Stay with it

Stay with it

One of the most common things I see when coaching is students giving insufficient development time to a new skill and abandoning what could have been a great addition to their arsenal by giving up before they should. Early in Garry Tonon’s time working with me I noted he had no real attacks from front headlock/guillotine. This was unacceptable in my eyes. A strong guillotine attack is not only a devastating weapon in itself, but a tremendous means of opening up a defensively strong opponent to other forms of attack such as back strangles and leg attacks. I thought the high elbow guillotine would be a fine starting point - it is an extremely strong strangle that confounds many of the traditional defenses to guillotines and was well suited to Mr Tonon’s dynamic movement oriented game. It was a a big part of my early training in jiu jitsu as it was the favorite move of one of my main mentors, Matt Serra in the 1990’s. In addition, the great Marcelo Garcia has shown its effectiveness on many occasions at the highest levels. Initially the results were rather poor. Mr Tonon really struggled with the move and on several occasions told me he was not interested in further study of it. I insisted and we kept working on both mechanics and set ups. Mr Tonon is usually a student who sees a move on Monday and by Tuesday is performing it flawlessly so this was a very frustrating experience for him. In time he developed one of the very best high elbow guillotine attacks I ever saw and it became one of his best weapons that he used often in competition and training. Remember - NO MOVE IN YOUR ARSENAL IS BORN INTO MATURITY - THEY ALL REQUIRE A TIME OF NURTURE BEFORE THEY BECOME STRONG. Don’t give up too quickly on what you perceive as a move with great potential. Keep trouble shooting and solving the problems you experience and give it time. That move which today you curse and bemoan may well in time be the move that your opponents fear the most and which you rely upon more than any other. Nothing great is built in a day and many things that became great started inauspiciously. Work hard and intelligently - but exercise patience also.