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.
Continue reading “Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection”
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.”
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.”
Every sequence of movements and techniques within Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu creates a pattern. As practitioners, we spend much time on developing effective patterns that eventually lead us to our end goal- superior position or submission.
As important as developing these patterns is, we must also learn to recognize the patterns of other practitioners or opponents. If we are able to recognize their patterns, we will be able to disrupt them by changing our timing or by applying effective counters.
This is an effective concept to try and to apply in both free training and in competition.
In free training, it will help you to develop strong counter-timing, build strong fundamental skills and help you to start thinking not just about your own game, but how it interacts with different patterns (which are core to game plans and styles).
In competition, it is usually the competitor who imposes their game plan first who will succeed. We cannot always guarantee that we will be first, but being able to recognize patterns of movement will help to to recover if you find yourself being sucked into an imposing opponent’s game plan. It may even open up opportunities to snatch a quick submission once you start to disrupt an opponent & they begin making errors.
Pattern recognition will help you to become a better all round strategist and practitioner as you will look more to actively problem solve for the pattern currently being presented to you, rather than stubbornly (and often futilely) trying to apply your same pattern to every possible situation.
Thanks for reading.
I’ve already discussed the value of leg locks in modern Jiu-Jitsu; why would you ignore them? I’d like to take a little more time to talk strategy and where they fit into the conversation (in my humble opinion).
*Warning* This article will encourage you to learn and reflect on your practice. Continue reading “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Leg Lock”
Developing strategy and building pathways to success is important. Whether you’re creating a game plan to win a game of chess, finding the fastest way to submit your opponent or planning to create a piece of art, you need to build an effective pathway towards that end goal.
Pathways are more than just physical motions that we go through, it also involves pathways in our mind; adjusting what and how we think. Continue reading “Building Pathways: Thoughts on Strategy”
Many of us, in the pursuits we are passionate about, have the space to be creative and express ourselves in a true, honest way.
One thing we need to be aware of is that sometimes our focus can narrow and we can become absorbed by single facets of our pursuit. This can leave us without the space to find creative solutions- or to express creativity- because we become hyper-focused on the single thing directly in front of us. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and allow ourselves that space for creativity again.
For myself, my biggest creative pursuit is within Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and I’m constantly trying to find new ways to open up pathways to express myself within the (martial) art form. At times, I’ve felt like I had hit the dreaded “plateau”; where I felt like I was at a point of stasis and not seeing any improvement. I would be dissatisfied because I could not find success with the single thing that I was working on.
But the solution in cases like this is actually very simple. Sometimes, we narrow our focus too much and do not allow for the state of flow to occur, limiting our creativity and ultimately our ability to experiment & improve. When we become too objective focused, we dedicate all of our attention to completing that objective and forget to prioritize other equally important aspects.
A lot of practitioners talk about “opening up their game”. I think that this in a way refers to attending to the creative learning often required within BJJ and other martial arts or sports. Shouldn’t we always open up our games? By allowing ourselves the space to work creatively to solve the problems presented us, we will plateau less, enjoy training more and find more satisfaction when things do start to come together as a result.