Reflections on the competition this past weekend
Coming back from a long weekend of competition. Was amazing to see each competitor stepping up to the challenge and going for it. I'm so proud of each of you. First, the decision to compete, then the courage you show in stepping onto the mat and giving it your best is admirable and a great example for us all.
I want to extend special praise and gratitude to the event coaching staff, Coach Sam, Phillip, and Robert. Understand that when coaches show up to support competitors at events, they donate and sacrifice their time and energy out of their sheer love and commitment to students as well as their love for jiu jitsu.
For child and adults who just experienced their first competition. You've just experienced your first real-world test. To improve moving forward, there is one prerequisite; the student must be coachable. The coaching staff is fully ready to provide the necessary and individualized instruction, but this is where the student must demonstrate the willingness, desire, and ability to take in the lessons. No pressure and at the same time, the ball is in your court now.
Below are some more reflections and takeaways from this weekend's event.
Our FEMALE competitors all did amazing. Our kids Rowan and Olivia were very competitive and displayed many great skills. The same for our adult females, Sarah, Stephanie, and Inez. Between all of them, 3 gold medals and a lot of good stuff to work on in the weeks and months ahead that will make them all much more dangerous.
For our MIDDLE AGED MEN (haha). Though you don't usually have to fight the 18-29 year olds who are in the prime of their athleticism, you do usually have to take matches with fighters in younger and/or heavier divisions. This poses real disadvantages for us and therefor your training strategy and objectives must account for these factors. One specific objective centers around developing a game that works on opponents and training partners that are both faster and heavier than you.
For ALL COMPETITORS, White to grey, to brown. Competency in basic positions will make or break you. Examples, transitioning from standing to ground, passing an aggressive closed guard, bottom side control, half guard top and bottom, back defense, understanding of scoring scenarios (e.g., passing, sweeps, when to go for control vs. submission). Basics wins matches. The coaching staff will focus on addressing these needs directly and repeatedly throughout the first half of 2024.
An observable theme in matches that were won - KILLER INSTINCT. The ability to remain calm before the storm and then fight with a killer instinct for the duration of the match. This is a switch that must be discovered and then turned on right before a match for a decisive victory.
Praise for our students who exhibited a killer instinct during their match, but then were able to switch gears and show respect by helping up opponents, shaking hands with referees and opposing coaches, and demonstrating good sportsmanship from mat to podium. This is a model we must all follow.
I'm keenly aware of the pitfalls of over-focusing on competing and winning. Concurrently, as the level of the jiu jitsu continues to improve at Revolution, more and more students will be hungry to challenge themselves on the competition mat. We must all strive to maintain the right balance of focus on fun-improvement, playing-working hard, winning-loosing. Having said that, those of us that are able to participate in the competition journey and find the right balance, the benefits of competing are transformational and well worth the sacrifice.
What's next? KAIZEN. Identify clear areas for improvement and skill development, get to work on those areas, and re-assess yourself in a selected time frame. The effects of this will permeate throughout our training environment and benefit all. The tide rises all ships!
The next comp is February 3-4 in Cerritos. Moving forward, we will be fighting now under the REVOLUTION MARTIAL ARTS name. Please register accordingly... https://www.sjjif.com/public/eventInfo/1421
With love and gratitude,