Creative thinking under pressure ...

It is one thing to be creative whilst sitting by the window with a cup of tea - it's another thing entirely to be creative when under stress. However, if you want your game to jump up a notch, then this is exactly what you need to do.
Creative thinking whilst grappling develops new solutions, novel outcomes and can really put some 'dazzle' into your game - but how do we cultivate such an approach?
Basically, we are a collection of 'programs' - I have talked about this before, but perhaps not often enough. There are neural pathways in our brain, that are responsible for bringing about the same reponse to a given situation, each and every time - a good way to think of them is like this:

Imagine rainwater hitting the top of a mountain (a virgin, unmarked mountain) - as it trickles down the side of that mountain it leaves little furrows in the ground - the next time it rains, the rainwater will again follow some of those furrows down the exact same path, making them a little deeper - and so on - until the furrows become creeks - the creeks eventually become rivers. Every time the rainwater hits the mountain it is now forced to follow the same course down to the sea. Well, in the physiology of our brain, those furrows, creeks and rivers are called engrams. When we are faced with a situation, they fire off in the same way and order they have before and we have what is commonly known as a conditioned response. That's a clumsy way to put it - but you get the picture.

The point is - that to some degree, we become a slave to those responses. The more we respond to a given situation in a certain way - the more likely it becomes that we will respod to it the same way in the future.

Truly creative people are always trying to re-write new engramic pathways. They are testing out new responses and making new furrows, creeks and rivers. In my classes, i try to encourage creative thinking and behaviour whilst grappling. Of course, there is a down side - sometimes there is a bad outcome - but provided the correct culture is in place on the mat - then what's the big deal - what's the price we pay for a bad outcome - we TAP! This is no price at all, apart form a bit of ego-bruising - if that!

Try this next time you get on the mat and roll - be totally creative and differnt. it starts by not caring about whether you are winning and losing - it starts by ENJOYING every moment and aspect of the grapple - whether you are winning, losing, on top, underneath, attacking, defending - enjoy it all! Move left wehn you have always moved right - have some FUN!

This will really help -
let me know how you go with it!
best wishes


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