Archive for September, 2011

Video: Neighbor engages teens with car horn and verbal jiu-jitsu

September 30, 2011

Caught on video by grandson visiting from Sweden, my neighbor and wine drinking buddy Helen Heestand, 76 years young, successfully uses car horn/verbal jiu-jitsu tactics to retreat teenagers taking a joy-ride in, unbeknownst to them, the wrong golf cart to mess with you son of guns!



Internal motivation and excellence

September 29, 2011

Maybe it’s a  lack of maturity, maybe it’s a human thing, but I rather get 100 hits a day on this blog than 0 or 1. =)

Still, internal motivation, drive, or whatever you want to call it, is writing regardless. 

Thinking about it now, that is how I would define excellence:

Doing something for the sake of doing it without really caring too much about immediate outcomes, approval, or reward.

This doesn’t mean flying blind, ignoring how effective activities are in relationship to objectives, but it’s a long-term, if not endless approach centered not on results, but the space you come from.

Shortcuts to quality…

September 26, 2011

Real or imagined it seems to me that people for some reason or other seek shortcuts to quality BJJ.

The theory I have behind this, is BJJ isn’t competitive the same way football and basketball are in that you don’t have massive amounts of kids competing for a tiny number of college scholarships, and if lucky, later to try out for the coveted few professional positions.  Since there are way more kids playing football than BJJ, you have by comparison a tiny talent pool, which leaves a lot of room for misinformation on progression.

Even my own coach would agree that he knows relatively little about BJJ and getting the most out of his students than Oregon football coach Chip Kelly knows about football and increasing performance.  Again, this isn’t the lack of my coaches ability so much as the competitive bar being on a different radar.

Time spent looking for shortcuts along the above competitive continuum, is essentially time spent away from doing the work that’s going to give one the edge, so you don’t have much thinking along the this line.  Especially if you lack physical gifts and rely on being a thinking man or woman’s athlete.

Having a coach, listening to your coach, and putting in the work is both the starting point and path.

Most intellegent take on competition I’ve seen…

September 24, 2011

Lance Mountain, a grandmaster of grandmasters, did an interview with Mike Vallely in 2005 I was going to post here before Vallely removed it from his youtube account. =(

Now Lance and MikeV are both skaters, but Lance’s thoughts translate just as well to Jiu-Jitsu:

The basic idea is that Skateboarding/BJJ is an art, with competition/sport being one avenue of exploration within the art.

Lance added that what a skater is (read: BJJ guy/gal) , is guy or gal who isn’t going to stop skating. =)


Transcending ego through competition?

September 23, 2011

Read a friends blog yesterday on the subject of confronting the ego through competition…

The problem with this is, ego is the make-believe crap we tell ourselves, usually based on the assumption that self-worth is somewhere ‘out there’ in world.  ‘Do more, be more,’ is a game you can’t win by design.  The messed up thing is, you’re the one dangling the carrot.

If a person subscribes to such ideas that’s fine, but such thinking turns a study of the weak overcoming the strong through body mechanics, leverage, timing, and sensitivity into a soap opera.

As in sparring, competition rolls can make one worse.  You might get more comfortable in competitive contexts, but if the commitment to quality and detail isn’t there in practice, good luck!

Enjoy the gift of having enough sound mind and to work and think.  It’s not whether you achieve the dream, but that you can dream.

Video: Rickson sparring @ Gracie Academy in Torrance

September 21, 2011

Had tape of this footage for years at quality 3x worse, so consider yourself lucky!  Watched this hundreds of times.  Enjoy:


Mastery is…

September 15, 2011

Mastery is the art of being meticulous.

I experimented a bit recently with letting having fun guide my passions, and while I think this is more sustainable than a clenched buttock approach, it’s still largely whim driven.

What I missed, or rather forgot, is ‘fun’ is a characteristic of wisdom, with ‘wisdom’ not necessarily always being fun save black comedy. ;o)

If going slow and being detail oriented are boring, emotions are driving training instead of relaxing and having a day on the mat.

Subtle nuances arise when I stop forcing things and surrender to tried and true common sense principles.

Favorite Coach K ideas

September 9, 2011

I listened to the above book last week, by Duke University’s long-time head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Two of my favorite ideas were as follows:

Play for innocence– Forget outside ideas of success.  Play for the reasons you fell in love with the sport.  This is the only guide that matters.

Respect is time you give to some one or something– What I love about this idea it makes the idea of respect simple and tangible.  Undivided attention speaks for itself.

Sparring can make you worse

September 6, 2011

If you have unaddressed bad habits, sparring reinforces those habits.

What makes a person better is sharpening technique.

Good technique = precise execution of the fundamentals.

Sparring is forum for testing that technique.  It lets you know what to focus on.

Surveying a mat Saturday that’s what I observed.  I was looking for good technique, and who was training in a way where they were getting something done instead doing the same thing they probably always do.

Some one who doesn’t hardly know anything about BJJ can see a technical, focused practice for what it is, and should probably even get an idea what you’re working on.

While intentional practice is an art you’ll never fully master, it’s not rocket science.

The higher skill-level you get, the more little things make a difference.

I talked about pro-basketball player Kevin Durant in an earlier post being coached not to play pick-up basketball in his formative years, focusing instead on fundamental drills.  The idea was to never give bad habits a chance to form in the first place.

On somewhat related side-note, I’m know I’m hearing about some one with great fundamentals when people tell me the wrestled some they couldn’t start their game on.  There was no place to go, and slowly but surely they got more and more behind until tap happened.  They’re not blown off the mat so much as feeling they couldn’t do anything.

What actually happening above, are a series of details being strung together, culminating to make a massive difference.  If you want details, you have to practice detailed:

Music analogous to my instructors style…

September 1, 2011

Wrong move you’re dead all day kid!!!