Looking for patterns

Imagine this – you are hired to do a study on traffic patterns; you need to identify certain patterns at certain times of the day; perhaps how flows on one road, effect flows on an intersecting road, etc. Anyway, you’ve got he idea …
Now the question is this: do you undertake this study from within your moving vehicle, as part of the traffic problem or from the comfort of your deck-chair from a point removed from the traffic. No trick question here – the obvious answer is that we would want to be outside of the thing we are studying.
Now let’s apply this thinking to grappling. If you want to study the patterns that unfold during the course of grappling, it is often very useful to observe these from the ‘outside’. In other words, when you aren’t overly concerned about the outcomes, you can free up a larger part of your awareness and just watch your opponent. Now you can do this anytime you like – the trick is to just ‘flow’ and not worry too much (or at all) about trying to win.
As a coach, every now and then I try this strategy with my class: they pair off, play paper,rock, scissors to determine who will win the match (not unlike WWF) – and once that’s out of the way, there is absolutely zero-pressure for the person who lost the game – and they can just kick back, relax and watch everything their opponent does as he sets out on his quest to win. Zero-pressure equals more free brain power available to observe and ponder – and those are great skills to develop. Food for thought …


Unknown said…
Hi John

This post of yours rings very true.How many times I've looked on from the side line and thought they could have tried this or done that.I find that when im focused on winning the match theres alot of tunnel vision happening.I thought this maybe due to nerves and the adrenaline dump.Ill try to "flow" tomorrow night.


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