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Training when you’re tired: A lesson about fatigue.

General George S. Patton, was credited with having said: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Even the most hardened and conditioned athletes & martial artists have their physical limits; once it’s reached, what is left? Technique and Tenacity.

Simulating the pressures of physical fatigue in training are crucial for developing a resilient athlete. It’s critical to test one’s will to stay in the fight after they are depleted and the precision of their technique after they can no longer rely on their physicality to solve the problem.

If the toughest conditions are not simulated in training, then an athlete will never be prepared for the worst case scenarios or toughest conditions of competition. Almost every athlete at the highest level of competition will readily state how the toughest rounds and toughest conditions they face are in the training room, not in the actual competition. Understanding this is crucial if you want to compete seriously at any level. If you aren’t pushing yourself to the limit in training, you will not be prepared in competition. 

Simply put, there is no substitute for tough training. Those who don’t take their preparation seriously will not be taken seriously by their peers or their opponents and will ultimately only display the holes in their preparation when pushed to the limit by better prepared opponents. If even the most hardened of athletes succumbs to the rigors of competition, it is nothing short of arrogance that permits an ill prepared athlete to assume that they will overcome conditions that they have never before confronted in training.  

There are no excuses and nowhere to hide in the pressure of athletic performance. It creates demand for tenacity and technical skill that is rarely called for in any other context of life.

Thanks for reading.


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Learning to Self Separate

So this is the extension of a concept I have previously discussed, however I believe it’s well worth revisiting.

The idea of “Self Separation” is the idea of removing yourself from your internal narrative and self talk during your training. Developing the ability to stay objective about your performance in the training room is the single most important thing for improvement. If you allow your ideas about yourself- your ego- to muddle your thoughts or blur the reality of your performances, you will be stuck repeating the same mistakes.

This, in my opinion, is the ‘plateaus’ that people battle against. Learning only stalls when we fail to reflect objectively on our own performance; this applies in every learning scenario I encounter.  Continue reading “Learning to Self Separate”

The Exchange of Information

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.

Thanks for reading.


Dealing with restrictive rule sets.

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.
Continue reading “Dealing with restrictive rule sets.”

Leg Locks: "Why WOULD you ignore 50% of the body?"

Leg Locks: talked about by most, employed by some and feared (unnecessarily) by many. Leg Locks are definitely the current ‘flavor of the week’ in submission grappling, but why? Leg Locks have been employed for longer than their current climb in popularity, yet there is still some stigma around their use, with many techniques being deemed illegal for competition or even considered ‘too dangerous’ for the training room.

I’d like to explore this topic a little bit for the benefit of you as the reader and hopefully to reflect some different ways of thinking about Leg Locks within Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Continue reading “Leg Locks: "Why WOULD you ignore 50% of the body?"”

Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: The Modern day Killer

I’m of the belief that one of the biggest killers today (at least within the developed world) is not a specific disease or illness, but is instead the kind of lifestyle lead by the majority of people; The Sedentary Lifestyle¹. 

More so than many pre-existing medical conditions, illness or external factors; our lifestyle plays a large- if not the largest- role in dictating our health and well being. Many of us grow up learning to manage our time & money, relationships etc., but very few of us take the time to learn to manage our own lifestyle and well being. 

Today, more so than ever before, technology enables us to live in a way that allows us to be stationary for more and more time during our waking day. Continue reading “Beating the Sedentary Lifestyle: The Modern day Killer”