Archive for May, 2011

Shortcuts and quality

May 31, 2011

Refined, intricate, highly detailed quality takes thousands of hours of study, research, drilling, testing, and re-testing.

Looking for a shortcut is a fast trip away from the above mindset.

While shortcuts can help you feign knowing something well enough to get through lots of things (and possibly impress the un-knowledgable), you are an open book to individuals who have put the hours in.


Are people stupid?

May 13, 2011

The most fundamental and brilliant psychological principle I’ve heard to date comes from the noted family therapist Virginia Satir.  It’s stated as follows:

‘The strongest human instinct is to do what’s familiar.’

I think this is huge concept for a teacher to understand.  That people behave in counter-productive ways not because they are stupid, but out of habit because they are human.

This is real world compassion.

This leads into another awesome quote/passage I read this morning from the ‘Tao of Leadership’ by John Heider:

‘To know how other people behave takes intelligence, but to know myself takes wisdom.  To manage other people’s lives takes strength, but to manage my own life takes true power.’

Pain based strategy

May 10, 2011

The problem with strategies based on pain tolerance is that they don’t work well for a smaller grappler. 

A 120 lbs. female grapplers’ shin-bone against the side of my face is probably going to be an annoyance, while mine against hers will probably make her want to quit BJJ. 

So #1 it’s not a viable strategy for my step-mom.  If anything this type of behavior is going to escalate a situation against an aggressive and intent attacker.  Taking things or creating opportunities through force and pressure is a big man’s game.

Also, some people have  high tolerances for pain and/or won’t tap or move on principle.

A last point is, who wants to train with some one who it hurts to roll with multiple times a week over a period of years?

Like I’ve said, you get back what you give, so the least of what you’ll get is pain. 

More than likely though, what I’ve seen over time is worse still: 

No one wants to be your training partner very long.

Any yes, you can make these people into wimps, but at the end of the day you still don’t have people you want to train with.

How slow can you go…

May 6, 2011

The thing with all the tiny details that combine to make up perfect technique is if you’re not tediously training them now you’re going to have to come back and fix them later. 

Well, either that or your going to hit a brick wall at some point without understanding why (you were too busy looking for something new instead of patiently taking the time to refine what you already know).

Everyday I see more and more the wisdom of ‘everything you really need to know you learn at blue belt.’

Going back to slowing down, I’ve heard Ryron Gracie talk about this principle, and it’s a huge principle in card magic too:

You never ever, ever practice for speed.  Speed and timing comes from controlled and patient practice.

Ryron makes this practical by stating you want to go so slow that it’s impossible to screw up.

The adage is perfect practice makes perfect.

I see this type of technique training in every sport at high levels.  In fact Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the NBA, wasn’t allowed by his mentor to play pick-up basketball in middle and high school for fear of picking up bad habits (Durant’s long-term goal of course playing at a high-level NBA caliber).

Learning and trying…

May 5, 2011

The fastest way to shut out inspiration as it naturally relates to any activity is to try really hard.

My theory about trying is that it happens when we make learning a story about our self-worth.

Be there, move, watch, listen, feel and let things come.

Bask in the unknown, there is no rush…=)

BJJ as a craft

May 3, 2011

Definition of ‘Craft’ from

verb (used with object)-

to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail.

I write about this all the time, but can’t say it enough:

The degree with which something is given careful, patient, calm and loving attention determines precisely what you’ll get out of it.

Do you treat BJJ like a refined craft you will never master or driven instead by excitement and whim?