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Grappling: A systematic science

If there is one lesson we can learn from the grapplers at the elite level, it’s that systematic approaches to grappling are far more effective than simply a well rounded game. The grappler that has perfected a specific system is far more likely to come out on top in an exchange with an all-rounder.

I want to explore 4 reasons for this; with respect to positional understanding, technical ability, timing and meta-cognition. Continue reading “Grappling: A systematic science”

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Should Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu be at the Olympics?

The Olympic games is considered the preeminent event for any athletic discipline. Should Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  be included? Of course, with organizations like the IBJJF and the SJJIF both vying to push the sporting/competitive aspect of the sport on an international scale & establishing uniform rule sets, the conversation moves more and more towards whether we see it being inducted as an Olympic sport.

Exploring both sides of the argument, I’d like to discuss whether an inclusion in the Olympics make sense for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a martial art. Continue reading “Should Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu be at the Olympics?”

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Staying motivated.

Sometimes your motivation to train is simply not what it once was. Maybe you feel that there are new priorities in your life you need to attend to, you’re not satisfied by the rate you’re improving at or you’ve over cooked it a few weeks running… Whatever the reason, sometimes the motivation is simply not there.

After any length of time training, working or following any chosen pursuit, you will find that your motivation & dedication are tested by factors that often feel outside of our control. I want to say two things about this today.

First, I want to explain how these factors are entirely within your control. Second, I want to impart a simple technique you can use every day to stay motivated. Continue reading “Staying motivated.”

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Running your own race

It’s been said that comparison is the enemy of contentment.

There is nothing wrong with having competitive drive, some of the greatest people in human history have been driven by the need to be the best. The problem occurs when we start to compare ourselves against the standards of others. Because we aren’t able to fully understand the lives, goals & expectations of others we’ll never be content comparing ourselves to someone else. Continue reading “Running your own race”

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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”