Over the years one of the things that has confused me most about students when they come to class is the way they approach different parts of the class. Students can tend to lose focus in certain parts of class and it’s important that they don’t switch off, everything is important.
Beginners (First 6 months) tend to concentrate from the start to the finish of every class, this is the way it should always be. Students in the middle group (6 months – 4 years) tend to make a crucial mistake, they concentrate primarily on the sparring part of class and to a lesser extent the technique part of the class, but this group often falls out of love with the warm up, this can lead to problems.
Aside from the obvious benefits of getting you warm and putting you in the right frame of mind, it should serve a more important purpose. It should kick start the learning progress.
An obvious example happened in class the other night where one of my purple belts asked me if I could show him some different ways to escape side control as he has been struggling recently. I said that I would watch him spar and see what escapes he likes already and then give him some ideas afterwards.
One of the things that stood out was that during his rolls he had ample opportunity to escape side control by performing a basic shrimp but he struggled because of the same reason most students struggle and that is he is not as fluent in the shrimp motion as he should be, But how this possible most BJJ classes start with shrimping in the warm up?
Here lies the problem, because the brain is often switched off during that part of the class, Shrimping during the warm up often just becomes a race to get to the end of the mat quickest, instead of the replication of escaping positions for which it is intended.
So simply put in order, to do certain techniques you require a particular level of conditioning. The warm up is a place in BJJ classes where this often happens, so next time you are thinking of skipping the warm up or you are not concentrating during the warm up remember you are only cheating yourself .
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