Ideological Consistency

One of the most important aspects of the scientific method is Ideological Consistency.

It’s not enough to successfully reach a logical conclusion once, it has to be proven true again & again by not only yourself, but others.

This is the same in Jiu-Jitsu. One day, one roll or competition does not dictate your ability or skill.

Your true ability and skill is dictated by the day to day consistency you display on the mats and in your life.

Consistency in thought and action is to create balance as human being and martial artist.

And that’s the bottom line, because Musashi said so *mic drop*

Offense is the best defense. A note on competing.

“I always try to attack. While I’m on the offensive, my opponent can think of nothing but defending.” Marcelo Garcia

This has to be one of my favorite quotes when it comes to developing strategy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I suppose it also applies to martial arts in general, as well as life.

Nic Gregoriades once described Jiu-jitsu to me as a game of awareness: The more aware I am and the more of my opponent’s awareness I am able to control, the more I will be able to achieve. I can control my opponent’s awareness by removing his options. By attacking and forcing him to defend, I remove his options to attack and force him to become solely concerned with defending. I reduce their awareness and increase their margin for error. 

There is no doubt that sound defense is crucial in developing good Jiu-jitsu, but a strong offense is paramount, especially in a competition context. In competition, points are exclusively awarded for offensive action; be it a sweep to a dominant position, a submission attempt or a guard pass. To develop successful competition Jiu-jitsu, a practitioner will have to concern themselves with developing an attacking mentality and offensive strategy.

This is in no way a criticism of defensive strategy or sound guard work. A sound defense and an understanding of sound counter-attacking opportunities can take a practitioner very far; capitalizing on the mistakes or the openings of an overzealous or aggressive opponent strikes to the core ethos of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu after all. 

Recently I’ve heard criticisms of point based Jiu-jitsu and the rule sets of certain competition. Although justified, we have to understand that the aim of any rule set is to define the parameters under which a sport is contested. As competitors, by entering a competition we are agreeing to compete under these parameters. Don’t like guard pulling? Don’t like the amount of points awarded for specific actions? Then don’t enter a Jiu-jitsu competition.

If executing an successful offense means you pulling guard on your opponent, then be prepared to do so. If it means taking an opponent down, then be prepared to do so. There is no singlular path required to mount an effective offense, that’s the beauty of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If you don’t like guard pulling, then either get better at passing or enter a wrestling tournament. If you don’t like like a specific aspect of the sporting parameters, get better at playing to the rules or simply don’t compete.

A sound offense means being able to utilize strategy and technique to overcome the problems laid out in front of you. This doesn’t just mean fighting your opponent, but it also means fighting within the parameters of a rule set.

Thanks for reading


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.”

Recognizing Patterns

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.