19 Feb 2010

Learn to train S.M.A.R.T.S

I've been a bit slack these last couple of weeks, attending only 2 sessions per week. So I've decided to incorporate S.M.A.R.T.S training to get the most out of each session.
S.M.A.R.T.S stands for Stupid Meerkatsu Attempts Rubbish Technical Sparring.

What? You never heard of SMARTS training? I'm pretty sure Saulo Ribeiro mentions it in his University of Jiu-Jitsu Book, somewhere on page *cough cough*...

Seriously though, my latest thing is to have one specific technique or position in mind before the class and force myself to only attempt that one thing each and every roll I have during sparring. For example, last night I wanted to play half guard, so I just pulled half guard at the start of each roll. Next week, I'll probably try to get as many triangles as I can. It might not even be anything specific. I might just say, tonight I am going to move more, or tonight, I am going to see if I can exert more weight when in mount. And it's totally last minute as well. Not like one of my training pals has a waaaaay more sophisticated system.

My pal, let's call him Reggie (not his real name) has an excel spread sheet. On this sheet is listed a growing arsenal of techniques, split into categories (eg sweeps, guard passes, submissions, guard types etc). And on the columns after each technique is an empty cell. Each week Reggie looks down at his list and picks three techniques he wants to use during sparring. He does not deviate from this routine, he MUST do the three techniques during each roll - even at the expense of an obvious sitter of, say, an armbar, he will stickto his three. Then, after class, he returns home to his excel sheet and fills in the percentage success he got for each technique. This now becomes his target. The next time he comes round to that part of the excel sheet, he aims to beat the percentage score of last time. It's an incredibly detailed and analytical approach to training that I must admit, I would be hard pressed to find time to do myself.

So by training SMARTS (I couldn't be bothered with the full stops) I find it helps me focus a lot more and if I can actually succeed in getting the technique to work then I am happy, if it doesn't, then at least I tried it. This is completely opposed to the way I rolled for most of my previous BJJ career - ie just waiting, hoping, chancing, swearing...and tapping.

Gi News
Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my Great British Gi Review article. It had almost 1,000 hits in under a week, so many many thanks.

It was great fun to write and research and I hope it helped people decide the gi of their choice. Hopefully I'll get to work on some more product reviews. The reason I go to such great lengths is because I believe in consumer power and consumer choice. Sadly in BJJ, there are not a lot of avenues for guys and girls to try before they buy, so independent reviews and recommendations from training pals are the only way to get reliable information.


So anyway, I've decided my next big project, now that I have a shed load of white gis in my possession, is to try dying one a crazy colour. My only issue is - what colour?

Media News
Another reason I have not been training my usual 3-4 a week, apart from laziness, is a sudden increase in BJJ media work. This is my hobby within a hobby. I love writing about all things connected to BJJ (like you couldn't guess) and every now and then, this spills over into print media coverage in martial arts magazines in the UK.

I'm pleased to say Martial Arts Illustrated (MAI), the UK's best selling MA magazine will be publishing my Ana Maria India article and photo-shoot set. MAI is designed by the talented Neal Molyneaux, he's done wonders vamping up the magazine with his very bright and funky style. He tells me he's having fun designing the layout of my article.

I've also been interviewing some very interesting BJJ people this week so more news about that later, suffice to say, all this week has been keeping me pretty busy - and happily so!

Well that's all for now. Good luck to those competing at the Disneyland BJJ comp and the Hereford Open this weekend.

About the Author

Meerkatsu

Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.

4 comments:

Georgette said...

ooohhh!!! dyeing!!! I'm so excited to hear about your experiences. It's becoming more popular!

Love your a acronym and method. It's too complex for me (I can't remember shite from the car to the front door of the academy or vice versa, so I'm lucky I make it home every night.) But it makes me think maybe writing stuff down would help...

A.D. McClish said...

Haha, love it!! I tell myself I'm going to do this--focus on side control or on spider guard or whatever--but then, when I roll, I lose focus and end up reverting back to my old habit of being twisted into a human pretzel. Good luck with the new method!!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Awesome post and news about the thousand hits and the MAI my man! I'm defo more on your side of the story when it comes to session focus.

I used to do the spreadsheets. I used to set goals but I lost my faith. Not just when it comes to BJJ goals, but in goal setting as a whole. Don't focus on the finger :)

With the focus, it's much more open. the only thing I do more is I try not to judge as bad v good. Don't get me wrong, Side control top is "better" than Mount bottom but is getting to side control top often a good thing? maybe you're just coming up against guard players who don't challenge you. Is getting to mount bottom often a bad thing? Maybe it's just a sign you're academy has some awesome players or simply that your side control defense is so tight, they can't sub you from there :)

Meerkatsu said...

Two sides to every coin as you say. Good words of wisdom.

 

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