Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Training and COVID-19 Restrictions

Jujutsu involves contact. Throwing techniques, takedown techniques, joint-locking techniques, strangulation techniques, unbalancing techniques - they all involve physical contact. Does that mean that you cannot train them during the COVID-19 isolation restrictions?No! In fact, you can use this time to become more efficient and effective when you have the opportunity to train with a partner again.

When I reconnected with Shihan John Beckman over Facebook, he remembered me because I was extremely precise in my movements when executing defences. He was not wrong. I was very precise in executing my defences. I'd trained to be very precise. The way I trained was a very efficient training method which did not necessarily involve any other physical presence.

During my work annual leave I would go to the 996 Hay Street dojo and practice by myself. I'd practice the defences without the physical presence of an 'attacker.' Wrist twist from a low punch. Enter rotate rotate. Enter rotate rotate. Enter rotate rotate. Over and over again. By myself.

I built so-called muscle memory of the movements involved. I trained myself to move fluently and precisely. When it came to executing that defence against a physically present attacker, I didn't have to think about those movements. All I had to focus on was fitting in with the attack and applying the force in the right place in the right direction.

It's like learning to drive a car. Everyone should start off with an automatic. That way you can focus on the road without worrying about how to change gears. When you've got driving on the road down pat then you start learning to drive with a manual because you no longer have to think about driving on the road. It's automatic.

Train your grading. Go over each defence over and over again. This way you won't have to try and remember your grading, the defences in your grading. Top to bottom, over and over and over again.

'It's boring.' Training only begins when it is boring. If it is still exciting then you haven't done it enough. If you want to be entertained go and watch Netflix or play on your game console. If you want to train, train until it's boring and then train a lot more. Train until it becomes 'mindlessness.'

Take this opportunity to become better at what you do and to be more efficient and effective in your training when the isolation restrictions are lifted.

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