Friday, February 17, 2012

Lifting the BJJ Veil

I am going to be reprinting some old classic entries from my previous blog called The Angry Grappler. It will chronicle the evolution in my understanding of martial arts.
08 March 2009 @ 10:22 pm

You ever had that moment like you felt like the veil was lifted? A good jiu jitsu guy is like a good illusionist. You see what he does, but you have no idea how he did it and why you can't.

It's like watching higher belts as a white belt, you are like, wow why can't I do that? How come I can't? You are intelligent, and you understand logic and physics as much as the next guy why can't you do it? It's like a veil covers your eyes from truly understanding jiu jitsu, or being able to relate to it. Maybe you can't see with eyes unclouded by...ego.

I sometimes listen to white belts and sometimes even higher belts than that talk about jiu jitsu, and think to myself, you have no idea what you are talking about. And I am sure black belts think the same way when I speak about it, which is why I try not to say much about the subject in class.

It's like, "It's cool when you do that move! It works!"

And one day for some of us, it all clicks. You hear people talk about it, that one day while they were a blue belt, a purple, even a brown or black, it all just clicked and BJJ made perfect sense to them. As much sense as walking and breathing. I don't know if it happens for everyone but I have heard many people talk about it. Like Marcello Garcia, never won anything major until black belt. I heard about guys always getting tapped until purple then they started winning every tournament. I heard this happened for Dave Jacobs from Yamasaki.

You see some kid and he's just okay, then one day he's kicking everyone's butt! It just made sense to him. I do this, I block this, I can win! It all makes sense now, like taking the pill in The Matrix.

It can probably happen more than once. That aha moment. I had these a few times in the past with great gains in whatever I was doing. From school, to kickboxing, personal training, and grappling. The one thing I never had the veil lifted was when I wrestled in high school. I had a fast shot, that was about the extent of my talent.

For some reason today, I felt that veil lift. Some things clicked that higher belts were doing that weren't necessarily moves, but just in between moves, the gaps, just starting filling in.

I was doing a Yoga workshop to get certified to teach Yoga and in watching the movements, and how my instructor was explaining the body and kinesiology, it started to make sense.

But then again I can wake up tomorrow and I forget all those nuances I knew today. Those kinds of things you just can't write down. You just hope your body memorizes it.

I broke down jiu jitsu into 4 compartments. Even with that, though initially it was helpful, I still felt holes in my game. Today I filled in some of those holes. And the minor details were just so simple. The veil was lifted.
About the Author:

Sam Y. is a Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.

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