First Impressions – sometimes they don’t last – and why that’s a good thing.

“First Impressions last”  we’re all told. That may be true.

Even for most of the time. But I’ve noticed not all of the time.

I recall when I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Must be about two and half years ago now I guess. I remember sparring or ‘rolling’ as it’s known as with experienced people. Mostly we’d start from a kneeling position (BJJ is predominantly a ground-fighting art).

I recall feeling utterly bemused at the way these experienced BJJ Players would often commence – it’s as if they were sitting back on their ass, so relaxed and almost complacent. As someone from Muay Thai – this looked incredibly undefended. In fact it looked like the point of it was to demonstrate that you were so little threat that they could handle you from such a relaxed position. It looks something like this:

BJJ Seated Position

I remember feeling confused and really thrown off track by this. It looked so ‘unready’ that I’d struggle to think what I could even do to commence an attack.

I thought it was weak, sloppy and borderline arrogant.

But it worked. Boy did it work. Many a frustrated slapping of mats did I, after getting submitted time after time after time.

I still get submitted loads now, but I don’t slap the mats, just congratulate my opponent and do my best to remember how they did it.

Two and half years later, I’m a little further along my learning track. Not miles further along, but a little.

I now occasionally begin from this same seated position myself. Here’s what I noticed about using it.

This position predisposes you to being relatively physiologically relaxed (and therefore mentally so too). This enables you to react quicker (on my elephantine frame I need all the speed hacks I can get) because if there is relaxation present, you don’t need to waste time untensing the muscle in order for it to react and move. Your legs and feet can become like a second, longer, stronger pair of arms and hands, which can be very useful. As I’m just starting to find out.

Looks like I was wrong about my first impressions again.

Seems to me like I found something that initially seemed plausible, and just hung my (belief) hat on that.

So what initial experience did you think was one thing, potentially negative, only to discover that over time & experience you learned to update your view, change your belief ~ hopefully into something more useful and grew?

If you can establish one instance, could there be more rattling around in there that need a mild dusting off?

Move yourself so you can breathe easily, react quickly and without overthinking, while maintaining a grounded & strong base.

Tell me what happens next.