As a philosopher, there are not a lot of things that I feel as genuinely optimistic about as I do with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At its core, the art empowers all of its practitioners with the ability to learn, defend themselves and (arguably the most important factor) promotes critical thinking. In a lot of ways, I see learning BJJ as an action that is not only empowering, but also very closely aligned with some crucial Anarchistic Philosophical principals.
Some of us struggle with motivation. We start out strong with all the right intentions, but start to fade when things get tough or we don’t see results within a perceived timeframe. I’ve spoken previously on the importance of discipline over motivation, but it’s still important to have motivation. How can we keep motivated when things start getting tough? Continue reading
“Hey, can we roll light?”
I think every grappler has heard this question at least once, only to have it followed by a roll with the intensity of a mundial final… How should you deal with a training partner or opponent who keeps elevating the pace or does not know how to moderate it? Continue reading
My first experience studying the Art of Jiu Jitsu was in the lead up to my first ever tournament. I was stressed out about the idea of competing and I carried that in and out of my training sessions (to my own detriment). I got my hands on a copy of Musashi’s famous ‘Book of Five Rings’ and it changed my life. Even though the book itself was not directly related to jiu jitsu, everything Musashi meditated upon applies broadly to martial arts. As a casual book reader, I didn’t realize the power this aspect had when it came to my jiu Jitsu. Studying the Art improved not only the physical aspects of my practice, but the mental side too.
I believe that this concept if study is often neglected but is immensley useful for the begginer and advanced grappler alike. In a way, studying (whether it’s reading or reviewing video etc) is like doing mental repetitions.
If you enjoy watching videos online, have an objective. Don’t just watch any clips because someone is showing some cool new guard or a crazy elaborate pass; reflect on what you need in your practice and then research videos regarding that specific thing.
If you’re a reader, find a style of writing that you enjoy. There’s not much to be gained reading the Hagakure or Go Rin No Sho if the style of writing is not something you’re familiar with or enjoy reading. I’ve been recommended many books on BJJ or martial arts that I’ve put down and never picked up again because the writing was not to my liking.
At the end of the day, you are learning something. You’re learning how to become better at jiu jitsu and studying off the mats is just as important as your practice on the mats. Your learning is your responsibility, so go train & go learn.
After a week looking at this topic, I’d like to leave you with some final thought and summarize some of the ideas I’ve been exploring. At the heart of this issue, we need to acknowledge that human beings are designed for movement. So many modern health issues have grown to near epidemic status due purely to the fact that we do not grant this biological trait. Continue reading
As we continue to look a the Sedentary Lifestyle and its impact on health and well being, I think it is important to mention that it does not only affect the human body physically, but has emotional and psychological effects on the body too. Continue reading
Continuing on the theme from yesterday’s post; Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: The Modern Day Killer, we will continue looking at ways to overcome the sedentary lifestyle.
Not everyone is suddenly going to be able to say “Damn, you’re right! I need to get out and exercise every day!” That’s how fads start and it’s only a superficial fix. If you go from nothing to everything, it will likely be too much and you will either get injured or burn out and give up. You have to build it up by starting out small. Continue reading
I’m of the belief that one of the biggest killers today (at least within the developed world) is not a specific disease or illness, but is instead the kind of lifestyle lead by the majority of people; The Sedentary Lifestyle¹.
More so than many pre-existing medical conditions, illness or external factors; our lifestyle plays a large- if not the largest- role in dictating our health and well being. Many of us grow up learning to manage our time & money, relationships etc., but very few of us take the time to learn to manage our own lifestyle and well being. Today, more so than ever before, technology enables us to live in a way that allows us to be stationary for more and more time during our waking day. Continue reading
“There is no substitute for hard work”
For some, the concept of hard work & the perceived discomfort it will bring (and the perceived ‘lack’ of results that follow) is just not worth the effort. I think we live in a time, now more so than ever before, where people want instant gratification; so many people see results but do not anticipate the hard work it requires to get there and become quick to make excuses once they realize they are not willing to invest the time and effort required.
The following is a recent Reddit post from Nicolas Gregoriades. For those who are not familiar with Nic, he was the first person to receive a Black Belt from the legendary Roger Gracie. He has worked closely with a number of other prolific black belts, produces podcasts & high quality Jiu-jitsu content and has founded the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood.
I was fortunate enough to meet and train with Nic in Thailand a few years ago. As a key influence in my own BJJ journey (and fellow South African), I always find Nic’s words inspiring, honest and something to reflect on. This is a great look at Nic’s journey so far and gives a rare, well articulated, insight into what the journey through BJJ looks like.