Not IF but HOW
When we are rolling on the mat we often find ourselves in positions or situations that could possibly be the beginning of the end. We all get stuck in bad situations but what is it that gets a fighter out of these bad situations? Better yet, how can they even be turned into a good situation? It all begins with your mind set. If you move into a negative mind set, chances are that this situation will be the beginning of the end. It is important that we learn to keep a positive mind set even in times of trouble. So what does a negative and positive mind set look like?
Negative Mind Set
A negative mind set can manifest in many different ways. What I want to focus on right now is one that doesn't necessarily seem extremely negative but it is certain to lead down the wrong path. Often when someone passes our guard or mounts us or what ever the situation may be, we begin to wonder IF we can get out.
"Oh man, he feels heavy! I'm not sure if I can get out of this!"
Once we begin to think in this way a downward spiral begins to occur. We begin to focus on what our opponent is going to do instead of what we are supposed to do. If we are not focused on what we are supposed to do, we will not succeed.
In training there is nothing to worry about. Your training! Your not really competing or defending your life. Training time is for learning, trying new things and establishing your game plan. It is just as important that you learn to train your mind as it is you learn to train your body. You may learn the techniques but do you have the mind set to implement them correctly? There should be no reason to fall in a mental downward spiral when training with your team. There is nothing to worry about. There are only things to be gained during training. Nothing to lose.
Positive Mind Set
A better road to take when stuck in a bad situation is to focus on a few steps that direct you on HOW to get out.
1. Assume the correct defensive posture. Your posture shouldn't just be defensive but should allow for you to advance your position. Grip fight!
2. Remind your self that you do know how to get out and that everything is fine. It's important to focus on staying calm mentally. Remind yourself that you have been here many times before and that you know what to do. Start taking the right steps.
3. Begin to pressure your partners base by properly attemping your escapes. Be sure to keep a good defensive posture through out your escape attempts. Remember that it is rare that you will escape with your first attempt. Use combinations to create opportunities.
These are just a few basic steps to think about that will help guide you through a bad situation rather than lead you in a downward spiral. It takes practice. You need to remain calm and know that your are only training. Don't get too excited about whats going on. Don't focus on IF you will get out. Focus on HOW you will get out.
Same principle applied to drills.
To often when people drill they worry about whether they will complete the task of the drill or not. For instance, if we are doing a guard drill where we are trying to pass and our partners are trying to sweep, we focus too much on making sure we pass. It becomes a competition. How fast can I pass or how many times? As the clock ticks you begin to wonder IF you will pass and start to force your movements. My advice is not to focus on IF you pass or not but focus on HOW you pass. Are you passing with technique? Are you using a lot of energy? How are you passing? Don't worry IF you pass or not. Worry about HOW little energy you use. Worry about your technique. It takes some humility to be in someones guard and not accomplish much if you are taking your time and trying not to use a lot of energy. Especially if you knew that if you worked a little harder you could do it. There is a time to work hard but it's not all the time. When you are training to compete you have to get used to the intensity of competition as well as the time limits. When your not competing most of your time should be spent on sharpening technique. That is going to be what makes you better in the long run. It will allow you to use less energy when you do compete.