Handicapping yourself to make yourself better

Jiu Jitsu

One of the most valuable methods of improving your skills is to handicap yourself in same way that forces you to adjust in some way that encourages skill development in other critical areas. I usually find that most beginning students are HAND and ARM dominant in almost every aspect of the game. This is a natural consequence of the fact that most tasks we perform in everyday life are predominantly performed with hands and arms. However this usual hand/arm bias is not acceptable in jiu jitsu. Trying to perform the moves of jiu jitsu with hands and arms quickly leads to fatigue and failure. THE SOURCE OF ALL POWER AND ENDURANCE IN THE HUMAN BODY IS IN THE LEGS AND HIPS. Only when you become leg and hip dominant in the performance of jiu jitsu moves will you excel. In the case of heel hooking, a simple test for me as a teacher as to whether or not a student is performing the move predominantly with legs and hips is to make him or her perform the heel hook with ONE HAND. This immediately forces the student to properly apply legs and hips in the move - they cannot compensate for failures in hip and leg work with their hand strength. When you can easily submit an opponent with a single handed heel hook, breaking an opponent with two hands is easy work. There are MANY ways to use this simple training principle in jiu jitsu. Use it often. It will teach you a LOT about how the other parts of your body are involved in any given move. When you remove the handicap and come after your opponent with full force they will feel the jump in performance you have made.