Nov 16

How Dare You Associate Emoticons with Training

How Dare You Associate Emoticons with Training

I don’t like using emoticons.

It’s simply because it doesn’t feel natural. The reason that it doesn’t feel natural is because I haven’t done it enough.

It’s quite the little paradox. Something isn’t done because it doesn’t feel right, but it doesn’t feel right because it isn’t done.

The same kind of dynamic can be found in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

The Learning Experience

If you train, you’ve probably experienced that moment when you try a new technique and it just feels wrong. Everything’s not coming together right away, and you can’t quite figure it out.

It’s quite possible that you weren’t paying attention. There might have been some vital detail that you missed. But there’s another possibility as well.

It could be that you just weren’t used to the movement because it was such a departure from anything you’ve ever done.

It’s that last possibility that we’re going to focus on. Just for the hell of it, we’ll include emoticons in the discussion too.

The Dreaded Association

Look back at the reason that I gave for not using emoticons. In that situation, there are two options. I can either choose to continue not using them or I can start using them.

If I chose the second option, there would eventually come a point where using emoticons would be natural for me. On the other hand, if I chose the first option, everything would remain the same.

Now I’m cool with that when it comes to emoticons, but in BJJ, who wants to be stagnant?

The same dynamic is in play in both situations. You have the option to avoid technique that don’tt click for you right away. Or you can work on it, work on it, work on it until you figure out how to make it work for you.

The difference lies in the difficulty of getting over the hump.

The Challenge

If anyone made a choice to start using emoticons, it probably wouldn’t take that long before they would start using them without thinking about it. The same is not often true in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

It takes more time. It takes more effort. It takes more focus.

When you strip all of that way though, it still comes down to the same point. How willing are you to accept discomfort? Because if you stick in there long enough, you will become comfortable.

Then it will become natural, and you will become great.


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  1. The Ghost

    I completely agree. For many years I avoided developing my triangle because it didn’t feel natural. It hasn’t been until recently I started forcing myself to go for it and within the past few months I starting hitting it and now is feeling more natural.

    1. Kenneth Brown

      Triangles are a great example of it, because people often throw them to the wayside because of attributes like short legs. But there are variations that exist to overcome that perceived limitation.

  2. Eric

    I read somewhere that emoticons communicate a lot more than words and are more effective. To me that means I don’t have to type as much. ha

    1. Kenneth Brown

      I guess that’s the point. Just because something doesn’t feel natural initially, it doesn’t mean that there is no benefit to rectifying that situation.

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