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Tough days make good memories.

The easy days are never the ones worth remembering.

Long after the injuries heal, medals are lost in boxes and long after the scars heal we still remember the tough days. The days where we had to struggle and scrape against internal and external forces; trying to achieve something worthwhile… The tough days shape us, teach us; remaining imprinted on our memories forever. Continue reading “Tough days make good memories.”

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Kicking the Ladder out: Old School Versus New School

Criticisms are often leveled at “new school Jiu Jitsu” from a number of proponents for a number of reasons. “The new generation of grapplers do not know…” or “New techniques are not effective for…” are not phrases that are wholly uncommon. Regardless of the criticism or discussions aimed at either institution, the fact remains that martial arts develop over time. We look to the old to teach us and look to the new to see how to apply what we have learned.  Continue reading “Kicking the Ladder out: Old School Versus New School”

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Jiu Jitsu doesn’t care about who you think you are.

This is something I tell my students in philosophy all the time: I’m not really that interested in a person’s opinions. I’m more interested in the range of ideas that a person entertains in their attempts to answer a question. 

Whether it’s in the classroom, over a beer or on the mat, it remains true. I’m far more interested in talking about ideas than how my week is going or water-cooler small talk.

Call me a consummate nerd, call it one too many head knocks or too many psychedelics at uni, it doesn’t really matter. I’m always going to be far more absorbed by the What, Why How than the Who and When. 

This is why I like Jiu Jitsu. As soon as we slap and bump, we become entangled in the exploration of principles, mechanics and applied theories on how to best render another human unconscious. I’m not concerned by how big or small a person is, the color of their skin or the way they worship. Neither is Jiu Jitsu.

Jiu Jitsu doesn’t care about who you think you are.

Who or what you believe you are doesn’t matter in Jiu Jitsu, all that matters is your skill. That which is true will be revealed through your ability to express the art. 

Thanks for reading.


Guest Post: Don’t injure your training partners

Today’s post is a perspective from my good friend & training partner Adriane from WTF Yoga. She discusses being a considerate training partner, dealing with injury and the experience of being a female in a predominantly testosterone fueled environment.

*I’ve often been told to create more content for women, however I don’t assume that I’m able to do this with any semblance of nuance myself. I really appreciate the contributions from the women within the BJJ and martial arts community and I’m always happy to share these thoughtful perspectives. Continue reading “Guest Post: Don’t injure your training partners”

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Training with injuries

Grappling is tough and injuries are bound to happen. Most of the time, we have no control over the severity and the time needed for the body to heal & recover.

Most want to know is how long it will keep them off the mats for… For some, staying off the mats is just not something that is going to happen. I subscribe to the second method & I will always try to find a way to stay on the mats. Training with injuries is simply just another challenge. Continue reading “Training with injuries”

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Fad techniques

Recently, Keenan Cornelius discussed how the berimbolo was a “2 year fad”, he went on to discuss how the technique still works at lower levels, but has since fallen by the wayside in high level competition. We’ve also recently seen Vinny Magalhaes espouse the “Leg Locks don’t work” philosophy; single-handedly breaking the hearts of those not wanting to neglect 50% of the human body everywhere.

Just like in many athletic theaters, certain techniques, moves and ideas have their time in the sun, only to fall back into obscurity or be forgotten in favor of the new flavor of the week. There will always be “fad techniques”, but they still have their merits in the larger narrative… Continue reading “Fad techniques”

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Technicality, meet Physicality

Grappling is a unique discipline, primarily because of the combination of physicality & technicality required within every facet, be that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, sambo or judo. One will never suffice without the other. The practitioner relying solely on their physicality will be outmatched by the sufficiently technical opponent, whereas the practitioner without sufficient physicality will struggle to apply technique. We cannot have one without the other. Continue reading “Technicality, meet Physicality”

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Don’t lose your nerve.

Stressful situations arise in our lives on a daily basis. Some will be intense, shaking us out of calmness and causing anxiety in our lives. We often don’t have control over these situations, but we have control over the way we respond to them. 

Whether it’s a job interview, the day of a BJJ competition or resolving conflict (peacefully or not)… You need to find your own way to hold your nerve. Maintaining composure in a stressful situation is likely the only way for you to navigate it with your physical or emotional well being in tact. Continue reading “Don’t lose your nerve.”

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The dichotomy of generosity: Famine & Abundance.

The interesting thing about the most generous people is that they’re not always the ones we imagine to be in the best position to give; not always having the most money, time or tangible things. These people also never give with the expectation of gaining anything in return.

Generosity isn’t a transaction, it’s the selfless action of giving of yourself without the presence of ego or the expectation of reciprocation. This is the difference between a mindset of abundance or a mindset of famine. Continue reading “The dichotomy of generosity: Famine & Abundance.”

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The thin veneer of Civility

Civilitynoun; meaning formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.

Civilization is a fairly modern concept in the bigger picture of human history. In roughly the last few thousand years, we have seen different iterations of cultures, civilizations and societies rise and fall like peaks above the clouds of dark ages and chaos.

It’s a thin veneer however, a fragile veil placed atop a creature that only the most terrifying of horror writers have attempted to describe- the human animal. Just below that veil lies a deeply potent creature; one that is  capable of enacting the most calculated of plans, the most gruesome of tortures and the most depraved of acts.

It’s not a far stretch to see our raw nature dancing in another’s eyes, even as you shake hands and meet eye to eye in civility. When we press- even just so slightly- that small candle light dancing in the darkness can become a raging firestorm. Continue reading “The thin veneer of Civility”