Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection

Two of the most important things I have learnt in the fields of education and Philosophy are Objectivity and Relativity.

Recently I’ve come to see just how broadly these two ways of thinking apply beyond just these two fields; particularly in my BJJ practice.

*For the sake of this exploration, I would like to work with the following definitions of Objectivity & Relativity.

1. Objectivity refers to concrete or set axioms (statements) of truth that do not shift regardless of which perspective they are examined from.

2. Relativity refers to statements which, depending on the perspective they are approached from, will have a subjective value; being either true or false depending on the conditions of the situation or person.

Let’s continue…

Continue reading “Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection”

Be Original: Two ways originality can change your Jiu Jitsu.

If you have a look at the top level competitors and practitioners in any sport, you begin to notice that they have a style that is distinctly their own.

It is extremely uncommon for us to be able to draw analogies between the greats of any sporting field, especially martial arts. We see this distinctly within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu too; any of the highest level competitors are very distinct in their strategies, style and technique.

Originality (and your ability to be original) plays a major factor in your improvement. Here are two ways originality can impact on your Jiu Jitsu. Continue reading “Be Original: Two ways originality can change your Jiu Jitsu.”

Theory versus Practice.

It’s not about what you believe; but what you put into practice every day.

The uncomfortable truth about reality is that nobody (other than yourself) really cares about what you think.

Your opinions & beliefs about the world (and even the way you perceive yourself) does not make any impact on the world outside of your mind. Reality, and those around you, are only able to interact with the actions you manifest as a result of your thoughts. 

We can have the most elaborate, beautiful sounding theories about the world in our minds, but these mean nothing in the face of practicality. We still have to negotiate a world that presents us with real challenges on a daily basis; only your actions will dictate how the consequences play out.

A person may perceive themselves to be “the best”; a hard worker, a champion, a good person, but their perceptions are only matched up against their actions. Do they act as a hard worker does? Do they act as the champion does? Do they act as a good person might? Theory must be put into practice, otherwise it is only hollow and useless. If you hold certain things to be true but do not act as if they are, you are being dishonest with yourself and deny yourself a fulfilling life. 

The joy of the human condition lies in the fact that we all perceive the world differently. We all hold certain things to be true and perceive reality in our own way. Perception and belief alone does not an interaction with the world make however. We must align our theories with our actions if we are to honestly express ourselves in the world.

Thanks for reading.

Oss.

The Orthodox & the Unorthodox: Thoughts on approaching unpredictable opponents.

In general terms, we can divide practitioners into two categories: Orthodox and Unorthodox. This is a categorization of types of Jiu jitsu practitioners and the way they express the art form.

Have you ever found yourself mid-contest with an opponent who, even though you know exactly what they’re going to do, still manages to finish you? What about the opponent that is about as predictable as a rabid vermin; throwing unpredictable techniques out at a rate that you are unable to contend with? This is a question of styles. Neither is wrong, but both present us with issues of predictability. 

Let’s explore this in more depth… Continue reading “The Orthodox & the Unorthodox: Thoughts on approaching unpredictable opponents.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Anarchy: the Ultimate Open Source Education for the modern world.

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.

Continue reading “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Anarchy: the Ultimate Open Source Education for the modern world.”

Learn Self Control or Learn to be Controlled.

I’ve talked about discipline here before, but I am a firm believer that this is the cornerstone of achieving anything worthwhile in your life. Before I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I had no self control. I couldn’t control my temper, I was easily frustrated by tasks that I believed I should have been able to do and I would quit or give up and I was lazy.

Since then, I’ve come to realize a few things about myself and about how we should act if we want to get anywhere close to satisfaction- or success- with our lives. One of the most important things I’ve come to learn is that If you can’t learn to control yourself, you will be controlled by others. These others can be people, circumstances, bad or good situations that you find yourself in.  Continue reading “Learn Self Control or Learn to be Controlled.”

No Trying, Only Doing.

As a big Star Wars fan, I’ve always noticed the close parallels between the protagonists of  George Lucas’ universe: The Jedi, and practitioners of the Martial Arts. Yoda, the ageing grand master and ever-wise mentor, is of particular interest to me and one of his many classic quotes will form the central idea of this post.

 

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The stoic and philosophical nature of his character has been described by some as “mystical”, however I would argue that is less “mystical” and more “methodical”. For anyone involved in the martial arts, creative arts (or any  discipline really); I think we can all begin to glean some deep understandings from one of my favorite Yoda quotes: “Try not, do or do not. There is no Try.” Continue reading “No Trying, Only Doing.”