Practice and Repetition

Overload.  It's the overwhelming feeling my brain experiences being new to BJJ.  It started day one of my journey and continues today.  However as time has passed that feeling of overload has been less frequent.

So a little about me (not like many people care),  I'm what most would consider ADD.  For me to hold a single thought longer than three seconds is truly a miracle.  I can't help it, because it's the way I'm wired.  I don't consider myself defective nor do I use it as an excuse.   However it is my reality. Where this becomes problematic for me is at the very beginning of learning new subject material.  When I'm overwhelmed with new concepts, definitions, theories...etc.  So understanding how I process information, helps me with organizing my memories in such a fashion that eventually I can recall it and tie it to other concepts.

What does that overwhelming sense of overload have to do with BJJ?  For me personally it means it's going to be a longer process of learning up front.  Because for me, I have to mind map all the various facets of BJJ.  I have to neatly categorize them in my mind.  Concepts like guard, sweeps, side control, arm bars, omoplata...etc.  This mind mapping for me takes time and and it has to be on a consistent and repetitive basis.  Otherwise I forget where I filed said course material in my brain. My learning style also adds to my frustration.  It makes me feel as if I'm being viewed as less capable, inadequate or just wasting someone's time.   So because I don't always hear the terms, concepts..etc. on a consistent basis, I always feel as if I'm starting over multiple times.  But it's not just limited to the instructional part of the material where I struggle with overload, it's also during the application.  It happens while I'm rolling with another individual, who is squashing me in his side control and I lay there trying to recall all I've learned.  Forgetting simple concepts like creating space, shrimping, etc.  Either way it's a real issue I work hard to overcome.  Yet does this make me any less capable BJJ practitioner?  Absolutely not, nor should it make anyone else either.  But for me, it presents additional challenges to overcome throughout my journey, challenges others may not necessarily have to contend with.

In managing my learning style, whether it BJJ, attending college or shooting a firearm; I learned this very important key...it's practice and repetition which has the best payoffs.  Now I hear the collective...well duh everyone gets better with practice and repetition.  And you're correct.  However not everyone comes to the starting line equally. For example my oldest son has a brain that is very conceptual in nature.  You explain and demonstrate a concept once and he's got it.  He doesn't need practice or repetition to remember, he needs it to better perfect the technique.  But make no mistake it is practice and repetition which holds the key.  I have to make a concerted effort to attend class on a consistent and repetitive basis in order to improve my rolling skills.

So in looking back over my short journey thus far, I recognize and accept that I'm the proverbial tortoise, in the tortoise and hare story.   You won't see me bolt out of the gate and instantaneously know where I'm going.  You'll see me stop, look at the map repeatedly and move forward.  And along the way, I'll pass some hares and some hares I'll never catch.  But ultimately I will always move forward through practice and repetition.

So anyone relatively new to BJJ should continue to exercise practice and repetition.  And for those who have a sense of overload, like me, it's OK!  It doesn't make you less capable, it just affords you more time for Practice and Repetition.

Peace, Love & Chokes









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