Passive learning

Passive Learning

Normally we think the learning in jiu jitsu is done when WE perform the move on a partner as the active agent in the exchange. I am a big believer in the idea that we can learn a LOT about a given move when it is performed upon us. When a move is performed upon us we get a tremendous amount of feedback about the effectiveness of our partners application of the move. If we are focused and attentive, we can learn from what what we feel to be correct/effective and incorrect/ineffective in their application. From blue belt to early blackbelt I was the main demonstration partner for most classes taught by my sensei, Renzo Gracie. This was an incredibly valuable stage in my development. It gave me from an early period the FEEL OF PERFECTLY APPLIED TECHNIQUE ACROSS A VAST SPECTRUM OF MOVES. It was then my task to REPLICATE WHAT I FELT. I always felt that though it was sometimes a painful experience. It was one of the best learning modalities I had. WHEN YOU ARE THE PASSIVE PARTNER IN DRILLS - DON’T TURN YOUR MIND OFF. Stay focused and identify the good and bad in what your partner is doing and replicate the good whilst eliminating the bad. I promise you it will help speed your learning. BE AN ACTIVE PARTNER EVEN WHEN THE MOVE IS BEING DONE TO YOU - not resisting, but mentally active thinking about the mechanics of the move. A good example of this way of training occurred this weekend. A very talented jiu jitsu athlete Matheus Gonzaga (@matheusgonzagabjj) purple belt world champion, trains with Bernardo Faria and kindly offered to assist in making the Kimura video instructional as the demonstration partner (Uke). After a weekend of having kimuras applied to him he noted his own performance of Kimura greatly improved. He took in all the details despite never performing a single repetition of the move. Later in the week he got his chance and was shocked at his own improvement. Here he is working through a fine Kimura from side position. You can see already the massive tension in his partners arm and shoulder girdle that a well applied Kimura can easily generate. All that remains is to trap the head and move into finishing position - a fine example of passive learning