The mental anatomy of a grappler.

The beauty of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu- or indeed any of the grappling arts- is that there is no body type or kind of person that can’t learn to grapple. People with very body type, every personality, race, culture, religion or walk of life can learn to grapple.

If anyone can learn, why do so many quit? Today I want to explore the ‘mental anatomy’, if you will, of the lifelong grappler and what it takes to develop the mentality. Continue reading

Thoughts on Attendance: 3 reasons to be there.

Attending training is an often discussed topic. The bottom line is that consistent attendance leads to consistent improvement. 

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard a person say that they’ve hit a plateau or they’ve been in a training rut for months and months; irregular attendance is almost always the reason for this narrative.

The baddest men and women I have encountered in the training room are the ones who are consistent. They attend class, and reap the rewards of their hard, consistent, training.

The mats never lie, and it’s always very clear to see how much time anyone in particular is putting in. I’d like to share 3 of my main thoughts on this topic: Continue reading

Adversity: Learn to push through.

Anyone who has ever tried to achieve anything worthwhile has encountered adversity. Any pathway to success, be it in your job, a sport, a relationship or artistic pursuit, is going to have obstacles. The pathway to success is littered with failure and the hopes of those that gave up when the adversity became too great.

Today I want to explore the importance of learning to push through adversity, what it can teach you and, most importantly, why you need to learn to embrace it. Continue 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.

Oss.

Black Belt is not the goal.

I think there is probably a time in anyone’s life journeys where they’ve said: “Damn, I wish I could just fast forward to when I’m X.”

I don’t think that Jiu-jitsu is any different. Many a practitioner has hoped for a quick(er) promotion or felt frustrated at stalling or slow progress. But I think something that is worth explicitly saying is this: Black Belt is not the goal. It’s only a part of it. I want to explore this and explain why we should be looking at more expansive goals for ourselves.  Continue reading

Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: Starting out Small

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

Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: The Modern day Killer

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

Nic Gregoriades: “My Journey into Jiu Jitsu”

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.

Read Below:

Nic

Continue reading

Learning Styles: Understanding how you learn.

All of us know what it’s like to start something new; to be a complete beginner and learn how to do something from scratch. Progress can be slow at times, even frustrating, but we must learn if we hope to become proficient in our chosen area. Martial Arts (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in particular) has taught me a many great deal of things so far, including how I learn best.

When it comes to learning, the modern consensus is that no two people learn in the same way. We are all different people, so it stands to reason that we will learn differently too. Better understanding how you learn may be the edge you need to help fast track your improvement and progress.  Continue reading