Checking in from RVA
I have been having a ball in Richmond, seeing some friends, doing some training, getting ready for my seminar tonight at Fifty/50. I'm excited and nervous about the seminar; it's the first one I've ever done, and I vacillate between thinking I know some things about grappling and thinking I know jack crap about grappling. I put together a handout for the participants that started out as a cheat sheet for me, but then it occurred to me that since the thing I remember most about the seminars I have attended is how little I remember from the seminars I have attended, I decided to make it a takeaway. I know most people who do seminars just do them from memory and decide on the fly what they want to show, but I have a brain like a sieve, so I'm glad to have a cheat sheet.
Teaching grappling is so funny, because you're basically trying to force yourself to bring back to conscious awareness all the moves you spent years making rote and instinctual. In other words, you WANT to get to the place where you don't think about what you do when you grapple. You want to get to the place where you just do it, because muscle memory works faster than stupid brains, which insist on analyzing and doubting and making you miss your opportunity because your opponent didn't have to stop to think and instead just acted, leaving you tapping like the Little Drummer Boy, which fortunately, somehow, IS rote and instinctual.
But then when you teach, you have to re-surface all those steps and variations and body part placements, not only to bring them back to your conscious mind, but also to put words to them for someone else to try to consume. Many someone elses, in this case. And you also never know what's going to be novel or boring, simple or complicated for a given group or group of individuals. People are very unpredictable (read: annoying) in this way.
So I'm just gonna go in and show some of the moves I love to do and that have worked well for me at tournaments and in my own training. As Emily says about her jiu jitsu journey, I'm fortunate that many hands have shaped my game and my grappling personality, and I'm going to do my best to share that personality with the people who are kind enough to come to my seminar. (And if that doesn't work, I'll lay it on thickly with the self-deprecating humor. People love the self-deprecating humor.)
Wish me luck!
Oh, and in other news, check out http://thefightworkspodcast.com, episode 180 (the current episode as of 9/21/09, but that will obviously change in the near future), for a round table discussion with me, Emily, Felicia, and correspondent Bruce Hoyer, who asked us about the women's grappling camp and the state of women's grappling generally. It was cool to be part of that!
Tomorrow it's back to SoCal, when I'll take another trip to Monrovia and plan a trip to Portland. Life is busy but good.