Taking a step backward to move forward

Lately Gary and James have been focusing on some of the more basic elements of jiu-jitsu. Getting back to basics, as it were. Revisiting elements of the Gracie combatives, working on basic things like maintaining position and not being to attached to a technique or submission.

Sometimes in the heat of sparring and day to day training we forget how important these basic elements are. Often we spend too much focus on trying to learn new “cool” techniques, which only distract from the basic foundations of jiu-jitsu.

This was something that was really impressed upon me when Ryron Gracie visited the academy recently. Apart from being such an awesome ambassador of his family’s art (and being able to toy with everyone that he rolled with), his key focus was always the basics. Things like perfecting the clinch, take-down, maintaining mount, upa escape, elbow escape.

He didn’t teach anything new, but focused on perfecting the tools we already had, like a master woodworker would take an apprentice and show him how to perfect the first wood joint he learned on his first day.

We forget that in the day to day training we don’t often review these techniques enough, taking time to ask our instructors for advice and ways to improve our use of the technique. This is the only way we can get to a point that these techniques become second nature, that in effect they become as natural as taking a breath or blinking.

So I am glad that we are training in this manner. It allows me to take a step back and revisit the roots of my training, while at the same time being able to move forward by improving my natural ability to use these techniques as a base for the other “cooler” stuff.

Updates and videos.

So the Renzo Gracie invitational is over and I didn’t do half as well as I intented. My consolation is the fact that I was knocked out of the first round by the eventual 1st place winner, he spent all his time defending my submission attempts and only won due to points from one successful side mount. For me jiu-jitsu is more about the self defence than sport competition, so I can live with a loss on points.

I did learn a few things about myself and my game, I need to still improve my fitness levels and I need to work on preventing side mount, but other than that it was a great day.

For now I am happy to patiently wait for the Ryron Gracie seminars that are being held by the Academy. It is going to be awesome to meet and train with someone from the Gracie family.

Finally, here are some clips of Gary and James from the Academy, talking about Gracie Jiu-jitsu and self defence.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self defence

Ryron Gracie to visit South Africa.

I just heard that the guys at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town are arranging to have Ryron Gracie visit the Academy later this year. What awesome news. To actually have a third generation Gracie and Helio Gracie’s oldest grandson visiting our academy is such an exciting event.

If you have ever watched any of Ryron or Rener’s video clips, you will have seen how natural Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is to them, they are born into it, and for them its like eating or breathing.

I am very excited to learn from (and maybe even roll with, oh please oh please oh please) Ryron Gracie. 2009 is shaping up to be an amazing year for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town.