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#261893 - 06/09/06 12:21 PM Improving through Isolation
Aesopian Offline
just totally awesome

Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 10
I was recently talking to someone about their problems with side control escapes, and I got to thinking about using the training methods I've picked up from the Straight Blast Gym to improve them. I thought I'd share my advice here.

The SBG seems to put off a lot of BJJ and MMA guys. I know I used to think "Who are these American guys and why are they stealing BJJ? Why are they giving stuff dumb names? Are they BJJ, MMA or JKD?" I got over that when I really started looking into their training and teaching methods and saw the really impressive results they've been getting. I think you will too.

To get the most out of my advice below, you'll need to understand some about SBG breaks down their instruction. They teach in three stages, which they call the I-Method. It goes like this:

- Introduce.
- Isolate.
- Integrate.

The introduction stage is simply demonstrating and explaining the technique or concept, and having the students drill it statically until they understand the move and can do all the parts.

The isolation stage involves drilling and sparring that focuses on the technique or concept that was taught in the introduction stage. Special drills and games can be created to isolate the specific ability being taught.

The integration stage is where the student works the technique or concept into his overall game. This is commonly where free sparring and rolling occurs.

I doubt any of that was new and foreign to you, since most BJJ/MMA gyms already do this, though they don't necessarily think about it like this. Like with many other aspects of their training method, the SBG doesn't claim to have invented much of what they do, but they were one of the first to really analyse and breakdown WHY things work and then use this understanding to do them more creatively.

In particular, I have been really impressed with how SBG has been fleshing out the isolation stage. I've often heard complaints that too many gyms have a "here's a technique, now let's roll" attitude, and that too much is left up to the student to bring the static move to full out sparring. The isolation stage is what bridges these two by letting the student develop the skill with progressive resistance, until he's able to bring it into his game in sparring.

I'll use my friend's problem to illustrate this:

If you're having trouble with escapes, you should consider focusing on them in isolation. As explained above, I don't mean putting in a ton of static repetitions, though that can be useful if you're really making a point of paying attention to the details and improving with each rep. Most people find that too boring to get too much out of it. I think you'll get better results if don't overdo static drilling and instead work on isolated positional sparring from wherever you're having trouble.

For example, start under side control and try to escape (return to guard, go to knees and takedown or reverse/roll them) while they try to pin and submit you and improve position. Reset and restart if either achieves their goal.

You can ease the learning curve by using progressive resistance, i.e. starting at 10% resistance and working up to 100% gradually as you succeed at lower percentages. Starting at full blast might be great fun for the top guy, but that's not necessarily what is going to help the guy on bottom learn and improve their escapes as well.

You can also refine the purpose of this drilling by taking this approach and applying it to really specific problems. If you're having trouble with escaping side control, figure out a specific problem you are having. Look at your posture, the placement of your head, hands, elbows, hips, knees, feet, etc. Where are they ending up? Where should they be? How can you get them there? Once you've worked this out and developed a solution, do isolated sparring for just that single point. Maybe even forget the rest of the escape for the time being and just work on that single issue.

As an example, you might find that you're ending up with your near hand out of posture. Analyse the situation and figure out some ways of getting it back where it should be. To drill this, you start out of posture under side control, with the goal of regaining proper posture; your partner tries to keep you out of posture. Reset and restart once you've achieved your goal or if the positions change enough to take you outside the scope of the drill.

You might want to take it back a bit and just look at how to prevent yourself from getting in the bad position in the first place, instead of just escaping it onces you're in trouble.

It also helps to have a willing and helpful training partner. If he keeps getting you with something, he should be happy to explain how he's doing it. He doesn't need to feed you all the answers, but the learning stops if he just keeps trying to "beat" you without then telling you what he's doing and give suggestions on how to counter it. There should be a sense of cooperation and development.

I think training like this can be very beneficial, though most people don't put in the time and effort to do it. I know I could sure do a lot more of it.
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The Aesopian BJJ Forum on Bullshido

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#261894 - 06/09/06 12:37 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: Aesopian]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Good stuff. You will be on familiar terms here, as Fletch and JKogas are both SBG affiliates and well respected here.

Here is a thread along the same lines, for cross-reference:

http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/15846689/an/0/page/1#15846689
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"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#261895 - 06/09/06 12:43 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: MattJ]
Aesopian Offline
just totally awesome

Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 10
I know Fletch from the SBG Forum, and it's good to see that they've got a foothold here. That's a great thread on the subject too. I don't actually even have any real affiliation with SBG, but I have benefitted greatly from learning their training methods, so I've been doing my best to promote them to the BJJ/MMA crowd. I think too many guys train who are currently training in good martial arts don't actually understand what makes them good, so they are still vulnerable to falling for junk training. An understanding of aliveness is what is going to keep them from getting bullshitted in the future.
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#261896 - 06/09/06 05:42 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: Aesopian]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:

.....An understanding of aliveness is what is going to keep them from getting bullshitted in the future.





Wow, that sounds eerily familiar but I just can't place it....



-John

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#261897 - 06/09/06 05:47 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: JKogas]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I think I'm in a deep chasim as I hear an echo.
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#261898 - 06/09/06 06:47 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: JKogas]
SEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 139
There's an SBG gym in NYC and I am very tempted to join when my financial situation clears up. The coursework is boxing, muai thai (standup); western wrestling (clinch/takedown); and bjj (groundfighting). Do all SBG gyms teach these arts or do some deviate from this formula, such as appending sambo or substituting bjj and western wrestling for sambo?

Does your SBG gym work on leg locks, spinal locks, and compression (or muscle) locks?

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#261899 - 06/09/06 07:33 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: Dereck]
SEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 139
Yea, it does sound familar. I subscribe to a different I-Method -- The Three I's: Intensity, Integrity, and Intelligence. And that my friends is true.

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#261900 - 06/09/06 10:45 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: SEAL]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:

There's an SBG gym in NYC and I am very tempted to join when my financial situation clears up. The coursework is boxing, muai thai (standup); western wrestling (clinch/takedown); and bjj (groundfighting). Do all SBG gyms teach these arts or do some deviate from this formula, such as appending sambo or substituting bjj and western wrestling for sambo?





The SBG gyms teach a curriculum centered around stand-up, clinch and ground. Brazilian jiu-jitsu comprises the vast majority of the ground work because it is position based.


Quote:


Does your SBG gym work on leg locks, spinal locks, and compression (or muscle) locks?




Most every SBG gym will work leg locks and everything else.


-John

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#261901 - 06/10/06 12:58 AM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: SEAL]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Quote:

Yea, it does sound familar. I subscribe to a different I-Method -- The Three I's: Intensity, Integrity, and Intelligence. And that my friends is true.




The "Three I's ... hmmm ... are you by chance a Kurt Angle fan? This was Kurt Angle's theme when he first joined the WWE.
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"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#261902 - 06/10/06 03:10 PM Re: Improving through Isolation [Re: Dereck]
SEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 139
Brother, I'm not just an Angle fan, I'm a huge pro wrestling fan. Anything with violence, I watch.

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