Divide and conquer

Some days the task of mastering the many skills of Jiu Jitsu can seem a little daunting - there is an awful lot to learn and new elements seem to emerge all the time. When I see someone struggle to pick up a new move they are working on, I usually encourage them to divide whatever skill they are learning into components and then TRY TO MASTER EACH COMPONENT IN ISOLATION FIRST before putting them all together into a complete skill. This kind of focused training generally makes most tasks easier to understand. Here I am teaching the back system. Often I divide the various skills required into upper body and lower body. By kneeling behind my partner Rather than sitting with hooks in (as you generally would in a competitive match) I can focus entirely on the initial hand control/neck penetration aspects that form an important component of the overall system. This is a simple example of taking a broad and complex skill SET and breaking it down into a series of component SKILLS each of which can be practiced in isolation until mastered. Then they are finally combined and you now are on the way to a genuine skill set that you can use in competitive situations. This week why don’t you take something you are personally working on and try to break it down into sensible components. Work on the components until they feel natural and see how you now perform the actual overall skill - let me know how your work goes!

John Danaher