I was so close to a training goal on Saturday night and then had it unmercifully taken from my grasp on Sunday morning. I had eaten about 400 grammes of jellies after going to see the new Bond flick (which is dissappointing) which left me with just a smatterring to make up the whol kilo on Sunday. What happens? I come down from bed Sunday morning to find that my son had snuck (sneaked, snooked? Anyway) down to watch telly and helped himself to the last 100g. That means I ate .9 of a kilo over the weekend and not 1kg. Gutted, sick as a parrot, and all of those other things footballers used to say in the good old days before media consultants.
Anyway there was still a bit I left unwritten about the nature of coaching different experience levels. At the moment I don’t have a beginners or experienced class. There are two classes in a week that really suit beginnners, these are the ‘fundamentals’ classes. I intentionally didn’t title them beginnners classes for two reasons. Firstly, I just don’t have time in my own schedule personally to teach another two hours a week. (I may have to start…..trusting someone else to do that) And secondly because I feel that everyone benefits from a class like that, from beginners to guys who are training years. Especially in our gym. The reason for that is, and the guys who are training with me a long time will tell you this, because I learned BJJ on the fly. I did, learned a lot of what I know through coaching it. For those of you who don’t know we are an Affiliated Training Group of Straight Blast Gym International and that is the whole reason why we have BJJ on our timetable. Back in the day, well, I say back in the day but we’re actually only talking about 4 years ago, there was 1 BJJ club in Dublin, John Kavanagh’s, and that was it. So if anyone wanted to learn BJJ they either had to train there or gets some DVDs. I chose the former option and when my time started to run out John gave me the option of starting an ATG with his group. What that meant was that I was a greenhorn grappler, coaching greener greenhorns how to grapple, which means that a lot of those greener greenhorns may have missed out on some handy things that I know now but didn’t know then. They’re no longer greenhorns but that doesn’t change the fact that they may well have missed something along the way. So coming to a fundamentals class is a really good idea for them.
I’ve said all of that before in various ways on internet forums and stuff and I’ve had a few people talk to me and say “Hey don’t tell people that or you’ll never get anyone to train with you” as apparently admitting to inexperience and/or weaknesses is not the martial way. But I say fuck it. I think a lot of guys from the old Scout Hall days (when we trained in a draughty old hall) who are still training away may actually miss those on the fly days. We messed around, experimented. It was more “try this and see” rather than “this is the way” and everything was new to us. We’d get a workshop from John Kavanagh and the next week would be full of surprises, or I’d go to a seminar and we’d get two weeks of techniques out of it. Of course there were more than enough downsides to that. Some nights there’d be 6 of us rolling, and that was a HUGE class, and some nights there’d be just me, taking up the mats on my own. Truth be told, if someone is impressed by bullshit about how many certs a guy has on his wall or how much he can post on his website about himself, then I don’t want that person training with me.