May 29, 2012

How Do I Maximize My Learning During Class?

I just spent a week travelling with Royce training at seminars and private lessons. During each lesson Royce would ask, “Guys, Questions?” To my amazement the room would always go quiet! Here stands Royce Gracie willing to share his secrets of grappling and you could hear a pin drop. Royce is a 3 time undisputed UFC champion, is the son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie, has met and/or trained with almost every grappler of historical importance on the planet and nobody had any questions. What!?

Asking questions during class is crucial to your learning curve. Ask your questions! If you are wondering about something then most likely someone else is wondering about it too. Are you clear about what to do in every position of the hierarchy? Are there techniques that you get caught with again and again? Are there techniques you just cannot execute again and again? Are you clear on all aspects of how you should arrange your training time? How to divide your time between technique, sparring, and conditioning? Do you know everything there is to know about competition? What about formulating strategies against specific opponents? I’m positive you don’t because everybody – even the superstar coaches of Scranton MMA – is learning new technique and strategy all the time.

The most important thing to remember when asking questions is to be specific and to be relevant. Specific? Don’t be vague – I can’t describe it any better than that. Relevant? If the class was centered on back mount submissions don’t ask a question about butterfly guard passing. When asking a question of an instructor think in terms such as:

“What  is the best strategy when you’re in this specific situation?”

“What is  your highest percentage techniques to pass the guard?”

“What  are the techniques I should I focus on learning first from this position?”

“Can I  feel you do that technique on me?”

On final suggestion: prepare some questions before the class. Use the internet and books to research the week’s theme. Have an idea of what is being taught and how it pertains to you and your grappling. Not every academy or instructor will do this for fear of looking foolish and being unable to provide an answer to your questions but Scranton MMA does. So don’t be shy! Ask questions and become a better grappler.