Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sometimes I hear beginners say that they can’t do any of the moves they learn on anyone during sparring. Sure they can do them during drills but not with someone actually resisting and fighting back! So, in going back to the analogy of language, you can learn a foreign language in a classroom and have “conversations” with your teacher. But to really start to understand the language you have to go out and interact with someone speaking back to you (like visiting the native country of the language)…but then you realize that the people don’t respond “the way they are supposed to” so you’re not sure what they are saying or what you are supposed to say next. It is the same as rolling in jiu jitsu…when you’re trying to do a move and your partner isn’t responding the same way as in the drill, they aren’t letting you do your move! So, in the same way, it’s really about mat time or in the analogy, spending time in the native country! It's walking out into a foreign country only knowing a few word and phrases from the audio tape lesson you listened to on the plane. In both cases, the more you practice with real live partners and learn how to work with unpredictable responses, the more you learn how to react to different situations. In language, as in jiu-jitsu, you learn to automatically and appropriately respond. Only practice will help you to learn more and better responses for more and more situations.