Hitting the wall: Thoughts on plateaus & mental blocks in training.


Many a student has experienced the notorious “plateau” or felt the sensation that they, try as they might, are getting nowhere with their training. “Hitting the wall” is or experiencing a mental block is common in any area of learning, Martial Arts being no different.

I would like to share my thoughts on why I believe that the dreaded plateau does not exist. In my opinion, it is in fact a symptom of a far more important cause that needs to be treated in your practice.  Continue reading

Experimentation: Trial and Error

EIxyzix5DCtC-ix3NyGp2EpvRNxW6_IZQo54uugnNdgA huge part of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu’s continuing success as a martial art is an emphasis on creativity and experimentation.

No two practitioners will express themselves in the same way: some will prefer certain techniques and movements over others and develop their own particular style through a process of discovery, experimentation & trial and error. I’d like to explore the importance of Experimentation in this post.

Hold on, ‘cos we’re about to get scientific.

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Jiu-jitsu. Any way you look at it.

We all have these moments or experiences that force us to see things in a new light or from a different angle. Those formative moments, “moments of clarity” if you like, or sudden realizations mainly occur when we open ourselves up to new opportunities. Some of the most formative moments in my own journey with the martial art haven’t even occurred on the mats, or with people who know what Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is. 

Jiu-jitsu can teach us to learn from anyone. Any way you look at it, those lessons travel with you throughout your whole life.  Continue reading

The Exchange of Information

Possibly one of the most unique things about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu among the martial arts is the way that information can be exchanged.

Unlike some traditional martial arts, there is no premium on knowledge; anyone, with enough time, dedication and practice, can develop understanding about a set of techniques or broaden their skill set.

The exchange of information in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is far more organic than in more traditionally structured martial arts. A practitioner can learn lessons from anyone. With the right mindset, anyone can come across the information they require to improve on the mats.

Most commonly, it is the role of the instructor to pass on information and knowledge. In most cases, this is where a lot of learning occurs. The instructor will pass on information to the student, who will interpret it in a certain way and act on it accordingly. However, another part of this exchange is between students. As students execute techniques on each other, they are organically exchanging information and learning more about one another’s strategies, go-to techniques and more.

Students can sit and discuss any number of techniques or approaches to BJJ and glean information from a training partner in the right mindset. I think the fact that we can learn from each other in such a natural, organic way makes Brazilian Jiu-jitsu one of the most consuming martial arts to learn. Every conversation, every roll, every drilling session with a partner becomes a learning opportunity.

Thanks for reading.


Train hard and don’t stop.

I think we sometimes forget how easy it is to take a picture for social media, throw a filter on it and write something motivational.

What’s not as easy is training hard; day in and day out, pushing your body through pain & injury, fighting for every little bit of progress, sweating & bleeding and pushing back against that voice that keeps telling you that it’s alright being “just ok”

Train hard and don’t stop.


Dealing with restrictive rule sets.

For anyone who has competed in more than one tournament format, we have to understand and learn how to deal with different rule sets. Some tournament formats are more liberal in their rule sets, allowing a variety of approaches to reach victory, whilst others are more restrictive. From the perspective of a competitor, it is crucial that one learns how to deal with restrictive rule sets. This article will provide you with some advice and tips for dealing with a restrictive rule set.

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Moving with Intention

For anyone who has done a sport with any level of partner assisted drilling or contact, the sensation of someone moving without control will be at some level familiar. Grappling is no different; it becomes very easy to identify the difference between someone who is moving without control or without thought and someone who is moving with intention. 

I’d like to explore this topic in a bit more depth, discussing learning to move with intention, why intention is so important and the place of intentional movement in our broader lives. 

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