For anyone who has done a sport with any level of partner assisted drilling or contact, the sensation of someone moving without control will be at some level familiar. Grappling is no different; it becomes very easy to identify the difference between someone who is moving without control or without thought and someone who is moving with intention.
I’d like to explore this topic in a bit more depth, discussing learning to move with intention, why intention is so important and the place of intentional movement in our broader lives.
The path to mastery is truly one of the lonliest to walk; it demands from you more than most are prepared to ever sacrifice. You will have to labor long and you will have to labor alone, but in the end what you reap will be more than anyone else can measure.
Why did you start training? Everyone has their reasons, but sometimes we forget. When we are conscious about the ‘why’, it is far easier for us to stay focused and motivated to reach that goal than if we lose track. I want to explore how refocusing yourself on the ‘why’ can re-inject motivation and direction into your training. Continue reading
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is unique among most other forms of grappling arts because of its emphasis on and variety of techniques whilst on your back and- more specifically- from bottom positions often referred to as ‘ the guard’.
However, most people starting out in the sport tend to reject this in favor of what they believe to be more “dominant” top positions. In this article I will discuss how this is not often the case and how you can improve faster by playing more guard.
There is a bonus addition to this post regarding my thoughts on Leg locks too 😉 Continue reading
I think there is probably a time in anyone’s life journeys where they’ve said: “Damn, I wish I could just fast forward to when I’m X.”
I don’t think that Jiu-jitsu is any different. Many a practitioner has hoped for a quick(er) promotion or felt frustrated at stalling or slow progress. But I think something that is worth explicitly saying is this: Black Belt is not the goal. It’s only a part of it. I want to explore this and explain why we should be looking at more expansive goals for ourselves. Continue reading
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.
Continuing on the theme from yesterday’s post; Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: The Modern Day Killer, we will continue looking at ways to overcome the sedentary lifestyle.
Not everyone is suddenly going to be able to say “Damn, you’re right! I need to get out and exercise every day!” That’s how fads start and it’s only a superficial fix. If you go from nothing to everything, it will likely be too much and you will either get injured or burn out and give up. You have to build it up by starting out small. Continue reading
Photo by George Miller
“There is no substitute for hard work”
For some, the concept of hard work & the perceived discomfort it will bring (and the perceived ‘lack’ of results that follow) is just not worth the effort. I think we live in a time, now more so than ever before, where people want instant gratification; so many people see results but do not anticipate the hard work it requires to get there and become quick to make excuses once they realize they are not willing to invest the time and effort required.
The following is a recent Reddit post from Nicolas Gregoriades. For those who are not familiar with Nic, he was the first person to receive a Black Belt from the legendary Roger Gracie. He has worked closely with a number of other prolific black belts, produces podcasts & high quality Jiu-jitsu content and has founded the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood.
I was fortunate enough to meet and train with Nic in Thailand a few years ago. As a key influence in my own BJJ journey (and fellow South African), I always find Nic’s words inspiring, honest and something to reflect on. This is a great look at Nic’s journey so far and gives a rare, well articulated, insight into what the journey through BJJ looks like.
I read an interesting quote last week that caused me to reflect on the way we invest our time and effort into an activity. The quote was Jiu-jitsu related, however I think it applies to any pursuit we have:
“Jiu-jitsu is like a bank; the more you put in the more you can take out.”
On the surface, this quote seems pretty simple at first, but the more I reflected on this, the more it made me think about the investments we make into our chosen pursuits. The more time and effort we invest into something, the more we are able to take from it and the more it will come to serve us. In this article I will reflect on this idea, as well as discuss the idea of our time and effort as a form of currency.
As a bit of a bonus, I’ve added some thoughts at the end regarding Cognitive Dissonance for those of you who are interested in how this concept may affect our perceptions of our time invested and our improvement.