by Coach Tom Davey

2 Easy Mistakes

I'll keep this mini rant short but I hope these words resound in those that are victims of the forthcoming '2 mistakes' and also hopefully, it also rings true to those who are either, intentionally or not, committing these 2 mistakes.
Mistake 1: Giving advice AT ALL mid-roll unless you are AT LEAST one belt rank above a student. The big problem here isn't the helping.....that is a great thing as long as you have spent YEARS MORE on the mat than your 'student' being lectured. My problem with this (which I hate to see but it is, thank God, a rarity in our wonderful academy) is that these 'advice givers' often give advice RIGHT WHEN THEY GET SWEPT or are about to be PASSED, TAPPED, MOUNTED, etc!!!!! This should not be called 'helping' should be called being a frustrating, weak minded coward who is living a fantasy life of illusionary toughness. Now I am sorry for being harsh but this is an extremely common trap in BJJ. Normally, the student who carries out this heinously horrible behaviour has never, and will never, willingly tap to a lower ranked student.........Bad form!
Mistake 2: This one is a relative of the afore-mentioned mistake. It is simply the practice of "announcing injuries prematurely". Now some may scoff at this, claiming that it is irresponsible to roll with even slight injuries, and I for the most part agree with that sentiment. We must however, take a closer look at this mistake and, more importantly, the profile of it's likely perpetrator. Fictional student Bert is rolling with a student with less experience but both still are white belts. Bert is about to get tapped by this young upstart and then, ABRACADBRA, he must stop the roll due to injury. But wait...... it gets weirder. As soon as Bert has had a nice break to rest his 'injury', he then pounces in and goes 100% to get his own back against his fatigued opponent. The moral of this story, if you leave a roll because of injury, YOU STAY OFF THE MAT until the end of the session! The humorous underlying irony of this second faux pas is that everyone in the academy knows this tactic and can see straight through it. Bert only did this because he didn't want to lose respect from his peers, yet the very act of committing mistake number 2 only guaranteed that all respect was soon to be lost.
We all make common mistakes on the BJJ mats, but they mostly hurt ourselves so it becomes a self correcting game of poetic justice. However, the 2 mistakes alluded to in this article actually hurt the progress and enjoyment of your partners...... and that simply is not cool. Don't be a Bert folks........I just remembered I was supposed to keep this rant short...........too late (-: -Coach Tom