You can almost breakdown jiu jitsu practitioners into two categories. The ones who find comfort in control and perfection. And the others who embrace the scramble and chaos.
This is similar in so many areas of life. Look at acting for example. There are theatre actors who rehearse a scene over and over again hundreds of times, making small incremental changes, to tighten up the act. And then there is the improvisational actors who work off spontaneity, responding honestly to their fellow actors and environment.
In dance we see people who perform beautifully choreographed dance routines. And then dancers that prefer to feel and adapt to the music. This is the same in music. Painting. And so on.
It's The Technician vs The Scrambler
The Perfectionist vs the Anarchist
Here's my thoughts... Jiu jitsu shouldn't shape us. It is us that should shape our jiu jitsu. You just need to understand on a deeper level how your mind works and likes to learn.
A few years ago I met a great mentor of mine Dave Lourdes. Before our first meeting I was given a test with 365 questions on it. Which I answered as truthfully as I could. This test revealed how your brain worked. It measured our dominance on four different mental attributes. Emotion, procedure, analytics and your ability to conceptualise. I found out I was in the highest 2% of conceptual bar. But lowest in procedure. My analytics was second and emotion third. This meant that I liked looking at the big picture and conceptualising things. Disliked routine and procedures. (Never ever made a check or to do list.) wasn't very emotional. But liked to look at the analytical side of things.
This really helped me understand my jiu jitsu and why I didn't like certain aspects of what I'd call "mainstream training." Firstly I hated drilling. I understood the necessity for rote learning as a beginner. But I look at drilling techniques as I do training wheels on a bike. They help you at the start, but the longer you leave them on the more the become a hinder your freedom of movement!
What I found solitude in though was concepts. I learnt how to break down techniques by simply asking "why" they worked. Then looked for over all themes. Or what I like to refer to as fundamentals for techniques. Asking myself what the general idea of the technique was. Then I would internalise that and use techniques more as guidelines as to what possibilities were available, if applied at the right time.
Where as a lot of other people took a liking to perfecting techniques through rote training (repetition) moving from one technique to another. I found this un-motivating and pointless for me. But I can understand as a lot of practitioners don't really want to think, when it comes to training. They just want to get there. Get given techniques from their coach and practice that! I didn't find this style mentally stimulating at all. Looked at it more as training the body to remember routines, rather than teaching the brain to problem solve. So i spent my training rolling live (with purpose) instead. Or participated in specific training for the whole session. But it had to be live. That way I developed a sense of feeling and timing.
They say repetition is the mother of all skill. But it is also the killer of all creativity.
The moral of this story is there is no wrong or right way to do anything. Just the best way for you. Don't let a coach dictate how you learn. But look inside and understand yourself better. Then find the right coach for you!
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