Should you try to reinvent The Wheel? That is, take the techniques you’re learning in martial arts class and add your own spin on them.
I wanted to write about this today because I keep seeing more and more students skipping past the fundamental techniques of MMA and trying to invent their own new techniques.
Is there a time and place for you to be creative and try to form your own techniques? Yes, there is. However, more often then not it’s better to stick with the tried and tested techniques that have been proven to work, time and time again.
There’s a very thin line between being creative vs. going backwards in your training.
I think many times people who train in Mixed Martial Arts tend to fall into two categories. On one side you’ve got the students who do everything taught 100% how it’s taught by the instructor.
Then you’ve got the other students think they know better and spend more class time coming up with moves and techniques just messing around, these moves by the way don’t work. More often then not outside the box thinking beginner students end up being too creative for their own good.
One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to teaching new students is that fact that they always try to come up with their own techniques/moves. These moves many times are unsafe and like I said above, more often then not don’t work.
The problem is that the beginner student is just too new to have any real creativity in the first place. I’m not saying this to be mean, It’s the truth.
You need to be at a certain level before you start getting super creative. This level of understanding could take as many as 5+ years to reach.
So yeah, in the years before you reach that level I highly recommend not Reinventing the Wheel.
A long time training partner of mine used to complain all the time that new students get carried away with trying to reinvent the wheel. His take was that students would be much better off making that old wheel turn faster.
AKA master the basics first…
Creative does of course have it’s place in the MMA work. I happen to think that being creative is necessary for success when you reach the highest levels competition.
Like I was saying before, 5+ years into your training should be a good timeline to start changing some things around and experimenting with new ways to do old tricks. Maybe sooner then 5 years, that all depends on how fast you progress in your training.
The best fighters in the world are the ones who’ve mastered a style that suits their body-type, age and abilities. They understand the basics and because of this have some “beyond” the basic techniques that are very outside the box thinking.
I’ll point this out too, as you test more and more techniques in live situations like sparring and rolling you’ll find out that most of the things you come up with don’t work…at all.
Yup, that stinks but it’s a part of the game, get used to it.
Be sure not to give up on techniques too soon either. You need to always be moving forward and not let little set backs stop you.
So, always focus on the stuff that works. The basics, the stuff that’s been proven to work time and time again. But some flashy stuff isn’t all that bad, as long as it work.
Time to get in some drilling isn’t it? Get to it! Who knows, down the road you might be the guy or gal to invent the next big thing in MMA. For now, just study the videos below.