Trust: It’s important to understand that I never coach INDIVIDUALS – I coach the ROOM. Only when the whole room is on the program can individuals rise to their potential. Of all the characteristics I try to imbue upon the room, one of the most important is TRUST. My athletes are renown for their ability to escape from seemingly hopeless situations, specialize in the use of potentially very damaging types of joint locks, and focusing on submission above all. This is only possible because the athletes trust each other to train hard, but not to recklessly try to hurt each other. In a game where victory comes from holds designed to snap limbs and strangle people unconscious, there has to be an understanding among the athletes that they will train hard, but not recklessly. If i know my partner will not try to immediately snap on an arm lock as hard and fast as he can, this gives me the confidence to practice my escapes and get a feeling for what i need to do in a more competitive situation. The rule with joint locks that I always preach in the room – you can extend the limb but not hyper extend the limb. Focus on control of the limb rather than snapping it. This keeps it realistic enough for students to practice and acquire skills but safe enough to give them confidence to try out risky escapes and counters they will need in top level competition settings. Here, Gordon Ryan practices his last ditch escapes against armbars with a junior who gives him realistic tension but not dangerous hyperextension. In this way you can practice even the more extreme elements and skills of Jiu jitsu in a safe manner

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