up and within 6 months I'm almost ready to audition for a music scholarship. I am actually much better but in a very different way. Had I been taking lessons and training for those last 13 years I'm sure I would be light years ahead of where I am now. But its not to say you cant improve anything or you will "lose it" if you don't have the opportunity to train.

    If anything I think we learned that as long as you have passion for something and a solid base or firm understanding then you can always find ways to get better even if you cannot participate or train due to life's obstacles. This should be at the very least motivation for those that are injured, or have some situation holding them back, keep focused danielson! :D
     
  16. Oak

    Oak 栄誉

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    I haven't experienced this in BJJ yet, but I have experienced this in other parts of life so it should work in BJJ as well.
     
  17. Smokey McPot

    Smokey McPot Yellow Belt

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    for some people it happens. tried it for myself. I stopped training for 6 months because of pre-med, came back and still beat some guys (The guys who really take a long time to get to blue or purple) but the athletic white gave me a hard time and some even dominated my game. training is way better than not training.
     

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