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  • Writer's pictureJohnny

Appreciation for Grappling

Morning BJJ

My appreciation for grappling is growing more and more each day. My approach to these training sessions in Shanghai has been to learn or improve just one thing. No longer does my ego require me to try and "win" the rolls. Which was my issue while training at ATT Savage. I'd go in, trying to use the moves we just learned, with all focus on trying to submit my training partner. Not thinking about position, weight, balance, or any of that. A combination of this ego fueled sparring with an insane work schedule led to me not having much progress.


Now, walking the frigid streets of Shanghai at 5:30 in the morning towards class... well you aren't awake enough to really have an ego. Plus, the training attitude of the morning BJJ classes are so different. Laid back. Relaxed. I'm not sure how to word it. Its a relaxed focus that hangs in the air. No one is thinking about anything that happened or will happen today. No one is bringing any stress from their home life onto the mats. People are just here to do some Jiujitsu before moving on with their day.



The Martial Scholar

Movement, Defense, Parry, Attack From most important to least important.

Just as I discovered I am not a fancy tea guy, I don't think I'm a true martial artist. If I were to find a title to suit me; it might be something like hobbyist or martial scholar. The reason I say this is because I enjoy learning about the languages, history, and culture that goes along with the various arts I study.


Training, sparring, and the occasional fight all make me feel good physically. I'm just a slow learner when it comes to the actual art. This is something that I've been acknowledging while in Shanghai. Taking the time to do moves slowly even when its supposed to be a fast paced drill. Really working on the "structure" or body mechanics of the movements.


There is really a nice feeling of progression with this method of practice. Each day I feel fulfilled as I've learned something. Maybe I'm developing a kind of awareness or mindfulness of my practice. Something I haven't felt in a long time practicing martial arts. Most training sessions feel like a blur of exhausted chaos. Where I simply leave feeling exhausted, not remembering what I practiced for the past 1-2 hours.


If you read my previous post, this all might sound familiar. But I'm typing away these thoughts again as it really is helping me. I'm excited to go to class and I leave fulfilled. Tired but fulfilled. Most of the time (Thailand included), I wouldn't feel this way until after 3-5 hours of training. Yet, in the "City Above the Sea" I'm able to achieve this happy state after 1-2 hours.


The only thing I'm missing is my kettlebells...


📿Johnny


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