A Coach’s perspective on MMA: Filling Holes and Staying Hungry by Jamie Ridgeway
When I coach students, a lot of the time I see people kind of gravitate to what they enjoy doing the most. Then once they get good at it, it’s my job to challenge them to fill in those areas that they are not enjoying so much. When I started training I always wanted to do JKD ever since I saw the Immortal Bruce Lee in the movie “Enter the Dragon” at age 13. Who wasn’t hooked after seeing that!! There wasn’t a JKD school here in Central VA so I started with Karate. Then spent a couple of years boxing with an amateur team, which led me into kickboxing. Muay Thai was my passion and love it but I was never any good at grappling and it didn’t come naturally. It also wasn’t something I enjoyed doing because of a case of claustrophobia. Which sometimes would make my “roll” sessions interesting. LOL Gracie Jiu Jitsu taught me that if I wanted to be a complete martial artist I needed to do things I didn’t enjoy all the time. It’s funny how it when I stated to get good at it I started to like it. Funny how that works. To be a complete Martial Artist you have to do things you may not enjoy to get a result that you desire. Kind of like those “burpees” we are so fond of doing at RAM. Also, in the pursuit of the truth you have to train everything. When you roll you find out what are your weak area’s real quick!! You can not fake it, you can’t avoid it, you can’t Coach it UNLESS YOU ARE ON THE MAT learning and training. Truth, every time you roll! You will get tapped and you will get ego checks. Once you think you have figured it all out then look out.. you will get tapped sooner or later. If you are a Coach and you are not on the mat training you will develop holes real quick. Even though you know the technique there are so many things that go into making it work. For example, how are you going to talk to someone about patience, and the ability to stay calm when someone has your back and working a choke?? I encourage all of my Coaching Staff that is reading this right now. Don’t get Coachitis. Symptoms are = Boredom, weight gain, non rolling, big ego which keeps you from rolling, which furthermore keeps you from improving, which keeps you from rolling cause you don’t want to get tapped that would hurt your ego and round and round we go. I say this because I have been a victim of this syndrome myself. Let’s keep improving guys and growing. Professor Sauer has been a big influence on me in that he always has an encouraging word and his dedication to his art is unwavering. See you on the mat!!