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Operating on Assumption: the pitfalls of inductive reasoning

We unconsciously make plenty of assumptions on a daily basis. We assume that day follows night, we assume that people operate with the best intentions in mind, we assume that the best fighter will always win… Our brain has developed inductive reasoning methods like assumption because it is more efficcient than having to logically process every possible event, circumstance and action.

Operating on assumptions is something that we all do, but has far reaching consequences when our assumptions prove to be false. Does day always follow night? Do people always operate with the best intentions in mind? Does the best fighter always win? 

Let’s explore Inductive reasoning and the pitfalls of assumption in relation to Martial Arts…

Continue reading “Operating on Assumption: the pitfalls of inductive reasoning”

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The Pin

There is one core principle in grappling that holds an importance above that of the rest: The Pin. The ability to put an opponent on their back and keep them there is a desirable measure of success (almost) without exception.

The evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has popularized the guard and fighting of one’s back, but does this necessarily disprove the validity of the pin? Let’s explore. Continue reading “The Pin”

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Stall-Jitsu: A high level problem

Stall-Jitsu. It’s a commonly seen, yet rarely criticized, issue within high level competition. Far too many matches consist of both competitors sitting in idle positions, choosing not to progress or actually do any jiu-jitsu, only to attempt to win on a single scoring technique or even a refs decision. I’d go as far as to say that I wouldn’t ever show 90% of jiu-jitsu matches to anyone who didn’t know the ins and outs of the sport. Even for those who know the sport find it boring… And we’re trying to make BJJ spectator friendly?

I think there are a number of reasons for the stalling phenomenon and it’s prevalence, but Rule Sets and Mentality have the largest impact. Continue reading “Stall-Jitsu: A high level problem”

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Artistic Expression

There is a certain joy to being able to express oneself through an art form. Through any medium, there is an extent to which the practitioner can create something unique, develop their own style or approach. The martial arts allow for this too.

Because of the highly personal nature of something like grappling, it only seems to make sense that the practitioners personality would influence the way they express the art. We see everything from intense, aggressive styles to those who are steady, methodical and measured. All practitioners will express the art differently as we all have different ideas and understandings of what it means to us. Continue reading “Artistic Expression”

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Skepticism & The principle of Charity

There are two important principles within Epistemology (The nature of Knowledge) that apply to all aspects of knowing things, be that in Philosophy or Martial Arts.

The first: First you must assume that you do not know anything. This is the major tenet that underpins Skepticism and indeed knowing anything at all. If we are to learn at all, we first have to adopt a mindset of ignorance so that we can begin to build on things that we can know for certain.

The second: Assume that any argument is the strongest possible interpretation. This is the Principle of Charity. The idea behind this is that we should look upon any argument or information on its merits first before attempting to critique it.

From what I’ve come to understand about these two principles, I’ve been able to accelerate my own teaching & learning by changing the way I look at knowledge and the entire learning process. Continue reading “Skepticism & The principle of Charity”

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Let’s talk leg locks: The problem with 50/50

The 50/50 position has become well known as a common stalling position in no gi and gi competition. Whether a single leg X sweep was only half successful, neither opponent wishing to engage in passing, or where leg locks come into play the 50/50 position is actually more of a problem than a valid (or effective) position.

There are 3 main issues to explore surrounding the position: Symmetry, The Arms Race and The Passing Problem. Continue reading “Let’s talk leg locks: The problem with 50/50”