Fundamentals Lead to Champions
We’re in the midst of watching athletes who have trained their entire lives compete in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. In many instances, the success of all those years is determined in a matter of seconds—even milliseconds. It’s thrilling to watch these highly trained and specialized athletes who have sacrificed so much and worked so hard finally have their chance to showcase their skills.
What we sometimes lose sight of, however, is that these athletes got there by doing one thing: mastering the basics. Shaun White didn’t strap on a snowboard for the first time an start practicing his signature double cork McTwist 1260. He, just like every other world class athlete, started with the fundamentals. With the help of excellent coaches and teammates, he became the phenomenon that he is today.
This idea of mastering the fundamentals is why it is so exciting to learn that Henry Akins is releasing a new online training course called “White Belt to Blue Belt Fundamentals Course.”
If you don’t know who Henry Akins is, then here’s a brief summary. Henry has been studying and coaching Jiu Jitsu for over 20 years. His training started under Rickson Gracie in Rickson’s academy in California. In 2004, Henry became only the third American black belt awarded by Rickson. When Rickson returned to Rio de Janeiro, Henry took over as head instructor. In 2008, Henry became head coach of Dynamix Martial Arts in Los Angeles California.
Henry is probably best known for his mastery of and ability to teach the basics. You get a sense of why he has earned that reputation when you hear him talk about learning the fundamentals. He firmly believes—as do many other instructors—that blue belt is the most important belt in Jiu Jitsu. Why place such importance on that belt? Why not on black belt? The answer is simple. By the time you reach blue belt, you’ve laid the foundation for advancing to black. You’ve learned all the fundamentals and philosophies that will be required for advancement. At blue, you have a physical and mental understanding of Jiu Jitsu and how to apply that understanding.
Just like Olympic athletes, a blue belt is someone who has spent countless hours mastering the fundamentals and then learning how to apply those fundamentals to his or her Jiu Jitsu game. That’s exactly what Henry will be doing in his video series—helping you learn the fundamentals and how to apply them.
In the series, Henry will be exploring the exact curriculum he has been teaching for the last eight years at Dynamix MMA along with all the Rickson Gracie belt tests. That means he’ll walk you through every aspect of the journey from white to blue belt. And given his reputation for fundamental mastery, you can be sure that he’ll be sharing all the hints and tricks that go into making each principle or technique he teaches effective.
If you watch Olympians and championship athletes practice, you’ll see that the majority of their time isn’t spent on the big and flashy moves and techniques. They drill over and over and over again all the fundamentals that make those bigger moves possible. You can always pick out the guys that don’t understand this. They’re the ones that complain about drilling, or that want to skip all that “boring” stuff so that they can get to the “cool” moves. It’s tempting to jump onto that bandwagon, but keep in mind that those aren’t the guys standing on the championship podium. If you have the fundamentals down, not only will you be able to more easily learn and master the more difficult and complex techniques with greater ease, you’ll also be able to beat opponents who haven’t invested in the fundamentals the way you have.
Contrary to what the old saying says, practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. That’s why it’s important to have a good coach there to correct mistakes or bad habits before they get set in stone. Henry is that guy. This program will set you up for success as you progress through the belts.
But it’s not just beginners that can benefit from this course. Even seasoned practitioners can brush up on the fundamentals. There’s always room for improvement, especially if you’re helping others learn.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be watching incredible athletes climb the podium to receive gold, silver, and bronze. You can bet that those champions got there by taking the fundamentals and making them their own. They didn’t wake up one day just knowing those skills. They had to learn them, and they had to have someone teach those fundamentals to them. Henry Akins’ new video series “White Belt to Blue Belt Fundamentals Course” is perfect for instructing on those basics and will benefit every belt.