Chasing the Finish

In the same way that every logical argument has a conclusion, or scientific & mathematical equations have solutions, submission-based grappling styles have a singular favored outcome: The Finish. 

Submission is the ultimate goal in our martial arts. In realistic application the submission signifies the complete domination of your opponent. In short, submitting your opponent means that you have not only controlled them, but literally have the ability to either kill them or severely maim them should they not submit.  There is nothing more definitive than that. 

This was the original intent that these martial arts were developed with; the goal of controlling an opponent and putting yourself in the position to be able to fatally wound them should there be the need to do so.

At the core of grappling, this remains an imperative: complete control over an opponent Continue reading “Chasing the Finish”

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An exercise in Absurdity

The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning.

-Albert Camus

There have always been a lot of things about the world, in my mind anyways, that didn’t make complete sense. Maybe it’s because I hated math at school and never really applied myself to learning until later at university, or that as a kid whenever my parents asked me what I wanted to I would say “Nothing.”.

I struggled to relate to my peers at university because so many of them had definitive meaning in their lives; they were going to be the scientists, dentists, doctors and lawyers of our generation. I felt inferior because I was essentially still trying to find something definitive to pin that meaning to.

It wasn’t until 2015 that I read Albert Camus’ work. An Existentialist Philosopher, Camus is credited with the development of the view of Absurdism. Essentially, Existentialists are concerned with the question “What is the meaning of existence?” Camus’ point of view was that life had no meaning, that nothing exists that could ever be a source of meaning and hence there is something deeply “absurd” about the human quest to find meaning. I guess this is an extension of what Friederich Nietzche’s meditations on Nihilism & what I had come to learn at university, but something about Camus’ perspective resounded with me. By that point in 2015 I had already re-committed myself to Jiu-jitsu after a 2 year hiatus  trying (unsuccessfully) to drink and eat myself into an early grave. On reflection, I think I had held a lot of resentment over the fact that I had no real goal or meaning; excusing myself from proactive pursuits to irrationally flail about and dabble in a bunch of destructive habits that dragged me deeper into depression and resentment.

Camus’ ideas were a breath of fresh air for me. Where a lot of people see Nietzche or Camus’ ideas as ‘depressing’ or ‘bleak’, I saw them as empowering. To me, it allows us to understand that it is okay not to have definitive meaning in our lives because it is simply not possible to prescribe any definitive meaning to existence. From there, we can start to establish our own meaning and purpose for being.  Continue reading “An exercise in Absurdity”

Guest Post: Crossfit for Jiu-jitsu Practitioners by Christiaan Mattheus

I’d like to thank Christiaan Mattheus for this in depth look at the role of Strength training, and Crossfit in particular, in Jiu-jitsu. Christiaan is the owner of CrossFit Amandla in Christchurch and a Blue Belt at Axis Brazilan Jiu-jitsu Christchurch (coming off recent weight division and absolute National Title wins and Silver at the Japanese Abu Dhabi Grand Slam).

Enjoy.

“Strong people are harder to kill, and more useful in general.”

Mark Rippetoe

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THE “GENTLE ART”

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE STRENGTH

PLAYS

If you’re reading this chances are you already practice Jiu-Jitsu, jūjutsu, bjj, self-defense, submission grappling or whatever else you want to call the act of tactfully disabling or disarming an opponent. For that very reason I will not spend too much of your time looming over the wonderful world of Jiu-Jitsu but instead I will attempt to showcase the importance of regular and effective strength & conditioning for Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Crossfit for Jiu-jitsu Practitioners by Christiaan Mattheus”

What’s the worst that can happen? Nap time.

The worst part about waking up from a submission- induced nap is the confusion, “What happened? Did I tap? What day is it?”. Consciousness lurches back like a car being pushed out of a bog and we bashfully wonder why we didn’t just tap.

There are two eventualities when we decide that tapping isn’t the desirable option: the nap or the snap. For the uninitiated; joint locks will eventually lead to snaps and choke holds will eventually lead to a nap.

I’ve only been totally unconscious from chokes twice (so far): once in training and once in competition. Of course, there have been countless other times where I found myself embracing the tunnel vision/ Looney Toons close out before tapping & feeling the static and numbness of a late tap. I’d like to reflect upon these “learning moments” and the benefits of an unexpected nap. Continue reading “What’s the worst that can happen? Nap time.”

What's the worst that can happen? Nap time.

The worst part about waking up from a submission- induced nap is the confusion, “What happened? Did I tap? What day is it?”. Consciousness lurches back like a car being pushed out of a bog and we bashfully wonder why we didn’t just tap.

There are two eventualities when we decide that tapping isn’t the desirable option: the nap or the snap. For the uninitiated; joint locks will eventually lead to snaps and choke holds will eventually lead to a nap.

I’ve only been totally unconscious from chokes twice (so far): once in training and once in competition. Of course, there have been countless other times where I found myself embracing the tunnel vision/ Looney Toons close out before tapping & feeling the static and numbness of a late tap. I’d like to reflect upon these “learning moments” and the benefits of an unexpected nap. Continue reading “What's the worst that can happen? Nap time.”