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BJJGround Forum >> Learning and overthinking??


7/8/13 12:09 PM
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I tend to take a lot of notes on moves and read tons of books on how to do different moves. I met people that did not even remember the name of the move, but they knew how to do it very well. So my approach is probably not the best.

Does anyone have any tips for overthinkers to help them learn better?
7/8/13 12:26 PM
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deepu
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Pick one thing you want to work on and over think that one thing only. When sparring try to work your roll towards that one thing.

I don't think there's anything wrong with over thinking something as long as you stay focused.
7/8/13 12:34 PM
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jammer1
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It's been my experience that if you drill something enough times, you really lose the need to think about it by gaining muscle memory. Sure write it down when you first learn it, but get in early or on open mat days and drill it.
7/8/13 12:56 PM
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checkuroil
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Drilling with a friend Phone Post 3.0
7/8/13 1:04 PM
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alley
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I think a lot of people have gone through this - dvd addiction, book overload, note taking - trying to get better technique. It's a waste of time. It's better to realize that you only need a few basic moves from each position, but be very good at actually doing them, including the basic motions of the move. But still, for the few moves you do use as your go-to moves, of course you should study the proper technique in depth.

I recently got Andre Galvao's book on drills and find it incredibly useful. There are tons of solo drills (and partner drills of course) designed to train your body to move better on the ground. It's a lot like bodyweight exercises, but focussed on stuff that will allow you to move better on the mat. Getting very good at those motions would be a better use of time than excessive technique learning.
7/8/13 1:22 PM
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Thanks all for the replies. I will work on approaching things differently.
7/8/13 2:51 PM
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jrv
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Over thinking is fine at the drawing board. That's where you do your homework and figure out how and what to train. When you get on the mat, it's time to work. To develop reactions, reflexes, drilling. At least that's my take on it Phone Post 3.0
7/8/13 4:15 PM
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MTH
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I was an "overthinker" all the way to blue belt.  But . . . a change in outlook over the past seven months or so has helped me out immensely.  And I'm enjoying BJJ (and improving) a lot more as a result of it. 

So here's my two cents . . . .

Overthinkers are too focused on the details.  They see techniques as complex series of movements encompassing their own and their opponent's positioning and choices.  Overthinkers try to manage and memorize this complexity with books and YouTube, but this only adds more details to memorize.  On the mat, overthinkers brains race while they look for the perfect arrangement of hands, feet, legs, weight, knees, etc. to cue them to invoke a specific technique from the jumbled mess of complicated techniques swirling around in their brains.

It's stressful and not a very effective way to learn BJJ.

My solution has been to realize that nobody masters the complexity at the outset.  Your goal should instead be to manage the BIG PICTURE of techniques and positions.  That's requires very little thought and no minor details.  Once managing the big picture becomes instinctive, THEN it's easy (and natural) to start focusing on the details. 

In other words, when it comes to techniques and positions, have your brain start BIG and go SMALL.  Just like college classes--there's always an "Intro to ____" that's offered first, before the more complicated and higher level courses on the same topic.  If you just dove into the higher level courses at the beginning, you'd be totally lost.

For example . . .

Take the classic one-armed outside guard stack pass.  There are many details about posture, controling the opponent's hips, how to maximize the space to feed one arm in, grabbing the opponent's gi, completing the pass, positioning your legs, heading off defenses, consolidating side-control, etc.  That's all cool, but none of it matters if you can't even get the pass started.  So . . . what's really important?  Getting your arm in, and not getting triangled.  So stop obsessing over the details and just make sure you hold his hips down with your inside arm and really dig down with your other arm to get his leg to your shoulder.  From there, just try to make the pass work however you can.   

For a positional example, take being under side-control.  Overthinkers get crushed trying to remember which techniques had which arms this way or that, or where their hips need to be for this or that reversal, etc.  By the time they actually try any specific technique the opponent has long since adapted and stifled it.  So forget all of that.  Go to the big picture--you want to get on your side and face the opponent, or you want to get under the opponent to scoop him into half-guard or guard.  And you definitely don't want to be cross-faced.  Focus on whatever you've got to do to achieve those goals and don't worry about all of the details.

So when you're rolling, stick to trying to implement big picture concepts.  Don't get flattened out.  Get on your side.  Secure a cross-face.  Watch out for his danger leg.  Don't let him bend you over.  Etc.  If you do that, you'll find that you'll be able to hit a lot of these moves (or some semblance of them) on a lot of white belts and probably some blue belts with some regularity.  You won't be technically perfect, but you'll be imbedding yourself with functional knowledge.  And once those big picture concepts come naturally, you'll start to notice specific ways that certain guys block your moves.  At THAT POINT, you can start thinking about the details.  Why is this guy able to shut down the pass every time?  How come that guy can keep me flat on my back?  Etc.

JMHO.

7/8/13 4:28 PM
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SC MMA MD
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^ good post. I was advised to work on the "big things" from various positions a few months ago, and it has helped a lot. Phone Post 3.0
7/9/13 10:20 PM
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Jayhof
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Stop thinking and start visualizing. Imagine that you are doing the technique....
7/9/13 10:27 PM
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Rubensio
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checkuroil - Drilling with a friend Phone Post 3.0

500x's each side, they'll remember it.
7/9/13 10:29 PM
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Synado
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Don't be a collector of moves. The best way to learn is find a couple positions that resonate with you and drill them with a friend. Study videos on other people using those positions or techniques. Then start throwing in hypothetical what if scenarios to your drilling. These what if scenarios can come from people you are trying you technique on other then your partner or your partner yourself who sees those moves. I find that drilling in this fashion helps your game to be one step ahead and helps you to remember the techniques in a pinch. I was obsessive about learning new moves, working out super hard, and trying to "tough it out". I feel like I wasted a lot of time with this mentality and have very little to show for it.
7/10/13 9:42 AM
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CodeGeek
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Technique accumulation is a very important part of the process (through blue, but even into purple), because without it, you'll never have the repertoire to build your own unique game, or have solutions for every problem that manifests itself. This is where I disagree with the "learn a couple moves and master them" crowd. In the long-run, it's far better to have a variety of techniques at hand. It gives you more options to draw from, it gives you greater understanding of what works for you and why, and most importantly, it's just more fun. And if your goal is to teach, it goes without saying that you must be very well rounded. By the time you get to brown and beyond, you will have simplified all that knowledge into a deeper level of effectiveness.
7/10/13 2:58 PM
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MTH - 

I was an "overthinker" all the way to blue belt.  But . . . a change in outlook over the past seven months or so has helped me out immensely.  And I'm enjoying BJJ (and improving) a lot more as a result of it. 

So here's my two cents . . . .

Overthinkers are too focused on the details.  They see techniques as complex series of movements encompassing their own and their opponent's positioning and choices.  Overthinkers try to manage and memorize this complexity with books and YouTube, but this only adds more details to memorize.  On the mat, overthinkers brains race while they look for the perfect arrangement of hands, feet, legs, weight, knees, etc. to cue them to invoke a specific technique from the jumbled mess of complicated techniques swirling around in their brains.

It's stressful and not a very effective way to learn BJJ.

My solution has been to realize that nobody masters the complexity at the outset.  Your goal should instead be to manage the BIG PICTURE of techniques and positions.  That's requires very little thought and no minor details.  Once managing the big picture becomes instinctive, THEN it's easy (and natural) to start focusing on the details. 

In other words, when it comes to techniques and positions, have your brain start BIG and go SMALL.  Just like college classes--there's always an "Intro to ____" that's offered first, before the more complicated and higher level courses on the same topic.  If you just dove into the higher level courses at the beginning, you'd be totally lost.

For example . . .

Take the classic one-armed outside guard stack pass.  There are many details about posture, controling the opponent's hips, how to maximize the space to feed one arm in, grabbing the opponent's gi, completing the pass, positioning your legs, heading off defenses, consolidating side-control, etc.  That's all cool, but none of it matters if you can't even get the pass started.  So . . . what's really important?  Getting your arm in, and not getting triangled.  So stop obsessing over the details and just make sure you hold his hips down with your inside arm and really dig down with your other arm to get his leg to your shoulder.  From there, just try to make the pass work however you can.   

For a positional example, take being under side-control.  Overthinkers get crushed trying to remember which techniques had which arms this way or that, or where their hips need to be for this or that reversal, etc.  By the time they actually try any specific technique the opponent has long since adapted and stifled it.  So forget all of that.  Go to the big picture--you want to get on your side and face the opponent, or you want to get under the opponent to scoop him into half-guard or guard.  And you definitely don't want to be cross-faced.  Focus on whatever you've got to do to achieve those goals and don't worry about all of the details.

So when you're rolling, stick to trying to implement big picture concepts.  Don't get flattened out.  Get on your side.  Secure a cross-face.  Watch out for his danger leg.  Don't let him bend you over.  Etc.  If you do that, you'll find that you'll be able to hit a lot of these moves (or some semblance of them) on a lot of white belts and probably some blue belts with some regularity.  You won't be technically perfect, but you'll be imbedding yourself with functional knowledge.  And once those big picture concepts come naturally, you'll start to notice specific ways that certain guys block your moves.  At THAT POINT, you can start thinking about the details.  Why is this guy able to shut down the pass every time?  How come that guy can keep me flat on my back?  Etc.

JMHO.


Thanks for posting this. This puts things into a framework that I can understand and try to implement.
7/10/13 2:59 PM
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Jayhof - Stop thinking and start visualizing. Imagine that you are doing the technique....

I will start doing this too. Thanks.
7/10/13 3:00 PM
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Rubensio - 
checkuroil - Drilling with a friend Phone Post 3.0

500x's each side, they'll remember it.

I hope this over a certain time period. I'm assuming that you mean perfect reps, so that would mean that this will take awhile to achieve, but a good goal to aim for.
7/10/13 3:01 PM
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Synado - Don't be a collector of moves. The best way to learn is find a couple positions that resonate with you and drill them with a friend. Study videos on other people using those positions or techniques. Then start throwing in hypothetical what if scenarios to your drilling. These what if scenarios can come from people you are trying you technique on other then your partner or your partner yourself who sees those moves. I find that drilling in this fashion helps your game to be one step ahead and helps you to remember the techniques in a pinch. I was obsessive about learning new moves, working out super hard, and trying to "tough it out". I feel like I wasted a lot of time with this mentality and have very little to show for it.

Thanks I will take this advice to heart.
7/10/13 3:02 PM
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CodeGeek - Technique accumulation is a very important part of the process (through blue, but even into purple), because without it, you'll never have the repertoire to build your own unique game, or have solutions for every problem that manifests itself. This is where I disagree with the "learn a couple moves and master them" crowd. In the long-run, it's far better to have a variety of techniques at hand. It gives you more options to draw from, it gives you greater understanding of what works for you and why, and most importantly, it's just more fun. And if your goal is to teach, it goes without saying that you must be very well rounded. By the time you get to brown and beyond, you will have simplified all that knowledge into a deeper level of effectiveness.

I'm not experienced enough to know if your views would be beneficial to me or not, but thanks for sharing your view on this.
7/10/13 9:06 PM
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Rubensio
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Rubensio - 
checkuroil - Drilling with a friend Phone Post 3.0

500x's each side, they'll remember it.

I hope this over a certain time period. I'm assuming that you mean perfect reps, so that would mean that this will take awhile to achieve, but a good goal to aim for.
Yeah def. a goal. And not sloppy reps either. Phone Post
7/10/13 9:40 PM
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baby-silverback
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Alot of good posts here


TTT Phone Post
7/10/13 10:24 PM
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nogidavid
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just scrap
7/10/13 10:25 PM
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nogidavid
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or subscribe to my youtube page

www.youtube.com/user/nogidavid for sweet instructionals :D
7/11/13 12:06 AM
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The Ghost Of Swayze
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MTH - 

I was an "overthinker" all the way to blue belt.  But . . . a change in outlook over the past seven months or so has helped me out immensely.  And I'm enjoying BJJ (and improving) a lot more as a result of it. 

So here's my two cents . . . .

Overthinkers are too focused on the details.  They see techniques as complex series of movements encompassing their own and their opponent's positioning and choices.  Overthinkers try to manage and memorize this complexity with books and YouTube, but this only adds more details to memorize.  On the mat, overthinkers brains race while they look for the perfect arrangement of hands, feet, legs, weight, knees, etc. to cue them to invoke a specific technique from the jumbled mess of complicated techniques swirling around in their brains.

It's stressful and not a very effective way to learn BJJ.

My solution has been to realize that nobody masters the complexity at the outset.  Your goal should instead be to manage the BIG PICTURE of techniques and positions.  That's requires very little thought and no minor details.  Once managing the big picture becomes instinctive, THEN it's easy (and natural) to start focusing on the details. 

In other words, when it comes to techniques and positions, have your brain start BIG and go SMALL.  Just like college classes--there's always an "Intro to ____" that's offered first, before the more complicated and higher level courses on the same topic.  If you just dove into the higher level courses at the beginning, you'd be totally lost.

For example . . .

Take the classic one-armed outside guard stack pass.  There are many details about posture, controling the opponent's hips, how to maximize the space to feed one arm in, grabbing the opponent's gi, completing the pass, positioning your legs, heading off defenses, consolidating side-control, etc.  That's all cool, but none of it matters if you can't even get the pass started.  So . . . what's really important?  Getting your arm in, and not getting triangled.  So stop obsessing over the details and just make sure you hold his hips down with your inside arm and really dig down with your other arm to get his leg to your shoulder.  From there, just try to make the pass work however you can.   

For a positional example, take being under side-control.  Overthinkers get crushed trying to remember which techniques had which arms this way or that, or where their hips need to be for this or that reversal, etc.  By the time they actually try any specific technique the opponent has long since adapted and stifled it.  So forget all of that.  Go to the big picture--you want to get on your side and face the opponent, or you want to get under the opponent to scoop him into half-guard or guard.  And you definitely don't want to be cross-faced.  Focus on whatever you've got to do to achieve those goals and don't worry about all of the details.

So when you're rolling, stick to trying to implement big picture concepts.  Don't get flattened out.  Get on your side.  Secure a cross-face.  Watch out for his danger leg.  Don't let him bend you over.  Etc.  If you do that, you'll find that you'll be able to hit a lot of these moves (or some semblance of them) on a lot of white belts and probably some blue belts with some regularity.  You won't be technically perfect, but you'll be imbedding yourself with functional knowledge.  And once those big picture concepts come naturally, you'll start to notice specific ways that certain guys block your moves.  At THAT POINT, you can start thinking about the details.  Why is this guy able to shut down the pass every time?  How come that guy can keep me flat on my back?  Etc.

JMHO.


VU. Great post.
7/13/13 1:50 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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Just a few thoughts:

1)  Note taking is valuable and EVERYONE should do it.  It goes beyond just "you'll remember it better".  Notes will allow you to organize information, to return to past times in your training, and to store information.  I once created a list of two hours worth of questions that I wanted to ask in private lessons.  Then I spent the better part of 2 months typing up all my handwritten seminar notes, and in doing so, I found the specific answers to each and every question.  This means that my notes, at that time, saved me $300.  Boom.  

2)  "Knowing" and "understanding" BJJ are not sufficient on their own, because BJJ information is only meaningful when you IMPLEMENT it on the mat.  We have all had moments of "I know what I want to do, but my body didn't execute it the way I wanted it", or "at the split second I wanted it," etc.  The only answer here is more time spent drilling the technique, with a SPECIFIC MENTAL FOCUS during the drilling on that particular aspect.  

3)  "Knowing" and "understanding" BJJ *are* critical, even for the "I just get on the mat and do it" crowd.  Knowing and understanding will take years off of "how long it takes you to progress", because these AIM your training in the right directions.  

4)  Resources.  At least once each year, I read the following two articles:

The Expert Mind, by Philip Ross (Scientific American)

How to Build a Super Athlete, by Daniel Coyle (New York Times)

You can google them and find them.  They have influenced my training more than any other resources I have found.  For BJJ specifically, I would add one more article:

Progression in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, by Roy Harris

This one gets double billing, in my book, because not ONLY did I learn a lot each time I read it, but it's also the article that inspired me to go meet Mr. Harris, and ultimately to become his student.  

Good training to you!

~Chris

7/13/13 4:21 PM
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Zero1
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I think both postions have values but when it comes to mastery and fighting skills its all about the body.

Is your body free and can perform in a natural not restricted way? Then you will win......

Is you mind in the way? Then you will loose.

It is pretty similar to sex. You don´t have good sex when your mind is in the way......

Fighting is some abiliy that comes from your instincts and your body can react much better if you are in touch with your instincts....

I use my mind when I learn techniques when I "update my software" by adding more moves or trying new stuff.

But when it comes to roll and everything works out perfect. My mind is empty and my body is doing his job.

There are things you can´t understand but you can feel them.....

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