Archive for November, 2012

Foundation and style

November 30, 2012

The biggest misunderstanding I see with style is artistically you must have hours upon hours of foundation before having any business discussing it.

Even now I don’t assume understanding of the basics.  I try to stay open day-to-day to what I’m missing, the more fundamental the better.

Shrimp before you play half-guard, play half-guard before developing a game, and develop some sort of game before thinking too much about style and individuality.



Psychosis, delusion, and humor…

November 30, 2012

Our thoughts by nature never reflect what actually is, but you still have to go with a thought(s) if you want to do something.

Therefore, some degree of delusion is a given.

Imposing such delusion on collective reality is what’s called vision.

So, in a lot of respects acting on a vision day in and day out is the most psychotic, obscene, and egotistical thing one can do.

Love asks me to do all this and more.

It’s wonderful and not quite so wonderful at the same time, hence the need for humor.

And would you really be happy settling for anything less?



“You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”



Tournament footage of Cameron Apple

November 29, 2012

…long lost archived footage of Cameron Apple (long hair, beard, coat, token black t-shirt) accompanying me at tournament where I was asked to prove lineage:



Re-birth of style

November 29, 2012

I wrote style off the past couple of years in favor of mechanical understanding and fundamentals.

Watching a Pablo Popovitch instructional set recently I saw a mirror image of myself, albeit a 100x better.  My moves, how I think, everything was there in more refined fashion.

So ‘style’ as defined now is what mind/body naturally gravitate toward.  Hell, I’ll even take things a step further saying we gravitate towards things for a reason.

Where mechanics and fundamentals come in is keeping the BJJer mindful and grounded.

It’s a path of conscious/unconscious co-existence.

More to come…

Improving Jiu-Jitsu IQ

November 28, 2012

To me IQ is about context. 

IQ tests tell you how you good you are taking IQ tests, and being brilliant at BJJ doesn’t translate to fiscal smarts or good relationships no matter how much BJJers seem to think so.

The IQ portion itself is how unconscious a skill comes.  Further, if the unconscious versus conscious learner put in the same amount of effort and hours, the natural is going to be better.  Fact of life.

However, the problem with natural ability is it can result in laziness, so things even out more than you’d think.

As such, a burning desire to get better has infinitely way more to do with progression than natural ability.

When in doubt, study more diligently.  If you can’t study more diligently, study smarter. 

There’s always a way if desire is placed first.

The equality of zero

November 27, 2012

A big part of intelligence is recognizing what you have while you have it.

We all start our day at zero.

Yes, in the context of this blog I’ve probably acquired more BJJ knowledge than most, but we share the same hour, the same mat time.

How did you spend yours?



The sweetest feeling

November 26, 2012

The sweetest feeling in the world is being yourself.

Doesn’t get any better than that…=)


The story-less grappler

November 25, 2012

The degree you associate self-worth with things both mental (titles, associations, relationships) and physical (house, money, body image) makes things harder to do, as ongoing autobiographies/biographies weigh one down via self-images to live into and positions to defend.

Contrary to the commentary above, when in a sane state I associate self-worth with perception.  Can it really get any better than capacity for experience? 

In the context of BJJ, it’s something I get to do, and it’s a blessing to having something you can sink that innate gift of capacity into.

An expression of such doing is not having much of an identity around BJJ (again, provided I’m in a sane state) beyond the current material I’m working on.  Using this blog as an example, while it’s cool to have a progression fingerprint over the past 3 years, I’m 99.9% focused on writing better posts and thinking clearer thoughts today, as you can never be too informed, skilled, and wise.

Insivible aspect driving Jiu-Jitsu

November 24, 2012

Tension is what drives masterful BJJ.  Solid mechanics are built around manipulating this tension, but in the beginning there was tension.

My understanding why Rickson Gracie says he’ll never do a BJJ book or DVD series is that tension and momentum good mechanics utilize cannot be produced visually, they have to be felt and taught in person.

Such a kinesthetic nature is challenging for me because of a habitual inclination to sort visually.  While sight is still useful in BJJ it can take you down the wrong road if relied upon to heavily.

When in doubt remember good mechanics, postures, positions, moves, and techniques are solid to the degree they effectively manipulate and/or generate momentum.

Come to the right senses by living and breathing tension/momentum/energy/force.

Importance of analysis

November 23, 2012

The reason why sound understanding of the philosophical principles of BJJ are crucial developmentally is the guidelines they offer in weighing quality of information.  Without this foundational backdrop the student is essentially flying blind.

I’m always looking for ways to be more effective within the above context.  This is achieved through constant analysis.  Heck, I’ve even re-corrected and tweaked about a quarter of the things I’ve taught this month while substituting for my Coach.

The ‘smart’ in smart work is being intentional, prioritizing, and analyzing.  The problem is without the accurate analysis referenced earlier, you can intend the wrong thing, or prioritize out-of-order in the context of what you’re trying to achieve.  Skillful analysis is the glue that keeps things together and moving forward.

When in doubt remember 98% of Batman’s fight took place in the Batcave.  Information is a series of words and images unless you know how and when to use it with an end in mind.