1/1/19: Concept of the Week: Disciplined Sparring.
For most of us, our primal survival instinct draws us to Jiu Jitsu. Every sparring session is a fight to breathe, to prevent a debilitating injury, to survive. We find ourselves giving 100% to neutralize our opponent, many times spending an entire sparring session without progress on either side. This strategy is fine in a survival situation, but is not an efficient way to learn or maximize our training time. In training, we have the opportunity to put ourselves in as many positions as possible in order to learn how we should behave. We have an opportunity to shape our experience in order to recognize, feel, and learn how and when to move our bodies. Additionally, we find that most of our injuries occur when we are giving 100%.
For the next several weeks, we will be emphasizing different forms of disciplined sparring to make our training most efficient, and promote our longevity in this art. In disciplined sparring both partners must check their egos and resist the urge to fight at 100%. The purpose of the sparring session should be understood by both partners (such as study a specific technique or concept). Positional sparring and flow rolling are types of disciplined sparring which allow us to physically study and analyze techniques and concepts.
In positional sparring, a starting position and end state is specified. The end state could include pass from the top position and/or sweep/submit from the bottom position. Once the end state is met (stable and controlled for 3 seconds), you return to the starting position. Resistance is starts low (~50%) and may be incrementally increased.
In flow rolling each partner provides less than 100% resistance as they alternate between applying a technique and resisting. In the flow, focus on fundamentals and techniques. While resisting, focus on exposing holes in your partner’s technique and allow them to close those holes in promote proper technique and timing.
In each of these forms of sparring, you will find your learning experience grow, as well as reduce the likelihood of injury.