Archive for April, 2012

Jiu-Jitsu materialism, results, and overcompensation

April 29, 2012

The idea of ‘results are the only thing that matter’ is relevant as a way of keeping you on path.  If you stray too far, like supplementing playing chess for drilling closed guard for example, corresponding results are going to tell you how effective this is.

Where a focus on results can hurt you, is misunderstanding this distinction.

You actually train to be present, with that being the end goal.  The work is the reward.

Results don’t really matter here, because you’re living in common sense instead of some arbitrary end point/dollar value in your head.

A classic example of the above was a guy I saw a year or so back standing alongside the road with a cardboard ‘This could be you’ sign.  The guy looked to be in his twenties and in good health, not to mention the fact that it was a nice day out.  My first thought was how would a quadriplegic would interpret this?

Hell is in your head.  Have a day and don’t be in too much of a rush to…



Serenity and the mechanics of dragon slaying

April 26, 2012

Training can either be a drama filled soap opera or serene meditation.

Likewise, thinking in terms of what type of training is ‘fun’ for you is akin to looking through the wrong end of a telescope.

Who wants to stay with anything you don’t pick up right away when you can shy away from the forest because of the circulating dragon scale rumor G$ started for gold hording.

Instead, take one step at a time, and when in doubt, frustrated, or flat-out pissed, slow down. 

Better still, is slowing down and focusing on one thing, or even stopping altogether for the night.

Progression happens in its own time regardless of how we ‘think’ things should be going.


My coach leading G$ and Botkins on a route toward the perfect armlock.

Dan Gable’s shortcut was…

April 24, 2012

…doing the work no one else wants to do.

People often do just the opposite, looking at product instead of process.

If you apply Josh’s Matrix metaphor of downloading Roger Gracie’s process to getting his cross-choke to where it currently is, it would be obvious why it’s so good, followed by a person likely shying away upon realizing the level of investment.

You have to be willing to slay a dragon or two, or ten at a time if you’re Gable:



Artistry: Fundamentals and the X-factor

April 21, 2012

Call it the zone, zero-point, x-factor, being present, etc.  I examined this idea from the context of better BJJ about 8 or so years ago without much luck.  Yeah, there were a few times I felt I grappled out of my head, but a lot of it was probably imagined as sustainable, tangible progression wasn’t part of the equation back then.  Too boring!

The missing piece turned out to be basic knowledge within the field of domain study:

You need a thorough understanding of the fundamentals native to a specific domain before you can make deep creative contributions.

In BJJ this amounts to a strong working knowledge of body mechanics.

To put this idea in perspective, I posted an interview with Kron Gracie recently where he stated he once hoped to make a contribution on top of what Helio and Rickson have done.

What’s unsaid here?

Dude is still learning and working on Helio’s and his Father’s material!

He isn’t in a rush to put his on stamp on the art by releasing an instructional DVD, publishing a book, or heaven forbid create his own system or style.

You have to put in the study and work hours, otherwise you’re hurting the progression of students who don’t know any better.

The problem is quality exposes (strong mechanics demolish), and if they stick around long enough they eventually will…

…PAL!! =)

Favorite motivational clips

April 18, 2012

Post em’ in comments!


Deconstructing a masterpiece

April 18, 2012

A masterpiece is a masterpiece because of a million and one nuances coming together to create a sum greater than the individual details.

You finish yourself before you’ve started when trying to shortcut the quest of a thousand subtleties.

This is why coaching and things marketed towards ‘speeding’ up this process are a bit irritating, as it undermines the cause and effect intelligence supporting real, sustainable achievement.


Command world-wide respect by becoming instant Norse God. Availabe now in 3-EZ payments: MJOLNIR!!

Hobby versus craft re-visited

April 14, 2012

I made the hobby versus craft distinction awhile back, and I think one way to look at this is distinction time invested.

Before, I wrote about a hobbyist looking at BJJ as a form of entertainment.  Something to do to pass the time.  Doing things as smart as possible from this perspective, or more accurately making the effort to, isn’t part of the equation.

The update is, entertainment really isn’t training.  I don’t know what you’d call it, but what is the point of building a home that’s going to collapse under the first hail storm?

The truth is a hobbyist can build a killer house, an hour a day, 2x a week.  It’s just going to take him or her longer than the person who is building 2 hours, 5-7x a week.

The key is quality of work.

You can train 7 days a week with killer coaches and training partners and effectively be asleep.  It’s actually easy to do in this kind of environment because it seems like a good house would build itself under these conditions.

Less time can actually be an advantage, because it forces you to focus on eliminating wasted motion.  If the person training 7 days a week planned and trained with this kind of focus and intent you’d have an animal.

In other words the hobbyist can and should strive for world-class sessions, the teeth are just going to take longer to grow.

Something pretty classic I often see are people talking about the deep meaning BJJ gives them and how much they love it, but when you check out what they’ve actually have done you find the foundation hasn’t even been poured.

I guess if you’re going to build a lemon that doesn’t drive I should be happy you’re getting high?

Really, the above scenario is only possible in an environment where people are validating themselves by comparing what they know with some one totally unfamiliar with the field.

Good job for beating up on white belts, you really put the art in martial artist. =)

If you’re going to compare, compare in a way that serves a function.  What would Jiu-Jitsu that is so good you can barely imagine it feel and look like?

Starting points and better choices

April 13, 2012

The best an instructor can give you is a starting point in an ongoing investigatory process.

I feel like a lot of people assume that because they have so-and-so instructor, they can go to sleep.



Of course part of the above behavior is related to how information is presented, but what I look for in instruction is using progressions as tools for teaching reason.

The latest and greatest move doesn’t mean jack if you aren’t on a path towards making better choices everyday via a progressively refined understanding of Jiu-Jitsu.




Staying awake, and commitment to quality

April 12, 2012

Assuming you know something is effectively falling asleep. 

Are you aiming just to get by, or high degree of quality?

If the goal is quality, you should go further by spending time re-visiting things you think you’re very familiar with.  Go slow, take things apart, and examine peice by peice.

Is it possible to spend too much time on the elbow escape from mount?

Is your BJJ worth this amount of care?



Video link: Cool mechanical analysis of boxer

April 10, 2012

I don’t know enough about boxing to gauge the soundness of the reasoning presented, but just thinking in such terms puts you light years ahead of the average BJJer who base their decisions on??:

 Embedding was disabled, so you’re going to have to do some work. ;o)