Why Won't They Get Better!

Jimmy Cerra

Amateur Fighter
Oct 17, 2005
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I've been grappling for 9 months at this one place, and while I can see me and some of my friends getting better and better, others stagnate. They are in much better shape, but they don't get stronger or faster at all. Even worse, their technique is still just as bad. I really want them to get better, but it never happens! Are some people just not designed for grappling?
some people just take longer.. they are not as into it.. they just dont have a knack for it.
pick your reason.
Some people are naturally better at certain things than others. Fact of life.
Depends on why they are doing it. I train just for fun and exercise. I'm not one of those guys that thinks thay'll being going pro some day. I'm sure that some day I'll peak simply because the other demands of life are going to restrict how much time , energy, and atttention I can give to training. its just lke any other sport. Not everyone is going to a champion.
You have to remember that grappling skill grows logarithmically. This is actually true in every martial art as well.

Think about what you were like when you were a complete beginner. Someone with 1 year of experience could basically submit you with whatever they wanted in about 30 seconds. You were completely dominated and had no idea what was happening. The only thing you realized was that you were being choked and locked in extremely painful ways.

Now that you have 1 year of experience, who can make you feel this way again? Usually only people with 10+ years of experience. Only they have enough skill to completely dominate you with whatever they want at will in a way that is beyond your comprehension.

Although it is kind of depressing, you will never, ever improve as much as you do in your first year of grappling. In your first year of grappling, you go from someone who got beat on all the time to someone who can beat on a lot of other people. In your second year, you will not improve nearly as much. It takes many more years before you notice the same level of improvement again.

Skill levels tend to even out a lot after the first few years of experience. Imagine your instructor started training five years before you. When you first start, he will crush you completely. But when you have 20 years of experience and he has 25, do you still think he will win? Maybe, but not by much if he even can.

So I think you are noticing this discrepancy because you are expecting more experienced people to improve at the same rate as you. This never happens because after about a year, you tend to know all of the basics of grappling. The advanced details do make a difference, but not nearly as much difference as the basics. That's why it takes so long to get really good.
Everyone's right, but it is still frustrating. They could be great grapplers; they have the attitude, conditioning, and heart to be champions. I think that sucks because they're good persons, and I don't want them to quit. They help make the atmosphere more friendly than some of the other places I've been. But their mat strategy and technique never improves. I wish I could just download what I know into them! They keep getting caught in the same things over and over again. If I switch things up or go a little easier, they still don't do better. Arg!

Thanks Balto. I wasn't talking about the experience people but some of the inexperienced ones who started about the same time as me. (Not you.) In many different schools, there are some people who get better every day; then there are others who just never get much better at all!
I agree with everyone. I took a karate class mixed with men and women. Somethings I noticed I would pick up right away and others I'm lost and then I see this midget girl just whip out and do it in a matter of seconds. Different strokes for different folks.