Thursday, November 12, 2009
HOW? Is a question most people ask frequently on the mat. How do I do this move? How can I escape from that position? And such questions are usually answered in terms of ‘this’ or ‘that’ technique. And there is nothing wrong with this approach – in fact, it is the most common way by which people arrive at solutions to all the mat problems they encounter. But another, far more interesting question to follow-up with, is the question that begins with the word ‘WHY?’. Why does holding his heel work better than holding his calf? Why does pressure on his far shoulder stop him from turning toward us? Why does pressure here stop that from happening? Etc. By working out the answers to the WHY questions, we gather information that can help many, many other techniques. By asking HOW, we usually only get information that is useful for a very specific situation.
A profound understanding of BJJ requires an in-depth understanding of leverage and applied bio-mechanics. The techniques we learn are the delivery-system for this understanding. The more we understand the concepts and principles which underpin the techniques, the easier it is for us to learn and understand new techniques.
Ask questions yes … but understand that different kinds of questions provide different kinds of answers and different sorts of knowledge.
On another note - I must apologize for an absence that I am about to take. I am off to new Zealand to conduct a round of seminars for my good friends there - a bit of work at the Police College - and then it's ten days in the backcountry mountains ... no internet access, no laptop, just my small backpack, my flyfishing rod and may hiking/fishing mate for company. I won't be back online till the 4th of December - when I arrive back home - around the exact same time that my American buddy Dave Meyer will be arriving. So more then ...
Warmest regards everyone ...
Monday, November 09, 2009
Lately, life has been unusually hectic. For seven weekends in a row, I have been in airports, on planes and working interstate - making the trip back home each sunday night or monday morning to see my family and teach my mid-week classes before heading off again the following friday. This coming weekend is no exception - I am preparing today for my last visit to New Zealand for the year. I have eight seminars to run for the all of my BJJ friends, plus a stint at the Police Academy in Wellington. Busy. But afterward, I am taking my annual 10 day flyfishing trip into the wilds of new Zealand's backcountry - can't wait!
When I come home from New Zealand, my good friend Dave Meyer will be here for a couple of weeks - can't wait for that either! And another good friend, Marc Herbert from South Africa wil be arriving the same time - good times ahead!!
On another note - I have literally had hundreds of requests for the third installment in my Rogue Black Belt series. So, buckling under the pressure, have penciled it into my diary for the first half of January. In fact, I have written about a third of it - and I have completed the cover (see pic) - so with good fortune (and planning) I'll get it done by mid January and hopefully printed by february. I am excited about having it done - and I need to do it to clear the way for other things I want to do. I only have about two dozen Fight Logic books left in stock - and rather than do a re-print, I am considering writing a whole new book on MMA.
I'd better go - seminar planning to do, bags to pack, classes to run. I'll get onto it after a brisk walk around the river with my wife - she's chaffing at the bit, to get out the door.
Best wishes all
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Further to my last post, I thought I'd offer up a clarification on some of the Defensive Tactics design work that I do. I am often asked by the martial arts fraternity, about the work that I do in police and military circles. Usually, I am rather reluctant to talk about this - for the same reasons that I would not talk about the training I offer to private clients that I may be teaching. I simply do not view the subject matter to be of a public nature. However, I can talk about the approach I take, in very general and broad terms.
The most common question I am asked is whether or not I teach policing and military groups, BJJ? The simple answer is that I do not. Most often the various groups that I do work for, have very specific operational needs, and what I do is try my best to cater for those needs by designing training solutions that are equally specific - and BJJ (off the shelf) doesn't do much to fill this need. What does help tremendously though, is the solution-seeking mindset that I have developed over the years, through my BJJ training. In short, the study and development of BJJ - and more specifically, developing my BJJ coaching skills, has provided me with an aptitude for coming up with solutions for various physical and strategic problems that arise in the course of physical struggle. The understanding of angles, biomechanics, leverage and physics are a part of the toolkit that I bring to the Defensive Tsctics design-table. Apart from these things (learned from BJJ), I also need to come armed with communication and teaching skills, an understanding of management needs and a willingness to be transparent in my thinking and design process.
Usually, martial arts skill sets are the last thing that law enforcement and military orgs are looking for when they seek help from outside SME's (subject matter experts) - there are usually plenty of such people already embedded within their ranks. The one thing that is more difficult to find, is someone who is extremely task-oriented, with a talent for design; the right mix of communication, coaching and presentation skills, along with a broad enough range of cross-platform physical expertise from which to tease out the training solutions that they are looking for. The more of this kind of work that I do, the more deeply I understand the unique sets of needs that these professionals have. It is serious work, as ultimately, there are people's lives at stake - but it is also tremendously satisfying. The police officers and soldiers iof the world do the work that no-one else is willing to do - I freely admit, it is an honor to be asked to make my a contribution.
Stay safe all,
Monday, November 02, 2009
Just back home after a big weekend in Darwin. I had to fly up on friday to deliver 15 sessions to the NT Police College trainers and members of the Tactical Response Team. Arrived home 1 am this morning - still slightly dehydrated. Spending today drinking water, eating food and napping.
Darwin is hot - hot and humid. But the people were great and my time there was thoroughly enjoyable. For those who don't know much about the Northern Territory - it's like the old wild west out there. Police can be stationed in remote aboriginal communities, where, for all intents and purposes, they are pretty much left to their own devices. When all is running along nicely, they may get some good fishing in - but when things go bad, they are alone and well beyond the reach of assistance. They have their own unique sets of problems and chellenges - and they have my utmost respect. For these people, Defensive Tactics is not a lifestyle choice - it is a means of survival - serious stuff!
I will enjoy tyhe rest of the day - indeed, the rest of the week at my school here in Geelong. I have a seminar at Hangar 4 in Melbourne this thursday night - and then four more in Sydney this weekend. I'd better hydrate ...