Monday, April 04, 2016


Leverage ...

Many martial arts systems, BJJ in particular, are built on an understanding and application of the principles of leverage. What does this mean though?

For years I thought I could answer that question – but the more I knew, the more aware I became that I didn’t really know. So let me take you through a sped-up version of how I came to understand what I currently know about leverage …

Firstly, I knew the word. I could use the word ‘Leverage’ in a sentence that made sense. At this point, I had absolutely no idea of what it really mean’t. I had some vague picture in my head of a guy trying to move the earth with a giant lever – who knows what he was using as a fulcrum, or where he was standing at the time???

Then, at some point, I realised that leverage had to do with ‘levers’. Slowly, ever so slowly, it dawned on me that the art of applying leverage was about achieving a lot with a little, about moving a larger object with a smaller object through some arcane use of these things called levers.

After quite a long time (in BJJ practice) I began to understand that the levers we are using (in that art) are in actual fact – the bones. I began to understand that in trying to move an elbow, I was pulling or pushing on the end of a lever known as the ‘humerus’. I also began to realise that if we wanted to move a lever, we had to apply the force to the ‘end’ of it – and not the middle of it. Basic stuff I know – but still, I admit this took me a long time to truly understand.

Slowly I began to understand how to more effectively apply force to, and move, the levers that were the opponents ‘bones’ – on the mat. My Jiu Jitsu life became easier.

Now, if we get that leverage is ultimately about getting a maximal result from a minimal effort – then it becomes easier to look at the broader aspects of our lives ‘off the mat’ and seek out opportunities to apply leverage there – in our relationships, with our finances, in fly-fishing for trout, etc. Are we getting the best result for the effort we are putting in?

I hope so – because this is a natural application of one of the skills we learn on the mat – at work in the larger part of our life. Leverage …. so much more, than just a word.


Subscribe by Email

Follow Updates Articles from This Blog via Email

No Comments

Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.