Developing Intuition with the School of Grappling

In this episode, I talk to Andy from the School of Grappling. The School of grappling Instagram and website has many great articles that look at statistics of MMA and ADCC grappling exchanges and how to use systems and heuristics to improve your grappling training. Here we discuss his fascinating ideas about teaching and developing intuition/instincts for grappling.


Sonny: Welcome to episode number three of the Sonny Brown Breakdown, a podcast where we will discuss the training, teaching, health and education of mixed martial arts. In this episode, I talked to Andy from the School of Grappling, where we discuss his fascinating ideas about teaching and developing intuition and instincts in your grappling training. Now let’s go to the podcast. Just give you a bit of background I came across your stuff, I believe it was on Instagram. I first saw the School of Grappling Instagram account and I was very intrigued by some of the ideas that you’re putting across, some of the posts you’re putting up, lots of work you’ve been putting into it, researching the statistics of ADCC and MMA, and I thought you had some excellent ideas and I thought it’d be great to get you on how to chat. And so, I’m just wondering, you know, with your School of Grappling page, what’s the overall idea that you’re trying to impart into people with School of Grappling, and just a bit of your own personal background with grappling and also your education background?

Andy: Okay, first of all, what’s up guys? Yeah, I think I’ll start with my background first and I will not go too much in depth because I actually think what I’m talking about is way more important and way more interesting than I am. I’m basically just a physicist. I like to really analyze stuff. Obviously, that’s why I did all the statistics and I have 20 years of grappling expenses, it all started with judo. And some of you may know, some of you don’t, that in judo the rules changed a lot over the last, maybe 10 to 15 years and they got more and more restricted and competition got more and more specialized. So, I felt like I needed to go and learn something else. And probably like everybody I watched the UFC and I saw this whole Gracie story unfold and thought like, like, huh, just BJJ seems to be the shit. So, I started BJJ and sadly, I really got a bit disappointed because I felt like I went from one specialist thing to the another and because the stuff I learned in BJJ was literally nothing like grappling in MMA at this time. It’s like, all these rules and so much got pulling the key stuff got weirder and weirder. So, I focused more on No-Gi grappling because I felt like this is a little bit closer to real grappling. Because like I said, I wanted to go to something which includes more than judo and not from one specialized thing to something different, which says specialize in another direction. So, I started moderating No-Gi and first, all the leg lock stuff when it came about and then I realized, ah, that’s still not kind of all grappling has to offer and still doesn’t really look like, like grappling in MMA at all. 

So, I studied a lot of wrestling, especially folks style wrestling, coach wrestling in the USA and then slowly, I felt like huh, yeah, now things get more like grappling. If you include all the stuff from judo, all the stuff from jujitsu, from No-Gi jujitsu and a lot of wrestling, I felt like this is actually what grappling is about, if you combine all the stuff. And this is kind of also what I tried to do with my page, I want to move the grappling community a bit more together because I feel like all the sports specialized in different directions like judo, jujitsu No-Gi jujitsu, submission only, Sambo, wrestling, freestyle wrestling, all this stuff. Everybody’s specialized and actually that’s a good thing, I feel like, because that’s needed if you want to progress in a certain direction, but I feel like my role or what I’m trying to do is to bring it back together again to say like yeah, you know what, in the end, it’s all grappling and maybe it’s fun and we can all learn if we take look at it all and not just focus on our own stuff. That’s like the first thing I tried to do with School of Grappling, also the cultural side and the historical side, because for me, grappling is a sport, obviously, and that’s a really important part. Not so much in martial arts, like Parag Mickelson, also says, I think that’s not so important. But it’s also important for culture and stuff like this. I always felt like the Greeks showed how important this kind of sport like grappling or 05:41 [inaudible] can be on the society. Also, like if you take a look at Mongolia, for example, people just meet in the field and they grapple and they get like huge honors and thousands of, watches and all the stuff and yeah, that’s always interests me, like, the cultural side also. 

And another thing I’m trying to do, is obviously all the statistics stuff I do, because I feel like yeah, many cultures have people in jujitsu, mostly, but also wrestling and judo, they all show stuff and claim stuff. But actually, most of it or some of it really is not supported by evidence at all. And I think smart people already knew this. So, for example, a lot of things you’ve seen in my statistics, I feel like don’t really show new stuff for the smart guys, it proves that they were right, what they felt was anecdotally right at the time. Yeah, the third part and maybe the part which is dearest to my heart is, I want to really educate people how to learn grappling or jujitsu, because I feel like, grappling, it lost so much in the last years, but teaching to not feel like yeah, the way people coach and teach in, jujitsu and judo, especially, not so much in wrestling, I feel like it’s really not up to date. 

Sonny: Yeah, that’s certainly one of the things that drawn me to your work. And like you mentioned at the start there that you know, looking to combine the different grappling arts of judo, wrestling and jujitsu and I know one thing I’ve seen, you use the hashtag a lot on your Instagram page of, wrestle, jujitsu and linking that into how things are being taught in jujitsu, like to just basically discuss what your current thoughts are on the state of pedagogy used in jujitsu as a whole and just, you know how you think things are currently being taught or work, how it can be improved? And what your what thoughts are on this at the moment?

Andy: I want to start off with saying, I will be speaking about jujitsu, but I felt like the same is true for judo, especially because they’re both a sport, but they’re still kind of martial artsy. So, they didn’t make the jump like wrestling and reached the point where it’s just a sport but there’s still so many components of martial arts and I feel like that’s a bad thing actually. Because I feel like most people, competitors and coaches, they focus too much on techniques and that’s really a modern thing. I feel like they, there’s this misconception that you have to learn just enough or the right techniques and if you just know more techniques than the other guy, or the right ones, then at some point you will become skillful or become a master of your art. So, naturally, coaches who believe this like, okay, I just have to collect all the techniques that work and if I know them better than somebody else and I can do them better then I’m skillful, I’m a master and I will win lots of competitions or train. Good people and yeah, if that’s the goal, naturally, you will focus on teaching techniques, obviously, and I think that’s really bad because yeah, we will reach that point soon. 

So, then some smarter guys, I feel like, especially Ryan Hall, or Rob 09:59 [inaudible], they introduced the jujitsu community to concepts and principles. So, basically what they are saying is, yeah, look, nobody can remember 10,000 techniques but you don’t have to, you just have to know, like, the underlying concepts and principles behind the techniques and then you can basically just come up with the exclusive technique at the time. And I feel like that’s a really, really, really big improvement to the first method. And it’s a method I also use a lot. I think concepts and principles are really, really important because if you know concepts and principles, you can come up with heuristics or rules of thumb, which help decision making in really complex situations. They’re way faster than techniques because you don’t really have to think that much. And that’s actually how I tried to transcend even that because, if you want to remember techniques, you actually have to do a little bit of thinking. And that’s a bad thing because everybody knows fighting or grappling, you have to make decisions really, really fast and you have to multitask, and a lot of things are going on. 

So, what concepts, principles or rules of thumb do, they really, really lower the amount of thinking you have to do or the stuff you have to know. But actually, if you take a look at how really, really good math masters of any kind, it can be sports, it can be cooking, can be music, it can be arts, painting, anything, if you take a look at them, you realize most of them don’t think at all. They reach to the point where they just do stuff, intuition, with their intuition. And that’s actually something I have studied a lot. And I feel like that’s what I bring to the table. I say, yeah, techniques, sure they are important, but we shouldn’t focus on them at all. And I say concepts and principles, they are also important, they’re actually much more important, and they are still a big part of my method. But the end goal should not be to teach techniques or concepts or to develop a sense of intuition in each student you have. And if that’s your goal, and you’re you really say, that’s the premise I start with, then naturally all your training and all the classes you design look completely different because you have a different goal. And that’s basically, the starting point of my whole method and why I think most people have it wrong with all this technique stuff. 

Sonny: Okay, that’s, a fascinating way of looking at it. And I really, like agree with the angle being to train people’s intuitions because that’s whenever you’re going against the good grappler that’s, you can tell that they’re not thinking, they’re just moving. So, my question would then be, if, you know, we’re shifting away from techniques to training concepts and principles, to maybe build that intuition, then how do we actually go about you know, working out what these principles are for grappling, which ones are the ones to teach that we should use and you know, how do we not just fall into the same trap of technique collection and just transfer that into say concept collection and figuring out which ones are the best to use and how to go about that?

Andy: Yeah, I don’t really use concepts and principles that much. And I tell you why because I think they are important for some people. For me, for example, I’m a nerd, I like to think about stuff. And, for me, concepts and principles have a lot, especially because I mean, I’m a physicist, I really, really know all this level of stuff. And that’s simple stuff for me so I can really work with it. But I also came across many, many, many, many, many students who aren’t like that. They just are really good movers; they like to move. They are a lot more embodied; they don’t think as much. And actually, I think, to attain intuition, you don’t need concepts and principles. They can help for some people, but you don’t need them. And actually, I think that’s, if you really think about it, if you think about some, I don’t know football players, basketball players, grapplers, fighters, for me is what, always was pretty obvious that they are not that smart. And they really don’t understand the concepts, and they really don’t understand the principles, at least not in an explicit way. But for some reason, they just move so masterfully, they always do the right stuff. They, but they do it without much thought. And I think a really good example for this is in MMAs, Tony Ferguson. I think if you would discuss concepts and principles with him, yeah, that wouldn’t go. But he still always knows what to do in the situation when it arises. And I think that’s the point, that’s where I want to go, what I want to reach in my students. I want to develop this intuition in everybody because I feel like this is literally the highest form of mastery. 

And another thing I want to talk about in this, actually everybody is a master. We always think, when we think about mastery, we think about stuff like sports and cooking or craftsmanship. But if you think about the stuff you do every day, most of it is intuition. If you, I don’t know, if you cut a cucumber, if you turn the lights on, if you open the door, all that stuff, you don’t think about it, you just do it because you experience the stuff so often and you actually have some sort of, you are emerged in a task, you know, it’s like, this is the stuff, you need to do it for living. So, you naturally, I invested, and I think that’s something which lacks, if you just tried to copy techniques and stuff. Yeah, I don’t know if that was a big tangent. 

Sonny: No, no, that explains a lot for me. So, you’re saying that, you know, we don’t necessarily need to explicitly teach concepts to people, like they don’t need to be able to know, to recite the concepts back to us, or the principles, you know, they don’t need to be able to write them down, what they are, but we should be teaching in a way that they just, that they intuitively pick up those concepts and principles through practice, is that?

Andy: Yeah, exactly. And I think like, what’s really important for me, is, I want to get across that, there’s no dogma, it’s, everything is just a tool. I still use techniques; I still use concepts and principles. And so, for example, if you realize some students, they need concepts and principles, then use then for God’s sake. And but also, you realize that many, many, many, many great athletes really, really work with this stuff because they’re just not that kind of a guy, you know? So, what you said is absolutely correct. The goal is to develop intuition through exercises I tried to design. Because like, actually, what intuition really is, that’s up for debate. Many people believe it’s, and that’s something I also wrote, it’s something like an unconscious, heuristic or implicit rule of thumb in our body, which we can use without thinking about them. That’s more like the stuff of 19:12 [inaudible], I talked about the psychologist. And, but there are many people, especially philosophers who actually believe, nah, intuition is something completely different, it’s just, yeah, then stuff gets really complicated if you look at it from a phenomenological, psychological, philosophical side. 

But what everybody agrees on is that the only way you get intuition is first in experience, stuff you personally experience yourself. And so, what most coaches do I feel like is a try to teach in a way where they, either try to convey their own experiences and that’s not a bad thing. I mean, they want to help the students obviously. What’s even worse is when coaches try to convey stuff, they didn’t experience themselves, so this is like the Bullshido Mcdojo style, like you have a script Master, he tells you do x and a and b. And so, you just mimic the stuff and teach your students and they mimic you. And so, it’s basically an evolution of mimicry over generations. And I think this is actually the worst thing you could do. And what most coaches do, and I do too, from time to time, because I fail, is they try to convey their own experiences. And I feel like this is actually wrong. You have to realize that in order for your students to really learn, to really get a grip of something, they just have to experience it themselves. I feel like a really good example is, I personally, when I was a child, I really like to play with dangerous stuff like fire knives and so on and my mother always told me, don’t do this, be careful, don’t play with knife and stuff like this. And I always felt like yeah, whatever, I don’t care. Until I once, I cut myself really bad, I still have the scar on my left hand. And from this day on, I really was careful with knives because I experienced something myself and I made an error. And obviously, I don’t say every kid should cut him safe but what I’m saying is if you want to really remember stuff, like really remember stuff, you have to connect it to some perception and action or experience you had yourself at some point in your life. And the more of experiences which resemble similar situations, the better you get those similar situations. Yeah and I feel like many people now could maybe say, oh, yeah, so he’s arguing, just roll all the time. And yeah, I think like, you can actually maximize the amount of experiences you get in a certain timeframe. And that’s basically my method.

Sonny: Okay, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. I think it makes sense. Like, you know, you can tell someone that you know, you better have both arms in or both arms out when you’re in someone’s guard, or you’re going to be at risk of a triangle choke. You can explain that but obviously, they’re going to understand it a lot better if it actually happens to them and they’ll have that that deeper understanding, which makes a lot of sense. So, then what would your ways of conveying that intuition or helping your students build that intuition, how do you go around go about doing that?

Andy: So, for example, there are many ways, I think you could either start by, that’s a bit more, if you give more guidance, for example, let’s take something everybody can relate to. Let’s say you want to work on back control, okay. So, what you could do, you could basically start with the technique, like most coaches do, so you maybe work a certain series of moves, for example, yeah, the guy turtles, you get a seat belt, you insert the first talk, you’re breaking down, you insert the second hook, then you trap his arms and you choke him, right. So, you show them, you explain, maybe, the important concepts and stuff. And then you let them, and actually, I feel like this whole repetition thing is just stupid because either I really work with smart people, but I feel like if I show them a really, a sequence like this, everybody can do it after three times, five times, ten times, but there’s no need to do it like 100 times. So, when I have the feeling like, buddy, gets the technique kind of, or the sequence, I say, alright, let’s move on. 

So, the next goal would be to say, okay, now everybody has like, an idea what to do. They don’t, they cannot do it perfectly, and they aren’t masters at it at all, but they have a goal in mind, and that’s really important. So, now we start with little mini bearings or games, like you break it down, so you work certain skills. For example, you tell, you say, listen, okay now, you know what the goal is, let’s start with the seatbelt and we do a little game, just try to get both hooks in. So, then the people can play with it, a person gets a seat belt, then they play around. I also tell my students, kind of regulate the intensity, if you know the guy doesn’t get it at all, maybe do a little bit of less resistance. If you feel like he gets the hooks in too easy, do a little more resistance. So, it’s not so much sparing in the sense of fighting, it’s more like playing. I want people to play around with a certain situation. And maybe they do it like five minutes. One guy, five minutes, the other guy and I feel like it’s always really, really interesting if you try that yourself, how fast people learn small little details, if they just repeat the task again and again and again and they fail, they fail again and they try something else. They come up with little details, if I would have shown them all these details in the technique before, they would have been overwhelmed, but this way, they just do it intuitively because they try. 

So, for example, after that, I would do another game and say, okay, and now the stuff from back control, and one guy tries to escape and you just try to hold him there, so no chokes, nothing. So, you just work on the control for example. And then one guy tries to escape and then what I often tell students, so for example, if you want to work your, keeping him in bear control, I say, okay 20 seconds, you go hard on him, don’t let him escape. And then after that, give, the other person a chance to work his escapes. So, then you lower the resistance a little bit so he can get out, but with a lot of struggle, so it shouldn’t be easy. And so, and then you can progress like you train sub-skills of a certain skill, you develop game for it. And at some point, if you feel like people get competent in these parts in the sub skills, not in the whole sequence, but in a certain sequence. For example, then use start adding the sequences together, sorry. The easiest thing would be, okay, goal, you start with seatbelts, your goal is to get a rear naked choke, right? So, that would be another game. So, you don’t start in back control but with a seatbelt. And you can get, develop games, however you want, if you know what you’re doing, it’s basically simple. You just define a goal, you define certain constraints like, yeah, don’t do this, don’t do that. And, but the important thing is, I will always want to work with a task. So, it’s not like I tell my students, do this. I don’t tell them at all what they should do, I tell them, solve this problem. And how you solve this problem, actually, I don’t care. But the trick is, the constraints of the of the task or the game are set so they will do the right stuff, right?

So, that’s a bit trickier. It’s like the goal is to get them somewhere, to do something, but you don’t, you’re not allowed to tell them how. So, you have to design games and stuff, which forces a certain behavior after some time, but the point is, they themselves felt acted and they made decisions and they gained experiences because they acted and perceived and it’s not like, the coach showed me, right. And that’s more like a guided approach when I have something in mind, like, a control, for example. But actually, you can also do, sometimes you don’t even need that. So, for example, how I teach the wrestling stance, right, is I felt like if you want somebody to teach him footwork or stance, and you say, tell them, yeah, you stand with this foot in front and with this width and you bend a little bit, but not too much, and then your arms should be like this. And a thing like stands can get really, really, really complicated really, really quickly. Because a new student has to think about all this stuff. So, what I like to do, I like to let them play a game. And the game is really simple. It’s like, you have to touch the knees of the other guy, so if you would do that, only this rule, and this goal, so touching the knees of the other guy and defending. Then obviously people would stand really, really bend forward and that’s actually what happens. If you try that, if you play this game, people will stand really bent forward. 

So, I introduced another rule. And I said, okay, so if the hands or anything, but the soles of your feet touch the ground, you lose the point. So, if you make the other guy touch the ground with anything but his feet, you get a point. So, what, and when you have these two rules, you actually realize people will automatically have a certain stance, which give them mobility because they have to defend people tapping their knees, but it also fixes the bent posture because if they’re been too much, well, people just snap you down and your hands touch the floor, right, or your knees. And what I really realized is that with this game, I can teach a beginner who never did martial arts, maybe not a perfect, but a decent and functional stance in like two minutes. And they don’t have to think about it. It’s just like, they had a task, they had a goal and they self-regulated themselves to achieve that goal. without much thought, it’s just like, oh, fuck, he tapped my knee, I better do this now, oh fuck, I touched the floor, I better don’t stand that bend forward and stuff like this. So, it’s nestled in experiences, right? And I’m always amazed how far, how fast I can teach a stance like this, it’s mind boggling.

Sonny: Very interesting. So, that’s, I mean, it sounds like it’s, you know, a form of say, just positional sparring, but not really. Because, like, I think sometimes I myself, will, you know, if I teach a half guard pass, I’ll make sure students you know, do some starting rounds in, you know, from half guard. But I know even in that case, that’s like a simplified version because, you know, sometimes they’ll start there and then they won’t ever be able to use the past that we’ve shown. So, you’re kind of focusing on, like setting the right constraints and you know, making the right set of rules that the students will have that level of failure to enable them to learn the moves, or the techniques, enough, in a faster way. Is that kind of close?

Andy: Yes. Yes, that’s close. I think like, if you don’t think so much about sparring or rolling, think about it like games, right? A game has rules and goals. And so, that’s all you need. You need rules. You need goals. If you actually use the term game, for some reason people automatically are more flowy, they aren’t that tense, right? If you tell them guys, we’ll play a game, they just play. But if you tell them we do position of sparring now, people for some reason, you can do the same stuff, but if you tell them, it’s sparring now, they will be a lot more tense, and it will be more ego and stuff. So, I feel like it’s a little bit of gamification, right. And I think that’s a really important part because then people think like, yeah, I’m not working a competition situation, no, I’m just playing a game. If I don’t get a point, who cares, right?

Sonny: Yeah, that makes sense in just to, you know, the gamification making it enjoyable and playful, because I’m thinking, say we show, passing or just opening close guard, it’s one thing to, just put people in someone’s guard, say we’ll open their closed guard, that’s the role of the sport and open the guard pass. But we know that’s very difficult for anyone to pull off against a completely hundred percent resisting opponent, it’s going to be hard whereas at certain times it might take minutes at least to actually pull that off. So, I think that makes sense what you’re saying to figure out ways that we can reduce that bigger action, open guard and pass it down into smaller little chunks. Would you say like–?

Andy: Yeah, absolutely.

Sonny: To work out the smaller parts of that and then make games out of those.

Andy: Yeah, I think the important thing is like, I mean, we are coaches. So, hopefully we know which stuff works and which doesn’t. So, it’s not like I’m sitting there and I’m just like, trying to. It’s not like, I just see what comes up. I always have stuff in mind prior, right? So, I know what the behavior I want to see is, but I have to find ways to kind of trick people into that behavior. I don’t tell them; I want you to do this. But I set the constraints in a way that they will automatically do it after some time, because there’s only two- or three-ways stuff actually works. So, for example, one thing you can achieve that is by like you said, making the tasks smaller and smaller. So, if it’s too abstract, it’s like, for example, you start and have no grips or anything and you tell them people sweep the other guy. That’s like, a fairly complex problem right there, maybe 1000.

Sonny: That’s a pretty common way currently of doing it, right?

Andy: Yeah, absolutely. But if you want people and that’s fine for advanced students, if you know half guard, that’s fine, right? But if you want to teach half guard, let’s say something I really focus on in half guard is I tell people, okay, for example, you start with an under hook. You already have your hooks switched, like in the Quota Guard from Lucas Lake right. And now the goal is to build up to a dogfight. No, it’s not a sweep, it’s just almost too easy, it’s like, I mean, you haven’t known the neat twist, or the hooks switched. So, you just have to build up to a dogfight. And that’s the goal is to build up to the dock, find the roots, well, you start in this position and then people will actually succeed at it because it’s not that complex anymore, and that’s really important. People have to succeed a lot of times, but they also have to experience some failures. So, it’s a balance of the tasks shouldn’t be too easy, but it shouldn’t also be too hard. 

So, for example, if people get that, I can get them to building up to a dogfight I do another game where they start in the dogfight and I tell them okay, now you guys are both stuck in a dogfight now. Sweep the other guy and take his back and the other person should defend or escape, then we can do another game. For example, you start in half guards, and the game is, the top and the bottom guy, it should pump the floor under hooks. So, it’s just if you get to on-hook, you get a point start again, you get an on-hook, you get a point start again. So, it’s like you can, this way they can fight for a certain goal in one minute. I don’t know how many times you can come in and pump in one minute, maybe five times each, depending on how good you are. 

And then after people made all these games, so they made many experiences, getting an under hook, switching the hook, building up to a dogfight. What do I do when I’m at a dogfight? If people have succeeded in the small tasks, then we can do positional sparring from half guard, because people actually, they already had some complexity and some resistance but in a way, where they could handle the resistance and complexity because it wasn’t overwhelming, right. And you can do that step by step, you don’t have to go from I get an under-hook to half guard sparring. So, you can, what I like to do is, I do many small parts. And then I take two parts together, for example, getting an under hook and switching the hooks for the neat with for example after Lucas Lake Guard, then I do build to the dogfight and sweeping from the bug dog fight is a new sparring again. So, you kind of chunk things together again until the big picture arises. I don’t know if you get what I mean.

Sonny: Yeah, that does make a lot of sense. So, I’m looking at it from the perspective of, we could have, positional sparring being common, already, but this is, figuring out the ways, what you’re suggesting is more than just positional sparring. And it seems like it’s, the ways to break it down. So, there’s even, the micro positions or the little micro battles and building out a way up from there.

Andy: Yeah, and the point is, for example, it’s always still a task, right. I don’t tell them, okay, I show you know how I build up from half guard to get to the dogfight and I put my hand here and then I make space. I push it forward so I can get my bottom knee out and stuff like that. I don’t, yeah, maybe I give cues for some people who need some help. But it’s not like I tell them mimic me, it’s like, that’s your start, that’s your end. Figure it out, right. And people will figure it out. If the task is small enough, people will figure it out, I can guarantee you, if they don’t figure it out, it just means the task is still too complex. So, you have to make it smaller.

Sonny: That makes sense. So, it’s interesting. It really links with that building then of concepts, just through this chunking it down, this gamification and making it smaller, because, I mean, there has been discussion in the Grappling community for a while, like what’s better, you know, technique or drilling or concepts? And it seems like you’re putting forward the idea of it’s not a binary choice. It’s not it’s not drilling or concepts. It’s another option of gamification that kind of combines both of those elements together where you’re doing the reps over, but you’re doing the reps of the concepts in time.

Andy: Yes, I feel like this is like some buzzwords or sayings like this repetition without repetition, right. Or like another really smart saying, I forgot who said it right now, it’s, don’t repeat the same solution again and again, but solve the same problem again and again. That’s basically it. I feel like it is reading in jujitsu. It’s more like, okay, here is the perfect form, right? It’s like, some guy with a black belt shows you the perfect technique, the perfect form of something and then you try to mimic it and mimic it until it looks exactly like that. And I think that’s catastrophic. And also, that’s not how wrestlers drill, drilling in wrestling for some reason, probably because it’s a bit more dynamic on the feet. It’s not that rigid, that’s this rarely. If wrestler drills, it’s always a little bit more playfulness, a little bit more activity from your partner. It’s not that fixed, I feel like, at least that’s my experience. Yeah.

Sonny: Okay. Yeah. So yeah, that importance of you making it playful and making it fun while getting those repetitions in of the repetitions is just solving the same problem, not a set way to actually solve it. And that’s interesting, because that I think people will like when you say it, kind of understand, that makes a lot of sense. But I don’t think there’s many people out there who, explicitly have come up with a set of games for Grappling, that is like the okay, these are all the little games that can be played. I think that’s a very unique way of looking at things with a lot of avenues to explore.

Andy: Yeah, that’s the point because I actually want to encourage people not to mimic myself, because that’s actually the thing I’m fighting against. Right. 

Sonny: Okay. Yeah.

Andy: I want to give people a sense, like, okay, that’s how I do stuff because I have a different goal. And if you understand what I’m saying, you can come up with all kinds of games, yourself, and even depending on the XX want you to write if you’ve trained for IBJJF it would be different games, if you’ve trained for MMA it would be different games, but the point is, nest your learning in tasks and in games and not in the wrong sense of perfection of a certain form, because I feel like this literally does not exist at all. And that’s just what much martial arts lead into, I feel like it’s like this real Zen like or Eastern notion of the perfect form and practicing the one kick 1000 times and all this just kind of romantic view about martial arts. And if you take a look at a real fight at a real match, the whole stuff is dirty, the stuff is messy, but it’s functional, it just works. And if you try to get perfect at one move, what I argue is that means you invest too much time in getting really good at a really specific time thing, which means you probably suck at many things.

Sonny: That could be positive could be possible too. So, I mean, that idea of the perfect form if we want to, you know, if we look at the top people in the sport or,  sometimes in MMA as well, like the names that come to mind for me is,  like a George St. Pierre, Marcella Garcia or any of John Danaher students really is these guys at the moment would probably, say like, my gut feeling is that their technique is just, they’re getting by with superior technique or, their techniques are that much better I still, you know, maybe that’s just the way that you know, with the conventional way of thinking, but when we look at the results that they’re currently getting, they’re still the ones winning. So, I guess the traditional way of thinking would be that, okay, well, they’re the ones winning, we should copy their techniques that they’re doing. If we still get a lot of success with that, what’s the harm you think in, in taking that route?

Andy: So, what you’re saying is like, this guy’s master certain techniques, so why shouldn’t we just focus on these techniques right?

Sonny: Yeah, well, you know, just copy the–

Andy: I mean, there’s some point to it. Actually, yeah, I don’t, like I said, it’s all tools. It’s not like I say, I don’t teach techniques, because I only want to intuition, that that’s not right. Because I feel like it really depends on many, things. For example, that’s a really big criticism I have for the community, how they think about learning and coaching. For some reason, they always think that competitors are really good learners or teachers. Because I personally feel like because intuition, and if you train twice a day, six times a week, you will get this intuition no matter what you do. Let’s take a look at some of these guys. They train obsessively for years and decades. Of course, they will be fucking awesome, great loss fighters. Of course, that’s not the point, the point is, like me, I have a lot of people, they work full time, they are lawyers, they are engineers, they train twice a week for one and a half hour. They cannot get to that level of GSP or Marcello Garcia. Well, they don’t get there anyways, but they don’t get there with the same way people learned it right, because of the sheer amount of sacrifice they made, the sheer amount of work they put in. What I’m arguing is, if you train twice a day, every day for five years and you are not great at what you are doing, you must really suck.

Sonny: Yeah.

Andy: So, that’s not my standard. My standard is like, I teach people who train twice a week for two hours. Because that’s actually the hard problem of coaching in my opinion

Sonny: Yeah, well the majority of people are going to be in that situation, which is a good point, most people don’t end up competing, most people are training for fun so that I can see how that will then cater, if we’re making those games, and the smaller game making,  and those smaller games and making it fun, that’s actually going to cater to a wider audience and then the competitors if they want can, you tailor it more to them if they have to go down a different path.

Andy: And the other thing is like, I speak out of my ass. And maybe that’s a bit arrogant to say, but somebody buy DVDs, or instructions I watch of high-level competitors. And I feel like, dude, you don’t understand what you’re talking about. And obviously this guy would wreck me. I mean, I’m a hobbyist also, this guy would kill me on the mat. But not because he understands the biomechanics, the concepts, the principles better, not because he’s a better teacher, not because he’s a better learner. Because he made a sacrifice I did not make, the sacrifice was training full time every day, and sacrificing a lot of things. Many people are not willing to sacrifice, and I think we always have to keep that in mind, that’s a big part of getting good at anything. That’s what I was arguing with the intuition anyways, it’s just you experience, right.

Sonny: Yeah, that makes sense. So, like, I’ve had the thoughts before that, you know, obviously the people training, at Danaher would probably if they are training full time, they’d probably be just as good if they go on any of the other top coaches if they’re that committed. And I mean, there’s probably some people I think in everyone’s gym where you just think, well, okay, this, person will probably be good no matter where they go, because they’ve got that commitment to training and  they’re putting in the hours and, they’re going to be good no matter who they’re training under. And I guess then that that makes sense that they’ve learnt not so much how to be able to repeat those techniques or concepts or principles, but they’ve just learned through hours and just that repetition of solving problems and failing to solve it. 

Andy: Just think about it, if the average class, let’s say, just to simplify stuff is one-hour technique, drills and repetition, one hour rolling, okay? So, if we just assume that these guys learn nothing in the first part of technical training, if they train twice a day, six times a week, they still have 12 hours of rolling every week. That’s the amount of rolling that hobbyist maybe gets in a month or so. Right. So, we should not over value the way these guys train. Obviously, not all of them, I know for a fact that many coaches out there are doing good work, right. I’m not saying, I have figured it out and the community sucks. I’m saying, what I see is that many people who do it kind of wrong, but some still do a good job, obviously. For example, I listened to a lot of podcasts of Damien Maya lately, and actually seems like he’s doing stuff fairly common to how I do it. And he actually said, in a podcast, I think it was, I don’t remember when the podcast was, but he actually said, the way he teaches now is completely different from how he learned and he uses a lot more of the stuff I’m talking about a little bit more of many positional sparring, playful, aiming stuff like this. And that I felt like was really interesting, like the guy who many argue is the greatest grappling, MMA and who obviously achieved this point. By the way, he trends argues that he doesn’t teach the way he learned in the beginning. Right.

Sonny: And I think that’s the area of interest is that, you know, a few people are talking about and is coming to the forefront because, it is this, you know, like a change from how everyone was taught which, my gut feeling is that I guess how the Jujitsu was originally taught, was really people were keeping secrets, and it was still, this secretive arms, I’ll show you this and but don’t show this, this is the secret move. And that’s, from that martial arts background, I think where the idea is you just have to have the secret weapon and they never–

Andy: Yeah, it’s like that, this notion that the master or the Sensei, he knows something you don’t know. And I feel like this is just plain false. Like, if you take a look at great musicians, they just have so much experience that they played so many years. They just act intuitively; they just have the skill. It’s not like they have a trick in their sleeve, right. It’s embodied in their being, it’s like, they care so much, it’s just part of who they are. And I think like, it’s important that we have to realize if we, our students want to achieve this kind of mastery, we all have to learn that it’s not about knowing certain things. It’s just about immersing ourselves in the task, getting familiar with all the situations that arise again and again, experiencing it over and over again until we get a kind of embodied sense of the situation, right.

Sonny: That makes a lot of the comparison with music because I was thinking then it’s kind of like, when people start jamming in a band and you’ve seen when a solo ends or something and the guitarist will just look at the drummer and they have that connection of just putting in the hours being able to sense just know and sense what’s going on.

Andy: Yeah, and the goal basically is, like I said, people like Damon, Maya, Marcel Garcia, Gordon Ryan, all these people, they have the experience because they trained so much, obviously, and probably, I don’t know, but I guess the training at the basement of Ghana is also very good. So, the combination of good training and experience of course, they are really good. 99% of the Jiu-Jitsu community are not people who train all the time. It’s like, how do I get this? How do I increase the experience they get? How do I find a mix? How do I find a way? So, they don’t have to practice for 10 years straight until they are somehow competent. How can I increase all this? And that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s not like I’m trying to skip stuff, it’s not like I’m saying, yeah, I just have to teach them the right techniques. No, I’m saying it’s a process, they have to get the experience, they have to develop sense of situations, they have to get intuition. But how can I speed it up a little bit? How can I make these experiences a bit more powerful? Or maybe how can I get more experiences in a certain timeframe? Or maybe how can I give them the right experiences, right? It’s like, I mean, I feel like I’m an experienced dealer. I give them experiences, which help them to get better, and I maybe somehow can guide their learning by designing a practice which gives them more experiences and the right experiences. So, they can learn faster, but there’s no shortcut.

Sonny: Yeah, yes, certainly, still no shortcuts. But, I agree with what you’re saying and if we go to the concepts, verse drilling debate that happened, I was always thinking, Well, you know, if you have someone who trains twice a week, just a regular person, as well as a hobbyist, then drilling might be a more efficient use of time and that, just get some reps in here, some of the basic foundational moves, just rip it out, use your two hours a week in the most efficient time, in the most efficient way, but I think it makes sense that breaking just that drilling down even further to that, not drilling techniques but drilling and repeating those experiences. It makes a lot of sense to how people can pick up. 

Andy: And another thing, I think it’s really important, it’s not like a master. And that’s the word I use a lot because that’s what I’m interested in, right, mastery. And of any kind, because you can actually learn a lot of a lot about mastery in combat sports, if you take a look at mastery in music or whatever, it’s like, not everything you do is intuitive, right. There are still situations maybe where you experience something new, while you have to rely on these concepts or principles by your aesthetics. Maybe if you are in a match, or in a fight, there are strategic and tactical elements you have to think about. So, what intuition also does is, it frees up your mind. If you don’t have to think about the stuff you do all the time, then you have more time to think about maybe not more important, but the stuff that is special to the situation, the strategy, the tactics. Maybe a problem arises you’re not familiar with so you can think about your aesthetic or your rule of thumb, but and that’s why I still teach them right.

Sonny: Yeah, I like that way of thinking about that intuition. So, you’re not spending that time thinking that’s what another jerk have made in the past, while you’re thinking, say someone’s thinking about a concepts, will it be too late, have I already hit the move that I’ve drilled 1000 times? But if it’s an intuitive thing, then that makes sense that you you’re not thinking about a concept or principle. It’s just when you–

Andy: Yeah, and I mean, I found it somewhat, I read how far Philosophy and Science, and I say that as someone who studied both, drifted away from everyday life, right, people can relate to a lot of these things. And that’s what I’m saying, is just to think about what you do every day. The stuff I’m talking about you experience from the moment you wake up, if you drive in a car, driving a car. I mean, in Germany, everybody drives with gear, right? So, you have to do a lot of stuff. You have to shift the gears, you have to look at the traffic, you do all this stuff, it’s incredibly complex. But you don’t do it by consciously thinking about it. And if you would, you would probably do a crash, because you drive the car you don’t think about it, you do everything right. You listen to music, you talk maybe to your wife who’s sitting next to you, and you do all the stuff without much conscious thought, it’s not like a new thing. This is the natural mode of how most people do most of the things they do in life. And, for example, if I’m a scientist, if I work scientifically, that’s a really small part of my life. It’s a method, it’s a tool, it’s a technique, it’s not what being a human is really about. We’re not robots, we’re not like, yeah, this is my perfect system algorithm. It’s like no, we are mostly actually Intuitively with almost everything we do.

Sonny: And it makes sense that we are changing the train from an arms race or collection of techniques to just that inbuilt experience and more time for intuition. I think that’s a very interesting way of looking at things and I think we can explore that a lot more into the future. I think there’s a lot of room to discuss this even further, but it’s been a fascinating conversation. Is there anything you’d like to finish up on, that we haven’t touched on?

Andy: Yeah. Of course, I feel like what we didn’t touch today, but maybe we’ll do at another time if you like, is the whole notion of systems and system thinking. Because what I don’t want people to think is like, this guy doesn’t teach any systems, this guy doesn’t teach any techniques, and that would be wrong. I just feel like the overall goal for me is not to teach a technique or a certain system, I still use them and actually, systems are some. The other thing I’m really interested about, it’s the one thing, is all this intuition and mastery stuff, the other thing is systems. So yeah, I still use them, I can already say so much. It’s not all intuitive, but a lot of things. 

Sonny: Beautiful. That’s, if you’d be happy to come back on we do a part two, I think that’s a perfect lead in to, to have another discussion about the systems, because we’ve had a great discussion here about intuition.

Andy: Yeah, for sure sounds fun.

Sonny: Excellent. So, just finishing up, is there anything you would like to or just mention how people can get in touch with you or how they can follow you. And I know you’ve got a couple of projects in the works you might want to mention.

Andy: Yeah, so obviously, my name is Andy, my tech on Instagram is at School of Grappling. I mostly do stuff there, I have a Twitter account, but I don’t really get Twitter, it’s not for me. So, I basically just use it to share some interesting links, since you cannot share links on Instagram, which is really bad. And I also have a homepage,, where it’s more like, in addition to the stuff I write on Instagram, where I can maybe get more in depth, write bigger articles, embed some videos and stuff. And I will probably do more in the future on my homepage. And the next projects, yeah, just, you will see,

Sonny: We will see, well hopefully everyone’s interested now after–

Andy: I can already tell you that. I feel like the ADC studies I have done, right now, I’m not that interested in Jiu-jitsu or doing statistics for jujitsu. So, I’m currently focusing a lot on Grappling and MMA.

Sonny: Okay, yeah, because that was something else that you’ve done a lot of with work on statistics, and maybe we’ll save that discussion for next time.

Andy: God’s willing

Sonny: And maybe we can do a third one as well. 

Andy: Yeah. I’d love to. It’s been very insightful, insightful conversation. Because Yeah, I really feel like this is something that it’s pushing boundaries in that there’s a lot more to, to develop because as you said, it’s not the way things have generally been taught in the martial arts as a whole. So, it opens up a lot of room for development. And that’s exciting. So, yeah, thank you very much for having this discussion. And we will make sure that, we will chat again and about systems. And thank you very much.

Sonny: Yeah, thank you guys. Thanks for listening. See you.

Narrator: And that concludes this episode of the Sonny Brown Breakdown. Please leave a review of the iTunes Store and check out,, that links to all my social media. Thanks

Jahred Dell of Articulate BJJ

In this episode I talk to Jahred Dell of where he writes excellent articles about the art, sport and lifestyle of Brazilian jiu-jitsu wi and who also happens to be a high school teacher and we discuss his thoughts on the crossovers between teaching a class of high school students and jiu-jitsu students.


Note: Machine translated so may contain errors.


Sonny Brown: (00:14)
Welcome to episode number one of the Sonny Brown breakdown, a podcast where I discussed the training, teaching health and education of mixed martial arts. In this episode I talked to doe of Articulate Bay GI where he writes excellent articles about the arts, sport and lifestyle of Brazilian Jujitsu. And he also happens to be a high school teacher. Now let’s go to the podcast.

Jahred Dell: (00:36)
Jared, I came across your work with articulate BJJ and was very interested in some of the articles that I was reading there and some of your thoughts on it. And one of the most interesting things I found out was that you are actually a school teacher as well. And that’s also my interest in how we can improve the teaching and learning of martial arts and Brazilian Jujitsu. So one of the things I was wondering is your thoughts on what the most significant crossover from teaching a class of school students is like to teaching a class of Brazilian Jujitsu students. Um, you know, the thing for me is, um, I’ve been teaching for five years now and um, I’ve always kind of worked with students with a range of learning abilities. And for me, I think that if you’re going to think about teaching on the mat or in a classroom, that’s like the lowest common denominator in teaching. We say always teach to that. I teach the lowest common denominator. So the idea is that everyone’s coming in with a different range of experiences and you have to assume that some people on the math, it’s the case of the white belt in the classroom. It might be the case of someone I’m with the very low reading ability or writing ability, you have to teach to that person. And if you can enrich the learning, then everyone else can benefit as well, if that makes sense.

Sonny Brown: (01:57)
Yeah, no, that does make sense. So [inaudible]

Jahred Dell: (02:00)
in that case then, how, so you would have a class of BJJ students, you know, white belts to black belts and would you then feel you’re just focusing on just enhancing that white belt learning? Would that not then say make it boring for some of the higher belts? Well, yeah, that’s a good question. Um, you know, from the, I mean I’ve been, I’ve been teaching and covering classes for the last like I’d say three years now when it comes to Jujitsu. So obviously like I’m more experienced in the classroom and I would not, I would not pretend like I still have a long way to go with my Jujitsu teaching. But from, from what I’ve seen is that if you can bring a detail oriented approach to the beginners, um, there’s always going to be details to be shared there with the advanced students that, hey, I’m going to inform back into the class of the less advanced students. But it’s also, it’s also a chance for the students to, to add and enrich stuff that they’ve [inaudible] might have forgotten well that they’ve been neglecting. So, you know, I, I s I do see mirror at full, like beginners and advanced classes being separate. But I think that being mixed is still crucial. Otherwise it’s just stuff that’s not getting shared across those two categories of students. If you want it, put it that way. [inaudible] [inaudible]

Jahred Dell: (03:23)
and in keeping that, that theme of, of then making it interesting for all the ranges, uh, one thing I’ve always thought of is in the classroom when the students are not engaged, they can start, uh, playing up. And the best way to keep them engaged is a, you know, is a well designed lesson. Um, and in Brazilian Jujitsu, although people won’t mock up as such, um, you will look around and get those blank stares. I think coming back at you when showing a technique or something. Yeah. If they aren’t engaged and wondering, taking those lessons from the classroom, how do you feel the best way to keep that engagement rate high in the Brazilian Jujitsu Room? Yeah, man. Um, I mean, I definitely see exactly what you’re talking about the, either that or you see guys slacking off and they’re like, oh yeah, I’ve got my, like my 10 reps.

Jahred Dell: (04:13)
And then they just sit in there, you know? Um, I think that the key thing there is specifying to those advanced students late this, inform your strategy and put it into your game. [inaudible], you know, by the time someone’s getting to late blue, early purple, they’ve got some idea of the greater context that that technique that you’re showing fits into. Um, personally I think that like a person at that level, which we’re starting to consider advanced, maybe getting purple, light, light blue, purple, Brown, black, even those guys should be seeing the move in that context and have enough responsibility in their own learning to let that in format and build from there. Um, you know, so let’s say, let’s say you’re showing like basic della Hiva entry and details for like, or a beginners [inaudible] wrap their head around. The advanced students should be able to go from that to say, oh, well this is a BACTEC I like, and then start injecting that into their drilling, you know, or, um, you know, giving good feedback to their, their training partner and stuff like that.

Jahred Dell: (05:20)
So, you know, that’s the other thing that I’ve found from teaching, and this goes back to your first question, but it also answers this is the students that I saw taking the biggest or ownership in the learnings were the ones that progress the fastest. So the advanced students, oh, the beginner student who’s just sitting there and going like, oh yeah, coach just told me to drill the arm-bar. So I’m just going to drill the Armbar. That’s great. But it’s the one who’s like going a little bit beyond that. Even if it’s just adding one detail, putting more of the setup into it because they know it and they, they’re adding it to that context, they’re going gonna progress. It’s just, okay. Yeah, it, yeah. And it creates more engagement. So yeah. So then you definitely think in the same as in the classroom where you’d encourage that creativity on people to follow the, their own interests.

Jahred Dell: (06:12)
Carry that over to the Jujitsu room where you’d give them more once, once for the higher belts, you know, they’ve got down the basics, give them more that guided discovery style of learning to show them the fundamentals and then allow their own interests to kind of take hold. Yeah, absolutely. Um, I think, I think that’s a good way of putting it. You know, um, I guess, you know, when it comes to teaching kids, like in a classroom setting or Jujitsu, they don’t know any different. So if you can start with them then and you’re putting, you’re injecting that idea into them that they are going to benefit much more later on. Um, you know, in, in the New Zealand curriculum, they’ve got a really nice statement that I like and they talk about fostering lifelong learning [inaudible] now on its own, it’s sounds a bit like catchy and Corny, but when you think about it, learning just another habit, you know, like you get up and make your bed or you wash the dishes, like learning as the same.

Jahred Dell: (07:10)
It’s putting yourself into a mindset where you can absorb and, and like informed. And I think we as adults forget that a little bit when we like step onto the mat and we like, Oh yeah, well I pay fees to be here. You know, like there’s all these other things going on in our heads and we forget that we’re actually there to absorb. And sometimes the back end, which us away from the learning and say, Oh, I’m just going to do what my coach is doing and, and like you kind of relieve yourself from any responsibility and how you’re progressing. And I see those guys progressing slower than ones who take on board all of that. They asking the [inaudible] the right questions and also adding the right techniques. [inaudible] very interesting. Yeah, we have that in the New South Wales curriculum as well. And I think what you’re trying to get at is then maybe, so we have the instructor showing the Jujitsu techniques, but it’s really, as long as people are bringing the, uh, you know, kind of that, that mindset that it’s not just the solely the moves that they’re showing that the instructor’s showing itself, but what else they can add to those moves.

Jahred Dell: (08:16)
And the, uh, benefit as a whole is going to be more constructive than just that, that one technique that they’re learning. Yeah, man. Um, uh, agreed like that all of the best instructors that I’ve seen then not just showing the move in isolation, they’re explaining to you the bigger picture of why you’re doing it. And I think that that is it, it really helps to inform you as the student on where you want to take that. Like, Oh, if he’s passing my God, he has like this retention technique that we’re working and we’re like micro drilling or we’re doing it in positional sparring. I’m not just going to do that. I’m going to add it onto things I know and see how these things work in synergy with each other. So like you’re having, you’re having your teacher there to guide you and facilitate that, like experimentation in a way that you can get strong feedback. You can ask questions. Um, and yeah, that those are, those are the times when I felt I’ve learned the most, like my progression and the like working with people like that, you just, it’s measurably different. You know?

Sonny Brown: (09:23)
Yeah. So then you would, how would you fall on the, uh, the spectrum of, you know, drilling versus concept, uh, based teaching? Um,

Jahred Dell: (09:35)
oh yeah.

Sonny Brown: (09:36)
You know, there’s, there’s always a bit of debate going on there and I think there’s always some benefits to drilling. Um, yeah. But what, what would your take on that be?

Jahred Dell: (09:46)
Yeah, I mean, you know, this is, yeah, it’s the ongoing debate. You know, like I, I’ve heard this debate, I mean, since I originally saw stuff from like kid Dale, you know, and I was like attracted to this idea because essentially I’m a lazy person. Like I was like, oh, I don’t have to do the psych a thousand times of mean like great. But, um, and I’ve heard it from Keenan as well, but to be honest, I think it’s that, it’s that contrast between beginner and advanced. Again, like you can just go to the beginning of like, Hey, here’s a concept. When they have no idea of the [inaudible] [inaudible] yet, you cannot expect them to understand. And I think that that’s the difference. You know, like Sherling is great. Well why? And even blue belt, like you can, you can get through those two belts, in my opinion on drilling because you, you’re drilling stuff to get the breadth of Jujitsu down, understanding all these techniques and how they work and then conceptually from there, once you have that right [inaudible] understanding you can build the depth underneath with concepts.

Jahred Dell: (10:51)
Um, now that’s not to say some guys are going to be not good and benefit from one way or the other more less. But I find that, yeah, that too. To kick the ladder out from drilling, I think everyone forgets what it was like to start. Like you’ve got to drill a number. Like you’ve got to drill a [inaudible] like no white belt is going to come in and going to know what you mean about framing unless they first learned how to put those frames in place. So I think the interplay between the two is really important. [inaudible] [inaudible] you can’t take either of them for granted.

Sonny Brown: (11:23)
Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, although the, I, the idea of only having to learn concepts is very attractive. Yeah. Especially for beginners. It’s, it’s difficult. You might take, you know, it might take

Jahred Dell: (11:36)

Sonny Brown: (11:37)
tens of hours just to explain some basic moves through concepts only and that might pay off dividends for them later. But it’s much easier to, in terms of economy of time for people who are, you know, have professional jobs outside of training to just show them what we’ve already learned through through thousands of hours of practice and get them to drill that. But yeah, there is that benefit too to, uh, to conceptual learning as well. Um, which brings up, what would, you know, what would you say one of the most powerful things that a Jujitsu student taking charge of their own learning that they can do to help increase their, their rate of development?

Jahred Dell: (12:20)
I think it’s like the enjoyment man. Like, um, you know, you at the bottom line, we, we do this because we like it, right? And I think some people over long hours of drilling the same stuff, maybe, um, being informed by, um, a Karcher has a specific game and then trying to emulate that, um, Mike gets stuck and frustrated because I finding stuff that isn’t working either for their physique or their technical preference, but as soon as you start to take ownership of that and you’re, you’ll call it fully conscious of your training and what you’re doing, you can start to build your own game. And I guess that’s the really attractive [inaudible] of Jujitsu is there’s no right one right way to do it. It’s this really subject of thing, but you can’t reach that unless you are fully engaged. [inaudible] that process and going, okay, okay, well why does this work for me? But why doesn’t this work for me? Like I just can’t get it [inaudible] this one’s set up to work and then looking back at it objectively and taking that ownership rather than just expecting your coach or a DVD to fix it. Um, I think

Jahred Dell: (13:30)
everyone has that answer if they take the time to reflect it. And I mean, look man, uh, I know it’s hard when people have got okay jobs and Jujitsu’s maybe just a place they coming to find some enjoyment, but that’s what it comes down to. You want to enjoy it more. [inaudible] just take some ownership of that learning process. And I think that circle, that circle of learning is, hey, for that, you know, it’s going to keep your training longer. Um, it’s gonna make the time that you do spend on the maths more enjoyable. You’re not going to leave frustrated all the time. So I really try and preach that like, um, if I’m, if I’m working with like a beginner in a private or even in a larger class, just like come back to that, how does this work for you? Why do you like to do it that way? Um, but yeah. Yeah, I guess, I guess that’s my thinking towards that. Really.

Sonny Brown: (14:19)
Yeah. So, and then that way I think if, if they are, if they are enjoying it more than that’s gonna decrease the rate of, of people dropping out and quitting Jujitsu, which you know, is a very common thing. Or, you know, for plenty of white belts and blue belts who, who, you know, don’t get that attraction to it or just don’t make it through that, you know, that that plateau of blue belt. And I guess I seem to be hearing the, the biggest thing is just creating that lifelong learner and creating that love of learning in Jujitsu. Yeah. Within individual. So what would you feel would be the best way to just to open that possibility up to someone who’s maybe coming into Jujitsu, you know, say, you know, mid, late twenties or something. They’ve got a job,

Jahred Dell: (15:05)
the, you know, the kind of set in their ways outside of there and have just looked looking for something else too to take up their free time. How would you use Jujitsu as the catalyst to open up that love of learning again? Alright, uh, that’s, that’s a really good question man. I think there’s like quite a few things there that you can angles you could take, but like the big one I would think because I see, I see this with people, you know, I was one of these people like, yes, I was 21 when I first started Jujitsu, but I’d come from a background and doing like other martial arts, you know like judo, Moitai, boxing. I’d tried all these things out as kids, so I understood what it meant. Do a martial art. I think if it’s like people’s first exposure coming in, the biggest thing is like turning off that narrative in your head.

Jahred Dell: (15:56)
That’s his like that has all of these preconceived ideas about ourselves. You know, like when we’re sitting in our jobs, we have an idea of what we’re good at, what would that at what, like what’s going on, where we fit into a structure. We have the same thing in our social lives, in our relationships, but when you come onto the mat, like as a white belt, that doesn’t really exist [inaudible] also, you don’t even know what you just is yet. You don’t know how like other people are seeing it. You, you’re still developing like what Hanzo calls Jujitsu eyes. [inaudible] I love that. I love that expression. And I think it’s so true. Like if you come in in a state of naive ignorance, you don’t even have the eyes for it yet. And I don’t mean naive ignorance as in like an insulting thing. It’s just that, that initial stage of learning when you don’t even know what you don’t know.

Jahred Dell: (16:48)
And I think people need to accept that. Like you can’t deny that when you put on a white belt. I’m a beginner, I’m new, I’m learning new things and I see that struggle and that comes back to that drop out rate. I think it’s so high because at white belt blue belt, some people are getting by on athleticism or [inaudible] um, some previous experience or even just turning up. And that’s great. [inaudible] it’s awesome, but you, you can’t late it then hit a barrier and go, oh, well I’ve now hit my perception of myself and this is confronting and then step back and not engage. Um, so yeah, I think that that would be, that would be like my number one thing. It’s just remove your internal narrative from the Mat. Just trust in the process. You know, like I think without that you’re never really going to stick at it.

Sonny Brown: (17:41)
Yes. So that, that trusting in the processes obviously then going to come back to that, the kind of that mindset first and then creating change in physical abilities that can help create a positive feedback loop that once they start learning a few of the basic techniques from the process, have some success with that, then they can kind of create their own motivation too to get those, to get those small wins that keep them coming back. So when we’re, when we’re teaching then students like how do we, what’s a good way to create those small wins for them to create that, you know, to, to fuel them.

Jahred Dell: (18:26)
Um, well I guess there’s a couple different strategies you can put in the, I think the big ones, the big ones are bite sized pieces, you know, like okay. Positioning, putting them in positions where they can see how techniques work. I don’t think there’s much point in putting like a white belt into a class and going, hey, here’s an ombre. Okay, now we’re rolling for an Alex. Go for it. And then they’ve got no idea, you know? Um, I think things like positional sparring, um, even some just specific drilling at higher intensities with a little bit more resistance can help them build to that idea of confidence, especially if they’ve never come from any like contact or, um, you know, it kind of sparring oriented martial arts. They need to understand how another body feels and where they can find that success. Um, so it’s about framing that class, you know?

Jahred Dell: (19:22)
Um, and yeah, I don’t know if introducing your [inaudible] three session brand new white belt. It’s aspiring, it’s exciting, but that can be a big turn off right off the bath with someone if they, if all they know is an AAMBAA, you know, they don’t even know like clothes God, yet things like that. So smaller bite sized chunks I think are really good. It’s something that I’ve seen my instructor up kid doing. You know, like you have your color belts in the middle. Working with rotating begin is coming through doing positional sparring and giving them the leeway to practice that. Take Nick, you know, if things mock up, they get punished for it. If it’s working, they get to see why it’s working and why it’s successful. Um, [inaudible] I see that working well, you know, cause your higher belts should be the ones that can help facilitate that learning process, you know?

Sonny Brown: (20:17)
Yeah. It’s interesting now I think there’s, you know, over time there has been a bit of a, a shift in some attitudes with Jujitsu because I feel a lot of the, the higher belts at least, uh, than I know when they first went into Jujitsu schools, it was still, you know, being proven, uh, or, you know, not still being proven, but had a lot to prove, uh, as a martial art. And like, my first experience I remember was getting, you know, it was getting smashed. Uh, but for whatever reason I thought, you know, this is something, all right, I have to learn. You know, I want to, I want to be able to do that. I want to see what was going on there. Um, how was your, your first experience and what drew you to, to, to keep coming back then?

Jahred Dell: (21:04)
Yeah, mine was, mine was pretty similar to be honest. Spray it like I was, um, I was at uni and I was doing boxing and at my, at this academy that also had Jujitsu, um, having done judo as a kid, I was pretty familiar with what a gay was and what like a Randori and there was was so like ground technique and everything. But when they, um, when I saw it there in person, I was like, oh, hang on, this is, this is that shit they were doing in UFC. And I was like, this can’t be harder than getting punched in the face. I think I’m going to give it a try. Like it can’t be that, that, and then I’d go fuck that. Like real bad, my first session man. But it was fortunately, it was, it was in a class where I felt comfortable, you know, it wasn’t like absolute murder.

Jahred Dell: (21:53)
I wasn’t getting like [inaudible] wasn’t yeah. [inaudible] Dick move kind of ass whipping it was that like kind of controlled technical feeding that you get from it. Nicely behaved high belt. Um, I do like what you said earlier though, you know, like yeah, some seasoned like some seasoned and older more experienced belts are gonna experience that like, um, yeah, that had to test that against people who don’t necessarily believe it’s true. But I think, I think there’s something important to consider in that the fact is not everyone’s coming to do that. A lot of people these days especially are coming in because they interested in learning and these, um, you know, the higher belts are your first, your first line of people who can contribute to that learning, not just the instructor. So yeah, I guess you’ve heard that saying as well, where it’s like you’re, you, you’re not there for yourself, you’re there for someone else. I think people need to let that inform it. You know, even the athletes, like even active competitors and stuff. In my opinion, I feel that these people are the ones who should be really helping out begin as where they can, you know, not for like two hours after a class, but if the guy’s got a genuine question, um, I think, I think that’s a valid, a valid place to be doing it, you know, contribute, give back like the same that we were given, you know?

Sonny Brown: (23:15)
Yeah. Yeah. You raise a good point in that, although there’s always, you know, the head, the head of the school or the class instructor, the, the entire culture of a, of a gym or a classroom will really have a bigger effect on the, on the individual if, well everyone involved in the class is all helping each other and, you know, you know, you have the competitors helping them, the, the white belts you have the, and you know, vice versa. And, you know, what is

Jahred Dell: (23:46)
the best way to kind of encourage that, that culture of, you know, cooperative learning and, and peer teaching, uh, within, within the martial arts school and within the classroom as well. Yeah, man. Um, so I think one of the reasons I’ve gotten into that mindset is because I saw it in the classroom at first. Like a student would never ask me first if they didn’t understand what I’d said. They turn to their friend and they are, you know, like, you know, when I first started you just saying I was coming up, um, like to, to any form of technique, sometimes you instruct is not right there to ask you. And being a white belt and regularly being partnered with a purple belt or a brown belt like really, really helped me to understand this man because I was working with [inaudible] patient guys who do like really wanted to help me.

Jahred Dell: (24:38)
When they saw I was keen on learning and I was there every day, I think that was a huge thing cause they said, oh cool, well here’s a body that I can use. Um, he’s keen on learning and he’s not going to complain. [inaudible] and you know, I just said, cool man. Well [inaudible] you know, you’re this purple bow, you’ve been doing this for like eight years. Like help me like, and you know, not constantly badgering them for answers, but you know, in the context of it, getting feedback from them I think is such a huge thing. Do you feel that sense of collegiality and sharing in your school? I think that’s probably the best way to get it kicked off because

Jahred Dell: (25:17)
as an instructor, you know when you model that behavior you see other people doing it too. Oh that was cool. How’d you do that? Asking questions like even even if it’s to a low belt, some guys just do cool shit you’ve never seen before. And I think, I think it’s really important for any instructor even if you know it, to kind of ask that and yeah, it comes back to giving students ownership but something, hey, that was a really cool detail. How did you do that? Like that over this basically it’s engaging for your students in your class. Well like they’ve got something greater to offer. Um, I see, I see my instructors doing that all the time and you know, they’ll go, hey, you know, this is something you do really well. Like you caught me with that legitimately, why, how do you get it to work? Show us. And then, you know, it taking a step back, not having to be the one, um, right at the center of the room or at the front if you want to put it that way. But like allowing these people to also inform the bigger picture of what’s going on.

Sonny Brown: (26:14)
Yeah. So I think that that idea of that feedback, uh, that feedback loop is so important then and like getting that feedback from the students, which of course in the classroom is something that’s always, you know, talked about as being most important, um, giving that constant feedback to students. And so we’re in the, when Jujitsu’s going on, what do you think, you know, where are the best spots to apply that feedback to the, um,

Jahred Dell: (26:44)
because there’s only one, you know, there’s one instructor up, up the top, front of the class. They can’t see everything. How do we create that, that constant feedback loop within the, within the Jujitsu classroom? Yeah, that’s a good question, man. Um, you know, uh, that can start with something, like I say, uh, like this, there’s going to be other ways that I’m sure people will be able to suggest. But the ones that I see working the best is making sure that you have the time during drilling sequences to get around to people, um, seeing how they’re doing things and then also addressing the common errors in the classroom. That was a great, um, a great, like that piece of advice that I was given by a, an old coach of mine was if you’re teaching and you see the era being done by a number of people, not just to try and fix it with one person, but to actually bring everyone back together and then address that because it’s clearly something that’s occurring for a number of years.

Jahred Dell: (27:41)
People. Um, I thought that that was a nice way. That’s hey, economic and it’s efficient. So to address that and give a lot of people the same feedback that’s obviously needed. Um, you know, things like positional sparring or how are you, even if we say shark tank, God forbid, but like I think that that’s great. You know, if you’ve got like active competitors who need to get their cardio up and they’ve got things coming up, put them in the middle, um, it get them cycling through with fresh opponents or fresh training partners. And then you can see and critique both people’s feedback in a very controlled way, you know, start them from specific positions. Um, you know, all of these different modalities exist for us to mess around with as an instructor. Um, and then, you know, also just seeking advice at the end of class.

Jahred Dell: (28:31)
You know, like I’m under no impression that icon improve. And I think the first thing to do there is just to ask questions. Hey, how’d you think that Class Wade did I did you think I missed anything? Like I’ve got a number of guys who, if, if I have to cover a class and I’m, I’m teaching, I’ll ask and pick their brains afterwards, you know, how’d you think that went? What can I do to improve? Yeah. Piece of teaching. Um, but yeah, it’s just modeling the same kind of learning you want to see in your students all the time. I think, yeah, that’s a, it’s an interesting point with getting feedback from the class. Cause I’ve, I’ve always found that if I, you know, if I ask for feedback, everyone’s generally very polite and that they’ll always feel that I’ll always give positive feedback and it’s can sometimes make it hard to actually know if there’s something that they would like to say, but just, you know, social decorum prohibits them from feeling confident enough to say, Oh, you know, you could, could’ve improved here or you could have improved there. Um, have you experienced that yourself or you have any thoughts on, on dealing with that? Yeah, yeah, definitely. I’d agree with you there. Like, um, it’s very seldom that I’ll actually ask the entire class and that’s not because I don’t value their opinion, but some people don’t understand, um, how to give formative feedback. Hmm. So

Sonny Brown: (29:58)

Jahred Dell: (29:59)
Um, my first thing is to ask people that I trust my regular training partners, [inaudible] guys that have been, that attained the same classes as I do. They’re also like the ones that are close friends of mine, I’ll pick their brains because I know they’ll be honest with me. I mean, I guess that’s a, that depends on you like to keep a strains. But, um, I’d rather, I’d rather my friend from training shoots from the hip and it tells me exactly where I fucked up, you know,

Sonny Brown: (30:27)
may Tom.

Jahred Dell: (30:29)
Yeah. So I’d rather ask very specific people that they know me, they know my technique, they know my teaching style, so they can go, yeah, look, I thought that was a great class. Everyone was engaged, but, um, I’ve thought that you may be, I could have spent more time on this detail or something like that. And yeah, just even small gems like that, I feel, um, I can take away and then it informs me for next time.

Sonny Brown: (30:55)
Yeah. Okay. So, yeah, definitely having that, hopefully those, you know, those trusted people in the classroom, in the classroom, in the Jujitsu room that you can, you can rely on. I think that is one thing with, uh, with teaching, you do get used to that, you know, that formative feedback and uh, yeah, so that’s, you know, that kind of comprises the role of what the, the teacher can do. Um, you know, how to feel that the, you know, students, we can, we can encourage them to give feedback to the, to the other students. I mean, I like one idea that I’ve come across is, you know, giving them a set set list of things to pay attention to during, during roles and, you know, then bring those up at the end of a roll with their student without, uh, with, with their rolling partner, without coming across as of course, condescending because there’s always the, the inevitable dread of, of having to, to criticize someone else, um, on what they’re doing. Is there a, is there a good way of approaching that?

Jahred Dell: (32:05)
That’s a, that’s a good question, man. Lie. Um, I think, you know, like we said earlier, some people are more understanding of how to give feedback then other people are. Um, and I don’t know, like sometimes I guess with rolling that can be a difficult thing cause we get like, I see a whole range of that kind of narrative playing out from then you’re really strong, you know, like the underhanded in. So

Sonny Brown: (32:33)
last time

Jahred Dell: (32:34)
you’re very athletic but not using much to take knee to the, uh, it was more of a crank and it’s I, yeah, but I love that one because it’s like it was a crank, but you tap so he’s, it’s like, yeah, it’s not good feedback. It’s like, look, that was cranking, I had to tap because of appreciate it. But the, the strangulation wasn’t the primary reason I tapped. I think that if they can, if they can communicate it more clearly and it doesn’t come across as that, like real salty, um, yeah, you only won through physical strength kind of five, you know? Um, so communication, I think it comes down to communication and they only gonna know how to do that, whether it’s rolling or drilling because of what is explicitly stated by the instructor. Maybe that time actually needs to be taken to say, hey guys, if you find yourself in a crank tap to protect yourself and then give you your opponent or training partner, however you want to say it.

Jahred Dell: (33:41)
Some feedback on how they could have made that more of a strangle or more of a more effective. So yeah, I dunno. I guess it just comes back to clear communication and not ruffling people’s failures. You know, cause I’m communication gets lost, you know, like the adrenaline’s up. Um, you know, you’ve just had six, seven, 10 minutes of rolling, keep it short, say something positive. Um, and if even if it was something negative, try and frame it in a way that doesn’t come across as, oh, he was upset, he got subbed or he was just upset that this work, even though it was just string. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good point that we have. We have these names, all these sayings like, you know, we know it’s, you know, it was a crank moves more of a crank or you know, you’re very strong as those underhanded compliments or the, we have these maims for feedback that are actually useless for feedback.

Jahred Dell: (34:43)
Those whenever that happens is a good point, is a good moment to actually share something interesting. And instead we have these memes of, you know, the underhanded kind of, you know, ego changed comments that Jujitsu’s really supposed to. Yeah. We’ll advertise that it will, that it will get, you know, a remove from a students. So definitely. So, yeah. I I, yeah, that’s, that’s pretty cool point. Yeah. Sorry to interrupt that point there. But like I think, I think the other big thing is this, certain positions to come out of with the back is always going to sound better and there’s some way, it’s always gonna sound worse. Like if you just got subbed and then you want to like give a guy feedback, it’s very seldom that a person is going to be able to take that well because they’re gonna feel a number of ways.

Jahred Dell: (35:34)
About that. Whether it’s like, oh, he was trying to coach to the submission or ah, yeah, he was only giving me that because he felt bad about getting subs. Like I can totally see where that comes out. And then in that situation, if that’s happening in the gym, I think it’s up to a coach to be like, Hey, yeah, only trust certain people that give feedback. You know, like the me, the feedback process was a bit different because [inaudible] I love, I went through a stage where I was like obsessed with foot locks, you know, and a lot of guys were trying to figure out the defense and the training room. Um, a lot of the defense was incorrect and I’d have to let go of the sub, not to injury guy. Mm. At that point I’m just going to leave it. And then at the end of the role address it, you know, after everything’s happened because I’ve started to kind of, um, think about this idea of like, no talking while you’re rolling, but once I get to the end, then I’ll give some feedback to the guy, you know, like, Hey, you know, um, that time you tried to escape the footlocker there, I actually had to let go to save you.

Jahred Dell: (36:39)
This is what you should be looking at doing. But this was already in a position where I was a more experienced belt. So I don’t know if you maybe want to put in rules about like, yeah, I’ve done no talking during rolling or, um, if you’re a low belt, please ask like a high about, you know, I’ve seen some schools with these kind of a more structured ways of doing it and I don’t think there’s any one right way to do it. You know, it all depends on the dynamic of who you’re teaching. You know, you’ve got a room full of athletes, competitors, um, have you got a lot of like, um, hobbyists, you’ve got a, you’ve got a since the room before that. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good point. So yeah, even for myself, I remember I used to, um, you know, on a couple of occasions people would be going for chokes and it wouldn’t be quite right.

Jahred Dell: (37:27)
They would be a lower belt and I’d feel, you know, I’d start coaching them through how to finish. And it wasn’t actually until I saw the maims from that that I realized that that’s what I was doing and have quickly, you know, stop doing that now. We don’t, we’ll only give the feedback once the roles, once the roles finished. Um, yeah. But yeah, it’s so funny how my name’s three that I like. It’s things that like they funny as hell, but then they go, oh shit. Like, oh was not doing that. Like, and then it makes us reflect light. Even, even if we thought what we were doing was right and it still might even be, it’s funny how like that perception can be a lot [inaudible] changed by that I guess. Yeah. Well and so universal as well. Yeah. Like it’s, you know, probably similar on the other side of the world doing the same thing.

Jahred Dell: (38:21)
And I thought, oh my God, that’s me. That’s me. I better stop that. Okay. Yeah. Um, you know, and I think that it’s one of the funniest things about seeing the community is like everyone has the same problems, you know, like you just lose the same everywhere. Like you can’t tell me any different because like you see it, like whether it’s New Zealand that whether it’s I can Thailand anyway, man that I’ve traveled the same shit happens on the mat every way, bro. Like, um, and I think on reflection of that, you just go, yeah, you know, these things, you know, it is funny and it should be viewed as fun. Like, I think the worst parts of Jujitsu occur when people take the too seriously. [inaudible] in any possible scenario. Okay. You see the most toxic stuff coming out when stuff happens too seriously. Hmm. So that’s a good point of keeping, you know, keeping learning fun as a way to, to keep people engaged.

Jahred Dell: (39:23)
And this is something I’m struggling explaining to people, really understanding myself when, when dealing in the classroom that there’s inevitably going to be things that a student’s going to find boring that you know, and then it’s becomes the job of the teacher to somehow make that uh, engaging. But there’s always still those things that, you know, getting, getting the reps in is just going to be part of it. You know, taking, there’s always going to be the bad days that, you know, that’s just something that you’re just not enjoying. Um, and then, yeah, when, when that’s happening in the classroom and in Jujitsu, how do you take those things that unnecessary but very, you know, difficult to make. Interesting. And how do you make someone, you know, how do you bring them along to find those things? Interesting.

Jahred Dell: (40:19)
Yeah, man, I think that comes to the core of anything. Then there’s just going to be shit that’s not fun. Mm. Like, you know, there’s always going to be something about a process that is going to be hard work and it’s not going to be enjoyable. And you know, like I, I’m [inaudible] 28 now and I see a lot of people around my age who like, if I want all the best parts of a process, but as soon as this resistance, Nah, it’s too hard, or I’ve got better things to do and you know, then the excuses start to come out and it’s like pushing against the inertia of ego. Um, and yeah, I just, I think for me that’s the big thing is trusting in the process wholeheartedly. Because, you know, in any training room you see dudes who’ve got to purple to Brown and to black bell, they got their embracing the same sucky stuff that we’ve got to do now.

Jahred Dell: (41:18)
Like there was no shortcut. They didn’t just roll up with like a black belt one day. Um, you know, I see some people going like, oh yeah, well, you know, go on Ryan. Or this guy got his belt. And like three or five years. And it’s like, yeah, because they were in the training room for six hours a day. You think that they just short, how did the, the worst parts? No, they just did it. Boston like that did more of it. They got the 10,000 hours quicker. Um, and that’s something I say to my life, um, to my kids in a, in a teaching environment, like in a high school environment because I’m saying to them, you know, like if you are here and you’re engaged, you will, you won’t just pass, but you’re going to learn. And it’s just about like consciously rolling up and, and doing what has to be done.

Jahred Dell: (42:05)
Sometimes it’s going to be cool. They aspects of anything that’s fun to do, but when you start getting into the finer points, you’ve actually got to push. You’ve got to push against stuff that’s really hard. You gotta put stuff against things that confront your description of yourself and you know, you’ve got to, you’ve got to work around it. Um, and the people that aren’t willing to do that are usually the ones like you said earlier, that, um, are affected by the high attrition rate of the sport. They don’t like what they’re shown when that Murray gets held up. Um, and you know, okay. It’s so hard to say that you just lose for everyone. Mm. It should be if everyone can engage with the process but some people are unwilling to Jujitsu’s for everyone but not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Mm.

Jahred Dell: (42:55)
And I do wonder, we’ve discussed, uh, so much you know, on or generating the feedback and building that, that culture. But if when it comes to that, just doing what needs to be done that a does have to be more of like an authoritarian approach with the instructor just being strict and, and then the by process then the student being strict on themselves and that this, there’s certain things that they’ll just have to have to do no matter what. And Yeah, keep it, keep on turning up when you know, when its been a rough week, when it’s been a rough day and can stay in consistent no matter how they’re feeling, if that’s just something that has to be, you know, I’m just that authoritarian mindset for, for that particular part. Okay. Yeah man. Um, you know the one thing that was um, drilled into me early on at Teacher’s college that stuck with me and I see it now in Jujitsu as well, especially now that we’re talking about it, but it’s the idea that a teacher is like in a way an actor like and a bit of a chameleon because not everyone in that room wants the same thing from you.

Jahred Dell: (44:12)
So you can’t just go in and be the, like you said, the authoritarian to everyone because you might have a room one night that has no competitors in it and it’s got some people that are hobbyists and people that are doing it for self defense or just even for fun. And you need to saints the room and be the person that need you to be as the teacher they paying at the end of the day. So that’s your responsibility. It’s your job. It’s literally what they’re expecting from you in your service. The thing I think that comes from the student’s perspective is how much you’re putting into, you know, and to be honest with yourself about that, I see hobbyists who, um, have that have this air about it, that they, they are doing the most in the room and it’s maybe because they don’t know any different or maybe they haven’t engaged enough to see that or they think that the three times a week that they coming means that everyone else was only doing three days a week.

Jahred Dell: (45:09)
They’re still in that stage of what we called naive ignorance. But man, it’s, it’s, it’s an inter interplay between the teacher and what the students bringing and they’ve got to meet in the middle. Like I know when I rock up, I need some times and authoritarian approach. Like I need my coach on a hard competition training to be like, you were in every round, this is what you need to focus on. Go ahead and do it. And there’s no excuse. And I’ve just got engaged in that and if I quit, then it’s on me. But then I haven’t trusted the process and my coach I have to trust. Um, and that’s, that’s from a competitive perspective as the hobbyist, I needed something different. But yeah, it’s this, you have to meet the needs I suppose.

Sonny Brown: (45:55)
Mm. And that’s something, I guess just knowing, uh, knowing the students and knowing the individuals so you can kind of, I guess Taylor Taylor, what you’re doing there with the, with the individual learning plan as such. And so that’s interesting. The idea of then the teacher as an actor. Um, because of course with martial arts, that’s something that can get taken to the extreme where people will bestow themselves with lavish titles and ask that, you know, all sorts of things from their students. Um, you know, with, with, you know, calling themselves master or, or you can, you know, or we can go down that path of what would be called Bull Szeto by acting too much. How do you think that that can, that can be tempered then within, uh, in Jujitsu or where do you think the, the line should be drawn between, between acting for in the, in the martial arts room?

Jahred Dell: (46:57)
I, yeah, that’s a, that’s a good question. I think it’s a, you have to have this moderated approach. When I say, when I say acting, I don’t think of it in the sense of amplifying personality because then we do get all of these feed and problems with ego and um, you know, trying to, it tried to have everything lone through your own trumpet. You see some of the best teachers in the sport, man, like you think of, you think of these names. Like, I certainly think of a Marcello [inaudible], you know, having seen how 80 bravo teachers, I definitely see, I definitely see that too. Um, these, these are people who are able to express their ideas in a way that retains attention but also requires engagement from their students. You know, they’ll regularly break instruction to ask a question or to give feed in from a student. Um, you know, I, that was something really good that I saw from them, you know, and yeah, it prevents a student from switching off, but it’s not about personality. It’s not going like, oh, you know, like back in 2012 I pulled this off in a competition that won me golden with three seconds to go. It’s not about that, it’s about like, it’s about being able to [inaudible] ah, like a context or um, a frame

Jahred Dell: (48:20)
that the student can see very clearly. Um, whether that’s the discipline of the classroom or literary the technique that you’re working on within one hour.

Sonny Brown: (48:31)
Yeah, that’s very, very interesting. Cause even I find myself sometimes tempted when, you know, teaching a technique, I wanted to kind of discuss, you know, yeah, this, this, this, you guys should have the confidence in this technique because it worked for me here, or, or, or such like that. Instead of just having that, that belief in it’s, you know, just in itself or just, you know, not having to feel the need to explain that to people. Um, so yeah.

Jahred Dell: (48:59)
Yeah. It’s, I like what you’ve said there because you know, a lot of people talk about high percentage, you know, is it objectively high percentage or is it high percentage for you because it’s a preference of yours. There’s a big difference there, so I’m glad you, yeah, I’m glad you hit on that.

Sonny Brown: (49:18)
Yeah. So then what do you feel like you talk about building that frames or just how is the best way to just give that confidence, you know, have that confidence within yourself that the students are going to have confidence within your teaching?

Jahred Dell: (49:33)
Oh Man. Um, the me, that actually comes from originally being really hard on myself as a teacher. Like I used to leave every class that I taught, thinking I’d bombed out, you know, and I started, I started down that route because when I was at the teachers college, I had like a, a bunch of, uh, people observing me that were really, really hot. Like probably a little bit excessively harsh. They didn’t like, it didn’t allow much reflection from me, but they were like, yes. So how did you feel that wins? Ah, yeah, I don’t think that was great. Like, you know, just

Sonny Brown: (50:09)

Jahred Dell: (50:10)
for me it was like these big knocks, the confidence, but it puts me into a state of mind where it made me realize how little I was actually aware of and about what I was doing in a classroom setting. So I built a natural reflection technique and they where I was going, oh, how do I think that went? How do I think that went? Like literally with everything I did, why am I doing that? Why am I trying to get students to do this? What’s the biggest picture? So anytime I teach a class in Jujitsu now w whether it’s filling in or whether it’s at a workshop, I’m saying, hey guys, the goal today is the specific thing I want you to leave with a the and see, you know, um, we’re going to have times with question and I lay it out, uh, lay it out before the class.

Jahred Dell: (50:55)
So students are aware and there’s no surprises. I think when you take surprises out of it, there’s is a confidence for the students because they like they can brace for impact if you want to call it that. [inaudible] and that can go great. This is what we’re working on. Um, oh I know some of us, I remember us doing this six weeks ago. Right. [inaudible] um, prior knowledge builds confidence too. So yeah, I think, I think all of those things play into me feeling confident in the students doing it plus thing. I see them rolling or whether it’s, um, you know, so this specific spiring um, positional stuff and I can say, oh yeah. Okay. I want to see your working from Della Hiva cause we’ve just been working now for three weeks. Um, and then if they still missing some details then I’m like, okay, well that’s a problem specific to this person.

Jahred Dell: (51:41)
And then you work on that and either give them that feedback in some spare time around the class, we’ll have them work on it, you know, um, because maybe they’re not aware that they don’t know [inaudible] [inaudible] and so you touched on something there that’s probably invaluable in that the process of lesson planning, um, to g to give you that confidence within the lesson and just, you know, knowing well beforehand, uh, what it is you’re going to teach and how you’re going to teach it. I’m just wondering then like what, what have you taken from planning lessons for the classroom over into the Jujitsu realm and what would your normal habit of planning for a Jujitsu lesson look like? So that’s, that’s really important I think, man. Like I think you see, you see some of these bigger schools, whether it’s like Gracie Bajo, Barrow, Jujitsu and stuff with the very comprehensive curriculum.

Jahred Dell: (52:36)
And I think this huge amounts of merit to that, um, you know, I’ve seen it in teaching as well. When you come into a department in a school that as well resourced has planned out curriculum and unit plans, if you want to call it that segments of learning, you know, it’s much easier to deliver that and inject meaningful light lessons, um, then kind of ragged all over the place stuff where you’re just nitpicking as it comes to you. I think in very few cases, unless you’re a really good natural teacher that that’s going to work. Um, just because, yeah, well if, if you don’t have a plan going in, you don’t have the time to consider the variables who’s in the class. All of those things we’ve been talking about. [inaudible] you have to free brain up. And I think sometimes the planning thing is crucial for that.

Jahred Dell: (53:29)
Um, I’m just, I’m very lucky that like, just, I think, I guess it’s the way my brain works in that and I’ve been doing it for five years in a classroom setting. I have a very good idea of the direction we’re going in. And what details need to be covered, but it’s because my oldest doesn’t know my students. Um, I can sit there and go, okay, well I know students one through five, I really confident with the idea of grammar, but students five through 10 I really struggling with full stops and commas, I’m going to address that as a whole class thing so that they don’t feel really dumb about what they do. I’ll take the same thing into my, into any teaching that I’ve got to do on the maths, you know, like, um, if I’m covering, if I’m covering an evening class where, um, one of our specific instructors for the last two weeks has been covering, let’s say, ah, God pulling, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stick with what they’ve been doing.

Jahred Dell: (54:24)
So there’s a theme that people are familiar with. I’m not about to go, hey guys, here’s some really out there Scifi shit that has nothing to do with what we’ve been building on, you know? Yeah. Like build, build on things that students feel confident with. Add one or two things. If you have advanced people in the room, give them the onus to add what they want. Awesome. Same questions to add in cause um, it’s been kind of regular now where like I’ll be, I’ll be a purple belt taking their class and you’ve got a brown belt deciding to drop in. I still want them to be able to get benefit out of that even if they’re not the one that’s going to instruct the class because they haven’t been there seeing direction and the structure and the curriculum of what’s going on. Um, yeah, I think it’s huge, man.

Jahred Dell: (55:11)
I, I, I know some schools, um, you know, more competitive focus might not do it that way. There’s, there’s different structures and there’s, there’s merit to all of them. But I think if you, if you’ve got an academy that compensates for everyone and accommodates everyone, you have to have some kind of structure in there. Otherwise it’s just going to be a lot of people who lost and have good pictures of some of Jujitsu and then big holes in their game and other parts. And you know, [inaudible] if any, even hobbyists have aspirations to compete, big holes get exposed and that can often be a big, um, [inaudible] unmotivated or, um, disappointment for them and it can lead to that drop off once again. Mm. So that really drives home the, you know, the importance of curriculum and having a good curriculum established. Um, which is interesting cause of course Jujitsu changes so quickly and you know, there’s always such a, you know, especially with, um, you know, things like Instagram that there’ll be the new moves coming up every single day that students are coming to class to see. And,

Sonny Brown: (56:24)
you know, how would you feel the process of establishing something into the curriculum should go for some, for some UA things? Or would you think it’d be better just to have, you know, solid fundamentals in that, in that curriculum?

Jahred Dell: (56:37)
Man? Uh, that’s, yeah, I think the, the Shim massive inflammation on Youtube and social media these days really can dilute what’s going on within a school and within learning. I think it’s so uninformed to take a technique off like off of social media, off of Youtube, Instagram, where have you seen it? And they just teach it. You know, like that would be like me going into a history classroom. I’m going all right, well let’s watch like 20 minutes of a history documentary and then we’re going to write an essay on it. [inaudible] it doesn’t work. MMM. Like you have to understand the full context of why it’s happening. When does this work, have you applied it like against resisting opponents? Cause that’s the big one I see online and this is my biggest fear and like my friends and I, my friends and I have this running joke at the moment about [inaudible] like we call it a Scifi technique is one that’s just like done against the non resisting opponent. Never been trialed in competition and gets like 1,015 a thousand likes on Instagram or whatever. Yeah,

Sonny Brown: (57:51)
it looks very cool.

Jahred Dell: (57:53)
Yeah. Yeah. It looks like lasers and yeah, and like spaceships, you know. But at the bottom line cut the bullshit. Like, we want to see it work in real time. It trial tasted stuff, you know, like right. You got like a back flip entrance to like MNR a row like into like it outside of Hill Hook or whatever. It’s like, yeah, Grande. How many times have you hit this? You know,

Sonny Brown: (58:19)
I think I saw that one this morning.

Jahred Dell: (58:24)
Yeah, but look, okay I, and this is it. It’s not to knock the creative process of some people because at the end of the day it is called Marshall. Oh, it’s for a reason. Ah, it’s because these expression and these creativity in there and I think seeing some of these options that these guys come up with is [inaudible] is amazing. Like I have to, if I see something cool online, I mean don’t get me wrong, I still engage with it. I still like it. I still, I still want to know man, how did he do that? But I’m way past the point now of going, hey, do you mind if I try this one youtube technique on you? Like get Outta here with that Shit, man. Hit It on me when we roll, like see the live application of it, because that’s what’s really gonna make sense to a person at any level. White Belt, all black belt, you know, you’re not just going to pick up a baron Bolo and, and of offline and then suddenly expect a hidden in class the first time.

Sonny Brown: (59:16)
Doesn’t work that way. Yeah. So, sure. So, sure. So I think this has been a great conversation, Jared. And I’ll just finish up with one last question basically of is there any unusual habits on your martial arts training that you believe help you, we’ve talked about the structure of curriculum then, but is there anything unstructured or you know, Scifi stuff that you enjoy that a, that you think fits you?

Jahred Dell: (59:45)
Yeah, Bro, for sure. Um, you know, the big ones me when I was a white belt, right, right about to get into competition was having something outside of the training, outside of physical activity that’ll help me. Um, so for the first time when I was, I think I was like 23, I read, I’m Musashi’s, uh, the book of five rings, like classic. Okay. Cannon martial arts book to read, but from that point on, whether it was reading or completely disengaging from the subject of Jujitsu, I found that I needed like an hour a day to do that because it’s got to the point now at work where even though I’m working and I’m teaching and I’m engaged mentally, I’m still thinking about you, Jesse. Um, you know, it’s got that all consuming, uh, quality about it. [inaudible] as someone who’s a little bit OCD in that way, I had to find a way to switch off.

Jahred Dell: (01:00:39)
Um hmm. Not with physical exercise, not with anything. And so whether that gaming, like I do a fair bit of gaming. I’m watching a TV show, reading a book book, listening to a podcast. I Dunno if it’s Wacky, but like, I mean, I find for me that I need to do that to switch off. Otherwise I’m going into my training, not fully present and Boone’s out. Um, I’m just trying to think what other kinds of things. Yeah, I’d say, I would say that’s pretty much about it really. Um, you know, once you started getting into that routine, it’s pretty hard to, to get out of it. Like, I love watching a movie, like I’ll go and watch any kind of movie that’s on, especially on like a weekend, um, usually Sundays, the day off. So I’ll just do like literally nothing if I don’t have privates lined up, I’m not doing anything too, just to relate it on a Sunday. Um, and literally would just like try my best not to talk about it and not see any of that. Maybe write up my articles for the week and then that’s about it. You know, the writing process is a big one for me. Like if I’m grappling with an idea in my brain about Jujitsu, I’ll write it down. Um, that’s, that’s a huge one for me. Yeah.

Sonny Brown: (01:01:55)
So with that, uh, then if you’re, you know, reading the book, you mentioned the book of the five rigs or writing, is there, is there another book that you’ve, you know, that you’ve found most influential in your teaching style?

Jahred Dell: (01:02:08)
Oh, man. Um, I’m just looking on my shelf here. Um, it’s growing by the day. Um, yeah, I’ve got like, um, I do have Sally who barrows, uh, Jujitsu University. I found that really good. Yep. But I found mastering Jujitsu by Danaher to be pretty informative. Like I actually stumbled across that recently. Yeah, it’s really good. Um, I only got it recently. Um, and I still just go back to it and I look at some of, I mean it’s highly conceptual, you know, like we are talking about earlier, um, very like very abstracted ideas. And I guess that’s why Adeno is considered like almost in a mystical sense. Um, because he has these, he has an understanding of concept that I’d probably say second to none. Um, I will often read like some of my, um, some of my old favorite philosophers, like cal papa is a favorite of mine.

Jahred Dell: (01:03:05)
Um, he’s a philosopher of science. Yeah. Philosopher of science. Um, you know, he came up, you know, the tomb pseudo science. Um, yeah, he’s actually created to creating that term. So this is no, no small influence on the state of science. Um, I, I’ve, a lot of my learning has been informed by his ideas of how a paradigm is formed, you know, and the metagame of something in Jujitsu is closely related to a scientific paradigm. So I often go back to his stuff and I read, I read a lot of his things. Um, yeah, I’ll send you through some of essays. Um, excellent. He’s pretty well written. Yeah. And then guys like a bitch and Russell very, very interesting philosophers that there’s a lot of crossover that, you know, it doesn’t just apply within their field. It’s got that a kind of transcendence in a lot of ways. Yeah. Um, I guess pretty nerdy with the philosophy stuff, um, as it’s one of the things I teach, but I studied at university, so I guess that would be, and a little bit left field in terms of things I do outside of Jujitsu.

Sonny Brown: (01:04:12)
No, that’s good. I’ll be interested in checking out what you’ve got to send through to me. And Jared, this has been an excellent conversation that I’ve really enjoyed and have taken a lot from. Um, and hopefully when we share this out there, everyone else will, will enjoy from it as well. Um, so much to, to process. If the people want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way they can, they can follow you.

Jahred Dell: (01:04:39)
Yeah. Thank you man. Um, so I am pretty active on Facebook through articulate BJJ. Um, obviously I publish all my writing too, articulate Um, I mean that’s my handle on Instagram as well. It’s just

Sonny Brown: (01:04:55)

Jahred Dell: (01:04:55)
articulate BJJ. You know, I, I tried to write at least three times a week, but um, I’m pretty active all the time. Yeah. Just if people want to hit me up, usually usually engaged with everyone that messages me through the blog. Um, but yeah. Thanks. Thanks very much for your time, man. It’s been really awesome to talk.

Sonny Brown: (01:05:15)
Yeah. Being great conversation. I really, really appreciate that. Well, um, yeah, thanks. Thanks a lot. And uh, hopefully we can do this again sometime in the future. Yeah, I’d love to. Thank you. Bye. Awesome. Right. I’ll let you go. You have a great evening. And that’s it for this episode of the Sonny Brown breakdown. If you can please leave a review on the apple store and also check out Sonny for links to my youtube channel and other social media pages. Thank you.