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MC Chapter 1 was released to the Gracie Garage leaders a few months ago so we could gather valuable insight regarding the chapter content and lesson structure. Here is some in-depth feedback we received from Jamie Harding (the guy from the UK who scored a 100 on his blue belt test) after and his training partner completed Chapter 1 for the first time.
"Hi Ryron and Rener,
Ok, so Fabio and I have now completed all the lessons of Chapter 1 of the Master Cycle at least once, so I figured I would send my feedback to you.
I have to say it has been an incredible experience moving on from Gracie Combatives into the MC. The introduction to Rapid Mastery Drills, Focus Sparring and Fight Simulation has been just completely eye opening as a way to train techniques.
The key difference between Combatives and MC for me has been in the preparation of reflexes. In GC, you are learning to work off your opponent's behavior (as every technique is triggered by an indicator the bad guy gives you) so just by drilling your reflexive responses to those indicators you are able to work off an unskilled opponent's movements, and easily win the fight with control and submission.
However in the MC, not only do you learn the technique and then drill it till it is fluent, but we are somewhat leaving the concept of 'indicators' behind a little as we go into a more thorough and exacting learning experience. Here, we get to experience EVERY POSSIBLE SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES under which your technique is likely to occur. And through the RMD's you can understand, anticipate, manipulate and deal with the scenarios on a much deeper level than by simply responding to indicators. You also understand where the limitations of the techniques lie. This was really key for me because it taught me not to OVERCOMMIT or have emotional attachment to the techniques; because if I did, I would typically get rolled and sacrifice my position. Now, I am relaxing much more and having faith in my positioning.
In the sparring sessions a lot of "light bulb moments" happened for me. I mean, I am always leaving every new lesson impressed with how thought out all of the mechanics and details are, but in the sparring the realizations were much deeper. Now I understand the chess game in my body, not in my head key.
I got to understand the Jiu-Jitsu on a deeper level - not just theoretically, but I FELT it. That was massive for me. Hard to explain but I know you know what I'm talking about. I learnt to relax - I learnt to exploit Fabio's weaknesses through patience, relaxation and observation, and he learnt to exploit mine. Then, we shared our discoveries with each other as you guys recommend so adamantly brilliant.
The only reason I was able to get these insights was because of the structure of the training. Each RMD and Sparring session is under such a carefully planned set of focus guidelines that it keeps adding layer upon layer to our learning experience, solidifying everything we know, without overwhelming us.
As a result - each lesson provides us with a wholesome learning experience of maximum impact. We absorb it completely, and then move on to the next level.
From my limited experience in the MC program, I can already tell it really is about building an unshakeable foundation.
I also became aware of how important it is to have a training partner with whom you can conduct completely selfless and ego-less training with honest and sincere feedback, with no competitiveness. We both experienced a couple of injuries at the start from over excitement, and that taught us quickly to slow down.
It's not about winning but learning. You really do need the right partner for MC training if you are not in a club, and Fabio and I are fortunate that we agree with that aspect of being a good training partner.
When we drill Combatives from time to time and we notice our technique is even better than it was at test time because of how much deeper we 'get it'.
Truly awesome. Can't wait for the rest of the course. We're going all the way.
Until then, we keep RMDing - Focus Sparring and Drilling GC's.
Oh yeah - and it's FUN!
I hope the feedback helps.
See you in April in Torrance.
All the best,