Twenty Four hours. That’s all you get in any given day.
You are the only person accountable for how well or how badly you spend your time. You are also the one responsible for putting a specific value to your time.
When you spend your time on any given activity, make sure that what you gain from that activity reflects the value of your time. It is considered a waste of your time if you are sinking a large amount of time into an activity that holds limited benefits for you.
Equally, we have to understand that we can invest badly in a potentially beneficial activity if we do not give enough time to it. This needs to be applied to a martial arts context, as often valuable training time is squandered by arriving late for class, half-assing warm ups, skipping reps in drilling or sitting out during sparring when still able to train.
Our time is limited, it is valuable and we need to make sure we use it well. Put value on your time and keep yourself accountable for how you spend or waste it.
Time is the only thing you have, and you have far less of it than is comfortable to think about. Get out there and get to it.
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Many a student has experienced the notorious “plateau” or felt the sensation that they, try as they might, are getting nowhere with their training. “Hitting the wall” is or experiencing a mental block is common in any area of learning, Martial Arts being no different.
I would like to share my thoughts on why I believe that the dreaded plateau does not exist. In my opinion, it is in fact a symptom of a far more important cause that needs to be treated in your practice. Continue reading
For anyone who has competed in any sport, the sensation of winning or losing is a very distinct one. I’m not here to disparage winners or losers, or indeed the idea that there should be winners or losers.
I simply want to explore a different approach to how we look at winning and losing in sport, particularly with reference to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
As a teacher, I’ve seen far too many young people learn how to quit before they learnt how to persist. As a training partner, I’ve seen talented people quit because accepting that they could possibly be bad at something was too much.
You never know how close you are to a break through. You never know how close or how far your next success is… the only thing that is certain is that quitting is not the solution.
Whatever you do, just don’t stop.
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We all have these moments or experiences that force us to see things in a new light or from a different angle. Those formative moments, “moments of clarity” if you like, or sudden realizations mainly occur when we open ourselves up to new opportunities. Some of the most formative moments in my own journey with the martial art haven’t even occurred on the mats, or with people who know what Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is.
Jiu-jitsu can teach us to learn from anyone. Any way you look at it, those lessons travel with you throughout your whole life. Continue reading
Possibly one of the most unique things about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu among the martial arts is the way that information can be exchanged.
Unlike some traditional martial arts, there is no premium on knowledge; anyone, with enough time, dedication and practice, can develop understanding about a set of techniques or broaden their skill set.
The exchange of information in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is far more organic than in more traditionally structured martial arts. A practitioner can learn lessons from anyone. With the right mindset, anyone can come across the information they require to improve on the mats.
Most commonly, it is the role of the instructor to pass on information and knowledge. In most cases, this is where a lot of learning occurs. The instructor will pass on information to the student, who will interpret it in a certain way and act on it accordingly. However, another part of this exchange is between students. As students execute techniques on each other, they are organically exchanging information and learning more about one another’s strategies, go-to techniques and more.
Students can sit and discuss any number of techniques or approaches to BJJ and glean information from a training partner in the right mindset. I think the fact that we can learn from each other in such a natural, organic way makes Brazilian Jiu-jitsu one of the most consuming martial arts to learn. Every conversation, every roll, every drilling session with a partner becomes a learning opportunity.
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“Damn, I’m so tired.” “I’m really not feeling it today.” “This just isn’t my day.”
We’ve all heard statements like these before, and most likely thought or said them ourselves at some point. Everyone has those kind of days where nothing is going right, where we’re too stressed or drained to feel up to the challenge of training.
The days when you don’t feel like training are the most important days to train.
I really like the quote; “If you wait for the perfect day to start, you’ll be waiting forever.” Perfect days are few and far between. Unfortunately, most days there is something that we inadvertently allow to impact us negatively; our mindset, no matter how strong, can sometimes slip and allow one or two of those negative niggles in.
How do we recover after a bad day? Do something constructive. If you’re an athlete, go train. If you’re an artist, create something. The days when you feel like shit are the most important ones to inject productivity into, doing something constructive will create a positive outcome within the day.
Some of my best training sessions have been after ‘bad days’ or days where I was so drained that I didn’t feel like training. I force myself to go, regardless of how I feel. If it’s a day that I normally train (and I’m not physically injured), I’ll get myself to training knowing that it will make the day better than if I don’t.
Progress doesn’t only happen on the ‘good days’, every day is an opportunity to improve.
Thanks for reading.
I think we sometimes forget how easy it is to take a picture for social media, throw a filter on it and write something motivational.
What’s not as easy is training hard; day in and day out, pushing your body through pain & injury, fighting for every little bit of progress, sweating & bleeding and pushing back against that voice that keeps telling you that it’s alright being “just ok”
Train hard and don’t stop.
For anyone who has competed in more than one tournament format, we have to understand and learn how to deal with different rule sets. Some tournament formats are more liberal in their rule sets, allowing a variety of approaches to reach victory, whilst others are more restrictive. From the perspective of a competitor, it is crucial that one learns how to deal with restrictive rule sets. This article will provide you with some advice and tips for dealing with a restrictive rule set.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
It’s a popular quote, it’s also profoundly true. We are limited by the things that we fear; the fear of failure, rejection, the unknown… even the fear of knowing what we are truly capable of.
I would like to take a little bit of time to explore the importance of not only facing your fears, but the rewards that you will find by overcoming them. Continue reading