Dec 05

Are You Willing to Look Like a Fool

Are You Willing to Look Like a Fool

That’s a question that you should ask yourself if you’re serious about mastering anything But who wants to look like a fool? We all want to look good. We want to impress. It’s hard to let go of vanity. It’s also hard to let go of habits that you’ve already formed. There’s a parable highlighted …

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Dec 04

What Lies Just Beyond the Horizon

South Africa

Take a moment and look at this picture. Do you see how the sun’s light just breaks through the clouds? Or maybe the contrast between light and shadow reflected off of hundreds upon hundreds of hills? Perhaps you even see something that I simply can’t. That’s quite likely actually. The key thing is that you …

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Dec 02

A Conceptual Blueprint for Preparing to Teach

cover-image-as-we-speak-07-28-11

If you teach or you want to teach, you have to do more than just regurgitate information. The best instructors create experiences that are rarely forgotten. You might’ve even had such experiences yourself, especially if you’ve been training for a good amount of time. It’s in those moments when you pay absolute attention because you …

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Nov 30

Transitions between Half Guard and Closed Guard

Hey, I decided to share some more unedited technique. There are actually three in the video, but they’re all interconnected. Half Guard Transition to Closed Guard Details: There are two different grip combinations that you can use for this transition. The one I showed is cross collar/far sleeve. The other one that you can use …

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Nov 28

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Teaching Experiment II

Recently, I taught a class at Evolve Academy. I had a simple vision. I wanted to create a focused lesson that reinforced the technique in different ways. What we’re going to do here is go back and try to highlight what was good and bad about that approach. Class Structure Free Form Drilling – 10 …

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Nov 22

Informal Technique: Triangle Entry from Half Guard

Some time ago, I put a little informal technical lesson on video and shared it only with those who have signed up for the BJJ Canvas Newsletter. Generally, I prefer to do that over posting technique, but I’m making an exception here. Half Guard Triangle Entry The technique is a transition from half guard into …

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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 …

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Nov 13

The Power of Challenging Goals

The Power Of Challenging Goals

Right away, stop whatever you’re doing. Take a moment to think about just one thing that you can do now that you never imagined yourself capable of years ago. I’m sure that you can probably think of at least one. It’s even quite probable that you can think of far more than that. The point …

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Nov 11

Teaching Self-Defense in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Teaching Self-Defense in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Take a moment and think about how Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is taught. There is generally a logical progression. You start off with drilling technique with no resistance then you drill it with varying amounts of resistance. One of the best examples of that last step is rolling.  When you roll, you go against people with different …

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Nov 05

Another Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Thought Experiment

Another Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Thought Experiment

Imagine this. There are two entirely different individuals. One is extremely athletic with significant experience in sports. The other is out of shape and has never played in any sports seriously before. Now take both of those individuals and introduce them to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at the same time and at the same gym. Inspire in …

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Nov 05

Rundown of What Went Down at the No-Gi Worlds

Rundown of What Went Down at the No-Gi Worlds

I had a plan. It was simple and elegant. It just didn’t work out the way that I wanted it to. Oh, no no no, I’m not talking about the tournament yet. We’ll get there, but first we’re going to go a little further back in time to that Friday night. I arrived in Los …

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Oct 29

The Characteristics of Success and How to Apply Them

Rebounders

One day, I walked into the library, and something quite unexpected happened.. By chance, my eyes fell upon a book, and it had a word on the cover that stood out to me. You could probably guess which one it was if you take just a moment to look up above. I picked it up, …

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Oct 28

Abu Dhabi World Pro 2013 Trials – First Attempt

Abu Dhabi Pro Trials NY 2013

One of my definite goals is to go back to Abu Dhabi and return victorious. Now that I’m a brown belt, the challenges to achieving that goal have shifted. In some ways, it has become easier, and in others, it’s quite more difficult. The Challenge I had a seven man division of brown and black …

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Oct 25

A Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Thought Experiment

A Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Thought Experiment

Recently, I read a biography about Einstein, and one interesting thing was his use of thought experiments to work out solutions to complex problems and highlight scientific concepts. What if you applied that method to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? Let’s see what happens. The Thought Experiment Two twins develop an interest in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at the same …

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Oct 23

Reverse Engineering Technique in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Reverse Engineering Technique in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

We’re going to follow up on the principle of piecing it all together by looking at the technique equation from a different angle. So let’s start by restating that equation: Technique = Concept + Movement It’s a simple equation, and that’s why it’s useful as an intuitive framework for understanding how technique is learned and …

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Oct 20

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Teaching Experiment I

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Teaching Experiment I

Let’s set the stage. I taught a class at Crazy 88 some time ago, and in that class, I implemented the thought process I’ve had on isolating movements in instruction. Today, we’re going to retrace the steps and clearly highlight the structure of that class. Warmup The warmup was split into two phases. The first …

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Oct 19

Piecing It All Together in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Piecing It All Together in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

For several years now, I’ve been reducing computer systems to many bits and pieces then putting them all back together again with new parts. It’s one of my jobs. Lately, I’ve been thinking about that process and how it relates to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Now, I’m going to share my thought process with you, and I’m …

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Oct 08

Mindset is Often More Important than Skillset

Mindset is Often More Important than Skillset

I’m very self aware. I know when I’m performing to the best of my ability and when I’m not. There’s a clear difference. I’m telling you this not because I’m so special but because I spend a lot of time thinking about the connection between mindset and performance. There is no doubt that such a …

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Oct 06

The Game of Inches in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Competition

2012 No-Gi Pan 2

I have a little story to tell you. Several months ago, I had the opportunity to be present when Tom Brands gave a talk on the Iowa mindset at TLI HQ. There were many gems of wisdom in that speech, and I’m going to focus on one of them today. It’s the idea that the …

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Oct 05

Lessons Learned When I Was a White Belt IV

Lessons Learned when I was White Belt IV

Let’s take a little trip. Through the Wormhole A few years ago, Evolve Academy decided to create a fight team for the WKA Nationals. The tryouts were set at a certain date and a certain time, and it was expected to be a really difficult and demanding test. At the time, I had been training …

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Oct 04

Understanding the Half Guard Conceptually

Half Guard FAQ Development

I love half guard. I’ve been playing it since I was a white belt, and there is a reason for that. When I was getting smashed in the gym over and over again, it was half guard that became a refuge. The transition to half guard from most bad positions is only a step away, …

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Oct 03

Why Thinking about the Critical Point Can Help You

Find the Critical Points in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Recently, I was introduced to the concept of critical points in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Josh Vogel wrote an article where he discussed his thought process on the concept. It made me think. You should check out his article as well because I am going to approach the concept from a slightly different angle. When is the …

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Sep 30

2012 No-Gi Pan Ams Raid Report

2012 No-GI Pan Am Podium Pic

The dust has settled, and the 2012 No-Gi Pan has concluded. I had three goals going into the tournament. I accomplished one of them, but it was the lynchpin. All else depended on success in that one area. Simply put, success there was a must. What It All Depended On Several weeks ago, I decided …

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Sep 25

Expanding the Popularity of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

bjj2

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu isn’t popular. Deny it not. It’s the reason why all the big names in the sport as well as the martial art as a whole are barely known outside the small community of dedicated individuals who train. Now that’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity. The Great Challenge For those who are truly …

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Sep 24

What Makes Information Relevant and Compelling

absorb-what-is-useful-bruce-lee

It’s interesting what you can learn from diverse sources. The Theory That Would Not Die is a mathematical history book that focuses on the controversies and successes of Bayes’ theory of probability. Now right away the question arises: How can that be applicable to training? The answer is that the underlying theory of Bayes in …

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