Recognize that it is natural for most beginning grapplers to rip hard, balls-out, wall to wall. They simply have no idea where to begin in the new world of grappling. Someone is apparently trying to kill them, and self-preservation has them reeling to “survive/win”. If they can just power through something, crank on an arm, or grunt enough, not waste any time breathing, things might work in their favor and they’ll learn this stuff yet…and that’s totally cool, it’s a necessary phase for most people. This can manifest itself as the typical physically aggressive grappler that is still not technical enough to utilize his new tools and is simply compensating in his win/lose world of rolling. Or worse yet, he’s the guy who IS technical enough but chooses not to use them, pridefully out of stubbornness. Either way, the effect can feel the same to the gentle artist.

Resist the natural temptation to match their actions. Resist through nonresistance. Weather their storm. Remember that your mission, regardless of your training partners experience or actions, is to develop your new tools of physics so that you won’t “need” the physical aggression, but will rely on technical aggression instead….so you can move at the right time, with the LEAST force, in the right direction. It can be frustrating as hell to not push back, mimic their wasted energy, and end up exhausted with no real gain. But your mission is to NOT take anything and everything you can force into your way, (regardless of early success)….but to maintain your discipline calmly, freeing your mind to scan for technical cues, all the while your training partner is full on kill mode. sidenote: this ALWAYS appears futile at first. you must have faith.

Don’t eat all your seeds before they’re planted just for the immediate gratification of the all-awesome tap out or escape or whatever you were forcing to happen.  Plant your seeds of true knowledge in training, through a focus on technical mastery, regardless of the actions of any training partner. They may not be developed enough to do the same…we were there once, and we can’t control what they do or blame them. Besides, we must eventually be able to adapt to all kinds, regardless of their experience/aggression. If they must eat all their seeds every class, it’s up to them and they will leave the “victor” that day. But as long as you’re planting your seeds regardless, your return, although not immediate, is well worth it and produces exponentially more experience and grace, closer to understanding our gentle art. Be the gentle farmer pursuing endless knowledge and growth, and not the hit-or-miss scavenger who must weather famine after the feast…..even if it means letting the scavenger onto your field. They may even learn to farm.