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”

Butterfly Guard transition: Ashi Garami to Heel hook

This is one of my favorite transitions to mess around with.

Butterfly and seated guard offer a lot of options against an opponent trying to crowd your hips. I can elevate and preserve my hip movement with relative ease.

When I cut the angle through to get a bit on the ashi or single leg X, I focus on clamping my legs as high as possible to control my opponent’s hips and dominate the knee line.

The heel hook finish is one of many options from the single leg X position, but an effective one nonetheless.

Thanks for watching.


Video courtesy of Ben Mackenzie

Want to know the secret to improving quickly? Engage with the learning process.

In education, all evidence shows that the most successful students have a high engagement in the learning process. In short: all students who engage with all aspects of learning learn more and learn faster.

Martial arts are no different. Do you genuinely want to improve? Then engage with every aspect of the learning process. 

This means working hard; not just when you feel like it, but all the time to better yourself.

It means putting your ego aside and accepting learning from every source, regardless of whom that takes the shape of.

It means seeking critical feedback about your technique instead of surrounding yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear.

It means training with the most challenging partners instead of taking easy rolls & having rounds off when you’re tired.

It’s damn simple. The blueprint has been laid out for you by your instructors and those who have undertaken the process before you. Take that blueprint and follow it. Don’t just cherry pick the parts that seem nice or easier. You have to accept every aspect.

The curious mind does not leave anything left unexplored. If you’re serious about your journey, then learn to accept that the highest peaks only exist because of the deepest troughs.

Thanks for reading.




Innovation & Pushing your limits.

One of the best feelings in training must certainly be when that one challenging technique you’ve been trying to pull off finally works. For weeks or maybe even months you’ve been trying to put the pieces of a sequence together; finally the stars align and you pull it off, only for it to become a main stay in your arsenal of techniques.

Jiu-jitsu is an art of innovation. Testing new techniques out and adding them to your game is one of the most fun parts of the martial art. Jiu-jitsu teaches us to Innovate.

How do we innovate in our training? The answer is two fold and surprisingly simple: The Consistency and Rigor of our testing leads to innovation.

These are the 2 things you need to know to become a more innovative grappler… Continue reading “Innovation & Pushing your limits.”

A year in Review.

A year ago- almost to the day- I started Articulate BJJ as a project to help me better digest my own learning as I engaged with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

A lot can happen in the space of a year. It certainly has in this case.

The goods have been many; travelling & training in Thailand, meeting new people, having great training partners and coaches, starting a new job in a new city, competing successfully over a dozen times, a national championship & seeing  positive progress in my training.

The bads have been fewer thankfully; car crash, injury, illness and hospitalization.

We need the bad to have the good, so I try to remember this and keep my complaints to myself. The highs come with the lows; you can’t be at the top if you’ve never been at the bottom. I try to practice gratitude, not just because I am aware of just how many are so less fortunate, but because I know how little it would have taken for me to be there too… Just one wrong decision here, or one decision there… I have a lot to be grateful for.

And that includes you. Once again, thank you for reading. The support I receive from everyone is more valuable than I am able to express in humble words.