Thursday, January 31, 2008
The idea is that it is harder to go from Good to Great than it is to go from Zero to Great. And the reason is simple: when things are going along nicely, our lives tend to become ‘full’ – full of good things and good work, good friends, etc. This though, comes with it’s own set of problems – we then become loathe to ‘give up’ any of these ‘good things’, and without doing so, leave little room left to bring the truly ‘great things’ into our lives. Conversely, when we are at ‘zero’, we have nothing but time and opportunity before us, and can try new things, take new chances, etc.
It’s like being on a rock-climb and finding a perfect hold – it’s nice to have that hold, it makes us feel strong and secure – but along with it comes the problem of not wanting to give it up to make further progress.
This is an interesting thought – and may explain hwy so many of us reach a place where inertia seems to take over. We lose that ‘eye of the tiger’ – so desperate we are to hold onto the good things we have.
In my personal situation, I have on occasion missed out on potentially great opportunities because the ‘good’ opportunities wer consuming so much of my time. I wanted to share this with my readership as I suspect that I am not the only victim of this subtle trap. It makes for an interesting thought for the day – at the least ….
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
So those aspects and others were what was experienced by the students - on the instructor training side of things it was much more complex. There is the coaching role (guardian angel that talks the student through each altercation) - the Bulletman role - how to take the shots and be a good aggressor - and the woofer role - how to take on board various characters and understand how to elicit the right response from the student in the different scenarios.
Without going into detail - I have to say it was an enlightening, entertaining, fun and sweat-filled two days of training. It's something we all will do more of. Thanks to all who were a part of the experience - and a special thanks to Debra and Bill Kipp, who came all the way from Colorado t make it happen.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The more classes you do – the more the chance of injury increases. If you do classes a week, you may get through a year with no injuris whatsoever. If you do twenty-five classes a week, you will almost certainly sustain injuries throughout the year. As a professional, I am almost permanently injured. The fact that I teach somewhere between 25 and 30 classes in any week means that not only am I receiving injuries, but I rarely enjoy access to recover time. I’m okay with this – a little frustrated at times perhaps – but I do accept that this is what I do. The older you get, the longer it takes to recover. As a twenty year old, I’d recover from a sprain or strain within days – now, as a 50 year old, it takes longer. I have had four knee surgeries and one elbow surgery over the years, and mostly because I have been in reasonable shape before I hit the operating theatre, I recovered rapidly and was back on the mat within ten days or so each time. So there are many factors that come into how well we recover from injuries. The advice I most often give to people is the same advice I give to (and take) myself:
KEEP TRAINING! Find a way to work around the injury – this will keep you mentally IN THE GAME – and keep the rest of you in shape. One of the biggest drama’s with injuries is when we completely stop what we do because of an injury and the rest of our body-system begins to decline as a result. It is this collateral/secondary impact that can usually be completely avoided. My rule is simple – DON’T MAKE THE INJURY WORSE WHILST FINDING A WAY TO KEEP TRAINING!
Be well – train safe – train smart – and keep doing it.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
From a training-design perspective, I believe that it’s no use learning to take someone down unless you are already proficient on the ground. Why go down unless you are fairly certain, that in doing so, you have significantly increased your chances of a favourable outcome. So generally – I don’t expose students to takedowns until they are a BJJ Blue belt level.
Having said that though, if you have the time (or the student has the time) – then learn all you can whenever you can – and then arrange things as they should be at a later date. In fact, although there is a THEORETICAL order in which we should learn things – we rarely follow this order as we should. We learn when the opportunity presents itself – and we apply the lesson learned at some time when circumstances or skill levels permit. Human beings are opportunistic learners at their core. It’s hard to stop them from uncovering secrets – as anyone with kids will attest to.
So from a CURRICULUM DESIGN perspective, I wouldn’t teach takedowns before GROUND COMPETENCE. But from a training perspective – grab the sills whenever you can – but be prepared to modify and adjust when the context becomes clearer and more complete when you are more skilled. It is a never-ending process.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Which brings me to say a big THANK YOU to my webguy who is responsible for the upkeep, mainatanence and ever-improving look of my web-related stuff: GEOFF GRANT. Nothing has been too much trouble for Geoff over the years. He has always selflessly tried to do whatever he can to help me out with in this area of my life. I of course, shall continue to do my best to do the same for him (I feel I have the better end of the deal). Geoff, who recently achieved his BJJ Black Belt, is a wonderful guy. he is probably embarrased by this blog - but I think it’s important to tell friends how important they are. Thanks Geoff - all your help is not only appreciated - it is NEVER taken for granted.
I have other friends who have congratulated me about the publishing of my new ROGUE BLACK BELT book series - they have taken the time to recommend my books to their friends and gone out of their way to send me e-mails and letters in way of congratualtions. No-one realises how much this means to me. I thanks all of you - you know who you are! I hope I can always reciprocate.
What does it cost, to genuinely wish others well? Virtually nothing - and yet in doing so, we begin to re-wire our own thinking, our own view of the world.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Grappling is a version of rough-play that can prepare us for struggle in the complicated and highly competitive world we live in. To know and understand struggle, leverage, defeat, domination, fear, courage, experimentation - is to arm ourselves for the living of life. In our lives we all wear the masks of both predator and prey. I don't mean this in a negative sense - but in it's purest sense. Think on how you play - play well - and play often.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
My advice? Read! The read some more. Reading is a habit. A good one, A life changing one. read just 12 inspiring and thought-provoking books a year and break away from the pack. Reading expands your mind and re-defines who you are. The footprints that remain in the landscapes of our mind after reading a good book, will be there forever, and can have a positive and lating impact on how we live and act in the world. Get a book - get to some reading. Start today!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Training is fun. And so it should be. Keeping it fun, means that we will keep doing it. If we are consistent in training, eventually, even without talent, we become competent. Keeping it fun means that we will try new things, experiment, etc. This in turn will keep us on a path of discovery. Discovering new things and ideas, can be a joyful experience in itself. And so the process of having fun and experiencing joy can begin to develop a momentum all of it’s own.
On the mat though, we can often meet people who seem to have a different concept of fun than we do. I am okay with that. Other people are not responsible for my fun. Overly competitive people abound in the martial arts environment; pretty natural really, after all, we are talking about inter-personal combat. And that’s okay with me. Just make the competition fun. It’s all about attitude – our attitude. We can’t control the way other people think; we can control and adjust the way we look at things ourselves. Decide to enjoy every bit of the training experience. Decide to have fun.