- Posted by Cody Maltias
- On January 12, 2016
- 0 Comments
I started grappling in 2006 and by that time Marcelo Garcia was by far one of the most beloved grapplers around. He had already won 2 World Championships and 2 ADCC titles and was considered the best pound-for-pound grappler alive. His style was amazing in that he always was on the attack, his game seemed so pure and he had little to no trouble replicating that success against larger opponents. His game began to have a huge influence on me.
As a smaller grappler I, like many others, tried to model my game around Marcelo’s. Back attacks, guillotines, and X-guard all became staples of my developing game. I devoured and videos, books, or articles on Marcelo and tried to emulate much of his success. I started to use his reasoning to defend certain things I liked to do.
Warm up before a match? Marcelo never does too much warming up so no need there. Study tape on an opponent? Not needed, Marcelo just watches the first 10 seconds to see if they will pull guard or not so just see their initial reaction and go from there. Strength and conditioning? Marcelo believes all you need to do is practice your sport and you will be in the shape you need to be in. Practice both sides for a move or just one? Marcelo says it is better to have one effective side than two ineffective and any time spent sharpening your bad side could be used to make your good side even better.
The problem with all of this is that correlation does not equal causation. Marcelo is great and there cannot exist any debate on this issue. That does not mean that every aspect of his approach will work best for everyone and should be emulated. Over time I have zoomed back out to look at even more competitors and to try and find more commonalities and best practices. More importantly I have given myself more permission to try new approaches and listen to myself in finding success.
Success always leaves clues, but many approaches can be successful and have merit. I am constantly seeking to refine my practices and evolve, and that means constant tinkering with the formula.