Archive for May, 2012

Language of the heart

May 27, 2012

A huge point about internal motivation, is that it’s the most natural thing in the world.  Motivation via externals (money, women, power and all the things a Jedi craves not) is wholly unnatural.

You are who you are regardless of who and what you think you should be.

Adulthood is only as good our ability to understand the abstract reasoning abilities we have now developmentally unavailable in childhood are there to uncover deeper aspects of ourselves.

In other words, playing with Snake Eyes was the first step in becoming Snake Eyes.


Why the BJJ Barista sucks

May 27, 2012

I’ve had some previous posts on the idea of BJJ for self-improvement, and if it can teach you some sort of life-skill, it’s practice.  This is after all how you develop skill.  Practice.

Next, how happy I am or how much fun I’m having in the context of practice is largely irrelevant.  My coach just had a discussion with a number of people at his school explaining that the academy is NOT a hang out spot.  This is an important concept to understand in terms of getting better because if you treat mat space like Starbucks, quality is likely suffering.  This is why 9 out of 10 times working from home is a risky proposition.


Fonzie's officeFonzie’s office

Further, going back to the ‘fun’ concept, effective practice by definition requires ample forethought followed by high degrees of concentration.  A perceived inability to enjoy such deliberate effort means sorting from self-created limitation instead of possibility.  Who is to say the most technical practice you can imagine won’t be the most pleasurable thing you’ve presently experienced period? This is called using your brain. =)

The starting point here is understanding what effective practice is, and looking at enjoyment from the inside-out instead of outside-in.



Straight cuts

May 22, 2012

RE: the post below, shortcuts in the context of performance are a little misleading, as they’re actually ‘straight cuts.’  That is, ways to use mat time more efficiently.

On a side note I believe there’s no end to increased efficiency, but as usual being manic about this tends to keep us stuck instead of moving foward (multi-tasking is a garbage way of doing two or more things).

The solution is relaxing and let process take its course.  There is no limit on going too slow.  Homework for this idea is working one position or concept for a session/week/month, wherever you’re at with this, and notice where it takes you.


One shortcut

May 19, 2012

On the topic of legit shortcuts to good BJJ, a big one is making a daily effort to understand what BJJ is, and evaluating positions and strategies based on the corresponding criteria.

For resources addressing the above topic, I recommend listening and watching Rickson Gracie interviews.  Dude is so common sense in the manic, sport driven culture BJJ is today, it sounds like he’s talking in a foreign langauge.

What a philosopichal understanding does is helps you become increasingly skilled reason-wise.  What instructors often miss is that every move, position, and posture is a metaphor for structure within an ideology.

Likewise, the ultimate in teaching fishing is offering scenarios toward ultimately becoming the fish.


Jiu-Jitsu base

May 16, 2012

I believe in relentless study of the basics.

Most practitioners agree with this, but the actuality is they base their Jiu-Jitsu on responding to what occurs during sparring sessions.

What the above produces is a game that probably isn’t fundamentally sound, and if so it’s by chance.  A lot of ‘new’ solutions in BJJ produced today are born out of weak fundamentals (nothing like figuring out something that was solved more efficiently 30 years ago).

Plastic flowers and golden nuggets

May 14, 2012

The thing with magic pills, instant goals, and love at first sight is they don’t by definition have much long-term value.

Similarly, if you were able to brain download high-quality BJJ why would you take the time to explore the intricacies and nuances of the program before moving onto another more realistic and impressive plastic flower? 

To conclude, investment is the true goal as it strengthens a creative, process oriented, cause and effect relationship. 

The funny thing is there ARE shortcuts that work, but you have to put the time in to figure them out.  People who’ve put in the time aren’t likely going to give these nuggets away to the casually curious, and even if they do, the person isn’t likely to see this information for the gold it is.


Eric holding map with right hand man Dan-O at left while Botkins looks on from behind (pirate hat).


Making people think

May 8, 2012

I relayed the following idea to Josh Saturday:

If you aren’t already thinking, I don’t have anything for you (can you spell c-o-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t?).

One way I see whatever this blog is, is throwing an extra spice or two in the pot of some one who is already cooking. 

BJJ doesn’t affect you, you affect ‘it’ through brain use.

Congrats to my friends on their promotions this weekend!



Natural discipline

May 3, 2012

“‘When you find yourself in a hole stop digging.” ~Will Rogers


Discipline is one of the most misunderstood concepts out there.  It’s not some you have or don’t have, it’s what’s left over when you start getting out of your own way.

Once you stop creating stories about what things mean, A+B starts equaling C, and action becomes relatively easy.


Wanna roll?

May 2, 2012

Training constitutes intention, a plan for effectively carrying out that intention, and finally executing said plan.

In BJJ, sparring is the generally accepted method of getting better.

The problem is, without intention, you largely reduce what could be a helpful tool into a social activity and weak measuring device.

If you haven’t taken time to figure out what my current progression is and why, you might as well be asking me to join you for happy hour.  Usually such an invitation is welcome, especially if it’s your treat, but my aim in BJJ is quality thinking and training for getting better.  So although well intended, it’s sort of an insult.

In summation, rolling with Rickson is a waste of time if you have no idea what you want you want to get out of it besides an arbitrary measuring stick.  That’s like buying a Ferrari for grocery store runs two blocks away.

Slightly off topic, here are some attempts @ high-level planning and verbal JJ (language warning):


The opposite of getting better…

May 1, 2012

Training to get better demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and being open to an ever evolving worldview.

The opposite of this is clinging to habits, most likely a result of psychic pressure directed inwardly or projected into world.

If there is no do, do, do, more, more, more, now, now, now, compulsions die a silent death and life starts giving you everything you need.

I think often the biggest obstacle to progression is people refusing to give up and even fighting for things that aren’t working very well.