If you want to start seeing things we need to start looking for them. This sounds so very simple, so obvious in fact, that many people wouldn’t spend any time thinking on it. Our brains though, come equipped with a function sometimes referred to as the RAS (reticular activating system); which has to do with states of arousal and such.
I think that we all come equipped with a kind of a filter; a filter that simply holds back the bulk of information that our environment throws at us. Simply put, there is just too much information coming at us, from every angle, at every waking second, of every day; we have all had to evolve a ‘filtering system’ to keep out everything that is not relevant to our conscious desires and ambitions. In letting ourselves know that we want this or are seeking that, then the filtering system, like any good doorman, allows the best-dressed (relevant) info through. We learn to see things by telling ourselves we are looking for them.
We have all experienced this phenomenon countless times. Remember when you bought your first car and suddenly you started noticing that particular model of car everywhere you drove? Why; because it had become relevant to you. They were always there but were never that relevant. It is the same with most things; once we identify what is, for one reason or another, important to us our brains do their thing and go on the lookout for anything that seems at all relevant. If it’s important – then our doorman lets it in.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I have had one posted comment but quite a few e-mails from people asking me to post up some of the 'slides' that I used in my breakfast talk in Canberra last weekend. This comes as a surprise to me ... I am mildly amazed at the level of interest. So here we go ... I'll pop up a few - but really, they won't make a lot of sense without the stories and lessons that go with them. And I made them in only a few minutes - and put very little thought into them. In fact, htye were really only intended as personal prompts for myself and not for public viewing. I only decided to share them with the audience at the very last minute ...
I have had quite a bit of interest from some of the attendees - and offers to come and deliver for a range of different groups. I shall try to find the time to fulfil these requests - but my immediate future is somewhat mapped out with a trip to the USA for a martial arts expo, some seminars and my annual work with Chuck Norris's black Belts at their UFAF convention in Vegas.
Quite a few people have also e-mailed me about the progress of my eldest son Ronin, who is still in hospital. Thank you all very much for your thoughtful concern. As things are now, he has suffered several complications and as a result his second open heart surgery has been postponed. Some problems have arisen due to infections he got whilst in hospital and surgery is not viable until these are all fully resolved. The battle ensues ... I'll have more to say when the news is better.
Best wishes all
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
What a weekend!
This was a huge weekend, particularly on the back of my visit to New Zealand. I must admit I am glad to be home with my family - and am looking forward to getting into my school tonight.
I had two full days of working with a motivated and passionate cadre of military and AFP personnel at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Another huge day where I was a guest instructor alongside edged weapons expert and friend Ray Floro and student, good friend and World Class UFC referee Steve Perceval. This day culminated in a black belt grading conducted by mover and shaker, Travis Faure at the Australian Self Defence Academy. A long but action-packed day! Sunday was also a huge day; it began at dawn for me, when I began preparations for a 90 minute corporate breakfast talk that I gave to a 50+ strong crowd of Canberra-based leaders. The talk, by all accounts, was a huge success - and I have since been offered opportunities to speak again, including an invite to present at the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport); I am very much looking forward to that, and other opportunities, including delivering to cadets at the Royal Military College - it's great fun, very rewarding and easier on my knees!
After my talk (SHIPWRECKED & LOVIN IT!) was done - I scooted over to watch friend and student Steve Perceval deliver his Combat Conditioning seminar, before I hit the mat myself to teach forty off BJJ freaks at brown Belt Danny Weir's Academy. What a great bunch!
More tomorrow - time to clear my inbox and catch up on home events.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Dawn is still an hour or so away – and I am up, packed and good to go.
I had a great dinner last night, a long hot shower and spent fun time with Melissa and Felix. I’m off to Canberra (Australia’s Capital City) to deliver training to a special group of instructors at the Royal Military College. The weekend to follow is a busy one, beginning with a BJJ seminar for Travis Faure as part of his big grading weekend; then I am offering a talk to some 30 guests over breakfast on Sunday morning, followed by an advanced BJJ seminar organized by brown belt Danny Weir in the afternoon. On Monday I shall don the cams again for more work in military circles – and then it’s back home late Monday night in readiness to begin the routine of a more ‘normal’ week (Private lessons and evening classes – can’t wait!)
There’s a long day ahead – so I better slam down some porridge and an apple before I hit the road. More to follow sometime early next week; train well – live well.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I have just returned from my six day tour of new Zealand. it was great to get on the mat with my Kiwi friends again; and amazing to see the growth and development of the organisation in NZ to date. I have attached a pic of the Auckland girls who attended my seminar last saturday - it is so gratifying to see such representation from the ladies - they go a long way to keeping the guys in line - we hope to see a couple coming over to Melbourne represent in September. (we are already receiving online registrations!!!! Check out our online registration page: CLICK HERE
I am already looking forward to my return in late November - but I am sure I'll see many of the Kiwi clan make it over to our Gathering this year; there was more interest than ever before - it's going to be a bumper year for the Will-Machado Asia PAcific Championships - and I can't wait to see it all come together.
I went from the airport this morning, straight to the hospital, as my boy Ronin's open heart op was scheduled for today - but as it turns out, they have postponed it until next week sometime. I am relieved to a degree but also anxious to see it happen and put it behind us. I have just enough time fora good home-cooked meal a few precious hours with my family and then before dawn I am off for another four days in Canberra. Best get packing ... more later.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I am in New Zealand right now, visiting with all my friends on both north and south islands. The seminars each day, have gone really well, with large numbers attending - especially as we are in winter in this part of the world.
I will be leaving Wellington at 0600 on thursday to make the trip back to Melbourne. After arriving in melbourne that morning, I'll dash straight to the Geelong hospital, as my eldest boy Ronin is undergoing a long and complicated open heart surgery (for the 2nd time in three months). He has stopped compiling his blog of late due to the seriousness of his condition. We both decided that we didnt want to keep talking about the situation , as we don't like the thought of bringing any 'gloom' to your lives - which we hope are filled with joy and good health. But there it is - just keeping everyone in the loop - mainly because loads of people are enquiring as to how Ronin is faring of late. I'll make another post after his op - and let you know how things went - meanwhile: don't put off living your lives, not even for a day. Each day is a precious luxury - and we humans are a resilient but fragile lot.
Best wishes all
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
KNOW THE ANGLE
This, the last my five principals of Weight Application – is in my view, the most difficult to take ownership of; the reason being that it changes for every technique and so it becomes a lifelong pursuit.
Applying our weight, by taking it off the floor and pouring it onto the end of a lever, through a small contact point is very, very effective; but we have a subtle very important consideration to take into account – and that is, the angle (vector) on which this force is applied.
Consider being on the mount position for example, and driving all of our weight down into our partner’s wrist to try to force it to the mat for our Figure 4 finish. If we apply our weight in a downward direction, it may be such that our partner doesn’t like it and so moves his forearm away from his body to alleviate the pressure but this is a strategy that is reliant upon him deciding to do that; if we are driving our weight in a downward direction, we are in fact, driving his wrist into his body, rather than driving it out into space and onto the floor. The angles in which we apply a force, greatly affect the outcomes we get. Levers can be moved in many different directions and by being very clear about what we are trying to achieve we can hone in on the correct angles on which to apply our weight/force. Push a see-saw sideways and not much happens, jump downward on one end and the other end flies upward. Think about angles – for every technique.
I hope this and the four previous posts have made you think more deeply about how you can more effectively apply your weight on the mat. These things took me a long time to understand and even now, I don’t claim full understanding – but the understanding that I do have has afforded me good results. I hope the same for you.
Monday, June 07, 2010
It is not always practical to do this, but when we can, it will significantly increase the amount of pressure we can apply to our partner. Your weight is a finite thing – you weigh, what you weigh – so how can we increase the amount of force that we can apply to our partner given that this is the case.
Imagine standing on your set of bathroom scales – we look at the numbers and they tell us we weigh exactly 80 kilograms (apologies my American friends) – it is what it is. There is one simple way to see the numbers go up, without having Marcelo Garcia jump onto our back, and that is to take off our belt (because we are still wearing it) slide it under the scales, grab and end in each hand and start pulling. By pulling upward, we increase the force that we are naturally applying to the scales.
Often we can create the same effect on our training partner. Be in side control, slide our top under beneath his shoulder blade (for example) and pull up strongly as we focus our weight down from above (using all of the principles I have previously discussed). By adding ‘pulling’, we can significantly increase the pressure we are applying to the end of the lever.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
WHERE TO APPLY IT?
As we take our weight off the floor and pour it onto our partner, through a small point of contact so as to increase the pressure, we will need to develop an understanding of where, on our opponent, we should apply our efforts. This is where there is a clear crossover of an understanding of leverage and an understanding of weight application. We need to apply our weight on the ends of the levers. Applying it in the middle of our partners chest (when in side control for example) will not serve to effectively prevent his shoulders from rotating as effectively as we could be applying the weight on point of the far shoulder.
Remember, it will help you to think of the bones as levers and the levers as bones; it certainly helped me. Take our weight off the floor, apply through a small point of contact on to the end of the lever that we wish to manipulate. This is crucial.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH
In taking our weight off the floor, it will necessarily pour onto our partner but with what measure of force? If we take our body off the floor and lie entirely on top of our partner, the weight will be spread over a large surface area and won’t count for much. The smaller the surface area through which we pour our weight onto our partner, the greater the measure of force we impart.
Our tendency is to spread our weight over a larger surface area than we need to and this results in less pressure. Think of your weight in terms of water shooting out of the nozzle of a fire-hose; the smaller the nozzle, the greater the pressure. As you take your weight off the floor, pour it onto your partner through a small contact point and you will begin to maximize the amount of pressure you can apply. The larger the contact point, the weaker the pressure – the smaller the contact point, the greater the pressure. This is very important.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
GET IT OFF THE FLOOR
My instructors used to tell me to put my weight on my partner. I thought I was doing exactly this but still I couldn’t seem to shut them down effectively. Over time, these thoughts occurred to me:
- I have a limited amount of weight to use
- That weight has to be somewhere
- Where, exactly was my weight, at any given moment?
- I noticed that much of it was dispersed on the mat itself
- If I took it off the mat it had to go somewhere
- And that ‘somewhere’ was in fact, onto my training partner
So there you have the first, most basic principle of Weight Application that there is. The more of your weight that you take off the floor, the more of it will ‘pour’ onto your opponent. And every ounce counts! There’s a T-shirt right there! EVERY OUNCE COUNTS! Look for your weight, you will find it on your elbows, on your knees, your feet, etc – try to get it off these ‘support points’ and it will flow onto your partner. When I began thinking in terms of getting my weight off the floor, rather than putting it on my partner, I became far more effective. Begin then, by asking yourself, where your weight actually is – at any given moment. Please pay attention to these few blogs, even through they may seem somewhat obvious ... I guarantee gains.
Best wishes all