“What am I doing wrong?” And you better know!

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Yesterday was the first time I could train last week. I went in feeling pretty good and I came out feeling great. I had a meeting to go to so I had time for only one roll after the warmups and drilling.

During class we worked on a variation of Kosoto Gari (throw) and three variations of a guard pass. Plus, a couple of things happened in class that had never happened to me. First, Smiley asked me to lead the stretches during warmup. Second, the guys and gal in class looked at me for direction during the drilling session. And it wasn’t a do you know how to do this? It was more like; “What am I doing wrong?” or “Are we doing this right?” I was expected to know. The funniest thing about it is that it was the first time I had witnessed the guard passes as well. Further, Smiley used me to demonstrate the techniques so I didn’t actually see all of them demonstrated (Even though I did practice them).

When I use to partner with Karl (blue belt) as a white belt I used to treat him the same way. I knew, sometimes, it might have been his first time seeing a technique but I figured that his overall knowledge would allow him to figure it out before I could. I have always wondered how the higher belts become so technically proficient and are able to teach with such seeming ease. I now know part of that equation is expectation and increased responsibility assigned by the instructor. In my career as a professor I know the process, but it’s difficult for me to recognize that as a student in BJJ.


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