Rate of improvement

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Pontigoose, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Pontigoose

    Pontigoose Blue Belt

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    Hey guys, just thought I'd bounce this off some fellow sherdoggers here. I'm eager to find out how other grapplers gage their rate of improvement. Sure you have instructors giving you stripes, and changing the colour on your belt, but at the end of the day it's kind of our own responsibility to make sure we take something away from each training session. Do you make sure you try a specific move each class? Ask as much questions as possible? Maybe read or watch Jiu jitsu footage? Just curious to how you guys do it. Thanks for any and all input, Osss!
     
  2. Mixfight

    Mixfight Black Belt

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    -comfort level raises
    -you get less tired because your calmer
    -you start chaining submissions
    -the game slows down and you notice yourself recognizing openings
    -defense improves

    all huge measurements of vast improvements
     
  3. LogicalError

    LogicalError Purple Belt

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    Solid response. Do you have many people in your gym near your skill level?
     
  4. bLikeWater

    bLikeWater Orange Belt

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    For a while it's kind of abstract. But eventually, a real game will start emerge for you, and its growth in complexity, elegance, and effectiveness will be clear signs of your progression.

    Like, you used to be really horrible from this one position, but now you have a solid game there, and are comfortable working it with most people. Or you had this one really awesome move from another position, but on the rare instance people could defend it, you had no response. Now, you've figured out the three most common defenses, and you have answers for all of them. Improvement.
     
  5. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    When you're new you improve fast, and you can gauge your rate of improvement by how much better you do over time rolling with higher belts. After a while (late blue or so for most) you know most of the main positions and that exponential improvement slows down. Now it's harder to gauge using rolling because most of the higher belts are improving at about that same rate. At this point I think you can gauge yourself one of two ways: either by tournament performance or by testing your ability to add skills. The former is obvious (if you were taking silvers and bronzes or not medalling and now you're consistently winning your division, you're getting better), the latter requires a little more explanation. After you've learned most of the main positions and techniques, you start specializing your game. Most purple belts and up have a reasonably well defined A game that works against other advanced guys. Deviating from that game will often get you in trouble against people your own level. As you work on specific positions and learn them deeply, you should be able to use them in rolling and competition successfully. If you're consistently adding skills in that manner, you're getting better.

    There's an Eddie Cummings interview where he talks about Garry Tonon's development and says something along the lines of 'Garry used to have only a RNC, now he has a high elbow guillotine and a leg lock game'. It's not as if Tonon didn't know guillotines or footlocks 3 years ago, but he couldn't apply them against high level people with consistent success. Now he can, so now he 'has' those moves as part of his game. That's probably the best way for someone who is already pretty good to measure progress, in terms of diversifying what could reasonably be called your A game.
     
  6. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Ebony Belt Platinum Member

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    Some excellent responses in this Thread.:cool:
     
  7. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Funny thing, I feel like submission chains are a very intermediate level thing. Most of the best black belts I've rolled with don't chain subs at all, they positionally dominate you so thoroughly that they can go straight to their preferred subs and you can't stop them ala Roger Gracie. Watch Mundials or other top tournaments, the best guys don't really switch the subs they're attacking much. Certainly they might use the threat of an alternative sub to set up their preferred sub, but they mostly go right to where they want and then get exactly the sub they want. About the only real chains I see used are bow and arrow setting up the armbar from the back, cross choke setting up the armbar from mount, and finishing the triangle with an armbar (if you can even really call that a sub chain as the position doesn't usually change much if at all).

    I think a better measure of progress than sub chains is the ability to attack while maintaining position. When I was a blue belt I'd pass and get on top but then as soon as I started working towards a sub I'd lose the position. This happens much less often now, and I've never seen my coach lose a position going for a sub. The ability to progress while maintaining crushing pressure and control is a much higher level skill than sub chaining IMO (though you should be able to chain subs when the need arises).
     
  8. HtomSirveaux

    HtomSirveaux Blue Belt

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    Great responses so far. Maybe I could add, now that the exponential newbie gains have slowed down, one thing I've noticed is how I'm really digging deeper into the concepts behind techniques, having really interesting discussions on little minutia, and asking better, more focused questions that help me trouble shoot mistakes I'm making.

    Contrast that to the first couple years, where all the rolls in open mat were a blur I struggled to remember, and when asked if I had any problems or stuff I wanted to work on, my response was just "I dunno"
     
  9. Mixfight

    Mixfight Black Belt

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    I agree my friend, positional dominance and control is a much higher level of the game. I guess what I meant is once you start learning to chain submissions and adjust and adapt as the opponent resists to apply different submissions which are applicable at that moment is a huge sign of a lower level students growth.


    The best guys Iv rolled with always gauged my growth by my level of defense. Not my offense.
     
  10. Young Turkey

    Young Turkey Green Belt

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    That's a good take on it. I'm still a newb but I find myself bailing on subs and taking position a lot more than before when I would barely have a half-ass sub locked and just try to power it through for the finish, which would often leave me in a bad position if I fail.
     
  11. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    I should be clear that I think chaining subs is a skill you should have and a phase that people will go through as they improve. It's worth practicing at white and blue belt without a doubt. It was more just an observation that while it's a good thing to be able to do that as you get to brown and black belt you see it less and less, mostly because guys aren't losing the first submission (so no need to chain). These days if I have to go to a second submission it usually means I just didn't execute well enough on the first one.
     
  12. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    You are responsible for your own progress.
    Just do not expect to be spoon fed information.
    There are so many ways to learn and tools to learn that group classes cannot cover everything.
     
  13. Glokta

    Glokta Yellow Belt

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    I used to drop in at another club every 2/3 months, its a good gauge of progress.
     
  14. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    Thanks for posting this. I see "chaining submissions" everywhere but never got it. Like sure, have a few options in a position, but never thought of it as a "chain" where you'd go from A to B to C. Just take what's there.

    Similarly I never got the emphasis on combinations in Judo. It's a catch-22. You either get your first attack right, or it doesn't affect uke which doesn't open up the follow up. Or you can fake one way, but that's not really a combination is it? It's rare that your first attack is just barely defended by uke which leads to another, like osoto to harai. And you certainly can't plan for it.

    I get there is value and skill in being able to flow from one thing to another. I just don't know if it's something you deliberately practice. It just comes in time as you get good at different things.
     

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