There are generally only a few paths we take on a daily basis. We do, of course, wonder around at times and find new and exciting parts of town, but generally we stick to something we like. Something that brings us to the desired destination.
Every day I cycle from home to my Jiu-Jitsu academy, around Dublin, and back home via the same few roads – over and over again. Every time I encounter the same potholes and bumps. At this stage I know these few streets very well and can navigate between the ‘mines’ to keep my ride fast and smooth.
A couple of days ago, Pearse Street, one of the central streets in Dublin, entered my cycling map due to some new daytime activity. First ride – Dang! Dang! My front wheel repeatedly plunged in to the massive cracks in the road, before I had to slow down to avoid an involuntary flight over my head.
Second day over Pearse Street. I completely forgot all about the initial misfortunes – same again, front wheel still not happy. Only on the third day I could actually cycle with somewhat of a clear picture in mind of where I have to manoeuvre. I surely found a few new cracks.
I thought to myself how this is such a perfect representation of the value of experience through repetition. Getting from A to B is rarely a problem. Getting from A to B efficiently without wasted energy takes figuring out!
This is why in Jiu-Jitsu we regularly do some variations of drills. First we do it without friction – to define points A and B. Then we do it with live resistance from a training partner (positional sparring) – to find the the ‘potholes’ and ways around them. And there is a key ingredient to success in this process – time. Knowledge of a technique will only get you so far. You must put things into practice over and over again, with different partners and find the potholes – one at a time.
Have a good training tonight!