A few months ago an issue of GracieMag contained an article of 101 “back-to-basics” type pointers of jiu-jitsu. There were quite a few truths to be learned therein, some which I have incorporated into my jiu-jitsu, others which reminded me of simple details I had forgotten. The point is, there is no limit to the amount of detail you can continue to learn or rediscover about techniques you think you have long since mastered.
This was made all the more real to me last week when I found myself performing a technique on someone that I had never trained with before and I was suddenly not able to achieve the submission I was so used to. Was there a problem with the technique, was it the person, the way they were positioned, their strength?
No, it was simply that I had forgotten one of the finer details of the technique. Once rectified, the submission came on as quickly and successfully as before. I was reminded of the article mentioned earlier, and how so very important it is (at my stage at least) to keep practising and reviewing the techniques I know to improve my knowledge and ability to successfully apply them.
More recently I had the opportunity to spar with the second of my two instructors, someone I have not really had a chance to roll with in the past. As I know the two of them have trained together for many years, I (in my limited knowledge) expected the experience to be fairly similar, besides the obvious fact that I would be tapping every minute or so ;-). I was interested to discover the experience was completely different than I had expected and was challenged with a different scenario entirely.
This made me realise the importance of taking every opportunity to roll with as many different partners as possible, as each one has something new to teach, be it someone who has been in jiu-jitsu for many years or someone who has just started. Every experience on the mat has a gem of knowledge to be mined, as long as I am alert enough to find it.