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.
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
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.
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
The main goal behind Articulate is to build a community; one were we can communicate openly and articulate our ideas openly with each other. I want to encourage you, the reader, to get in touch. I love exchanging ideas with people, whether it be about arts, martial arts, sports of any description, philosophy… There is so much value in learning from others by seeing their point of view and exploring new ideas together.
Let’s talk about what’s on your mind, have you got any questions you want to ask or stories you want to share? Feel free to message Articulate any time and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
The triangle is omnipresent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Many canonical gyms in the Gracie lineage and others use the triangle in their logo, one of the most well known chokes employs a triangular shape to strangle one’s opponent, or the structural strength of the triangular shape… The list goes on.
Recently, I have been percolating on another possible interpretation of the ever-present Triangle in Jiu-jitsu. In my mind I imagined a triangle; where the three points reflected Three Core Principals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and indeed grappling as a whole. Those three principals were: Movement, Breathing and Technique. In this post, I will meditate on why I saw this trio of principals as the three main points of the triangle that is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Continue reading
“Never leave a job half done.” My grandfather told me that as a boy. I haven’t forgotten those words, even if at times I have failed to act on them. He had been sitting, watching me finish a simple drawing one afternoon before I had decided to wander off before it was complete. In his way, he didn’t say anything at the time, but waited instead until I came back to sit down with him for lunch.
“You know that drawing you were doing before?” In my mind I was anticipating some sort of compliment or critique.
“You didn’t finish it…” He stated objectively. “Never leave a job half done.”
As a boy I didn’t think much about it until after his passing. Today, the more I reflect on the sentiment of his words, the more profoundly his advice affects me.
The more I think about it, the more it seems like everything he said to me had some intentionally deeper meaning he had planned and percolated on before he brought his words, or actions, into the world.
We, as individuals, are not just responsible for our choices or the paths we decide to walk down, but also for making sure we finish what we start.
Jiu-Jitsu puts you completely in the moment, where you must have complete focus on finding a solution to a problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase you awareness, your capacity to solve problems.
We’ve all heard the term ‘Flow’ used before. “Going with the flow” is a phrase often associated with an ability to move, or transition easily between tasks.
Reaching a state of Flow can feel almost transcendent; it’s that feeling of being ‘in the zone’, having that perfect training session or a highly productive period of creativity. Often we stumble across this state by luck, or the perfect combination of factors that we may be unaware of. With a bit of understanding of the concept of Flow, can we reach this state frequently and intentionally to maximize our enjoyment of our chosen disciplines?
With Yoel Romero fighting Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 on the 8th of July, we will potentially be seeing the making of the next Middleweight Champion. With both fighters boasting impressive win streaks, an interim title on the line and the chance to fight George Saint-Pierre and current Champ Michael Bisping, everything is on the line. Let’s take a closer look at the “Soldier of God” Yoel Romero. Continue reading