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The New Guy Uses Too Much Muscle

The New Guy Uses Too Much Muscle

Of course, he does. Didn’t you?

As humans, and as humans who have never experienced learning how to fight, strength is our go to tool for combat. You don’t step on to the BJJ mat for the first time with loads of razor-sharp technique. For those first few months, you use what comes naturally, and that is strength.

Now, does that mean that new students should get away with malicious behavior? Not at all. There is a difference between using strength because you’re devoid of technique and not sure what to do, and just flat out being dangerous. It’s also not a crime to be strong, and when the technique and strength sync up later, you could have one very proficient practitioner on your hands.

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Someone showed you the way, right? It is the job of upper ranks and veteran students to show the newer ones the proper use of technique. Instead of blacklisting the new guy for doing the best he can, let him know how he can use proper mechanics instead of muscle to get the job done, and show him the technique he’s working so hard to muscle through. Most people aren’t trying to intentionally hurt you, they just don’t know any better. Give them the benefit of the doubt before you give up on them.

We are animals after all, and BJJ is fighting. When you put someone new under duress like they’ve never experienced, expect them to use muscle to answer. Guide them, and give them things to think about. The more people that rally around the new person, the better.

Give them a break, someone gave you one.

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