Design: Frugality

Frugality in Jiu-Jitsu terms is the idea of taking away as much as possible through a combination of structure and distance, while offering little in return. Think of it as ‘defensive-offense.’

In grappling terms this translates to being hard to find. If found the opponent meets a solid, seemingly immovable structure.


Psychology: BJJ Lifestyle vs. Modern Samurai

What’s the difference psychologically between a modern-day Samurai and what’s popularly known as the ‘BJJ lifestyle?’

Not to pick on Joe Rogan, but I almost felt bad for the guy when he suggested to Kron Gracie in a recent interview that Rickson should post his closed door fight with Yoji Anjoh on iTunes for a $1.99. lol

Anyways, back to the topic at hand, this question is at the forefront of mind after realizing I’ve essentially been hanging out by myself most of the time with little friends to speak of the past six years.

While I don’t think such isolation is necessary or even recommend it, hopefully it set a foundation for becoming something.

On this note, dreams take on magical qualities to the degree we’re willing to work for them.

Been spit out the other side something new & life is good. =)

Study: Information Influence

How do the previously listed four phases of information gathering (research, experimenting, drilling, and sparring) influence and inform eachother?:

Can sparring be used as a form of research and experimenting?

Drilling as a type of kinesthetic research?

How about drilling during sparring?

To me these tools are interconnected, forming a sum greater than the individual parts.

Who knows, you may start out a sparring session sparring, only to reel yourself back in and spend most of the alloted sparring time drilling something you’ve been neglecting.

Design: Nature’s Coach

Far and away the best resource for determining the strength/weakness of a position is our body. No one else can do such measuring for you, and it’s why we want to make the transition from copying to principle based comprehension as soon as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re still going to copy to some degree, but when we copy from the space of bio-feedback and principles we mimic to see how things feel, as opposed to getting something ‘right’ by comparison. This self-referential leap represents the start of the artistic phase.

Also, in relation to our training partners, if a offensive position feels like a hornets nest, it’s probably not as ‘offensive’ as we’ve interpreted. Case in point, cross-side or half-guard positions where our weight is centered directly over opponents hips means bucking bronco/underhook defense.

Remember, if an approach is hard, there’s probably a more efficient answer out there. Jiu-jitsu is about being safe and waiting for the right time. Arriving at a destination jacked up and tired in the context of the art of Jiu-Jitsu means you were some combination of mis-informed, stupid, and impatient.

Use nature’s gift of tacticle and structural awareness and be brilliant.


Psychology: Strengthening Strengths

My Strongest to Weakest skills:

1) Research.
2) Experimenting.
3) Sparring.
4) Drilling.

I’m a huge believer in the idea that the more you strengthen your strengths, the greater you can leverage weaknesses indirectly by way of relatedness.

Still, you have to be honest about being lazy and avoiding things you aren’t good at, and invest SOME time in them because it benefits everything else as well. Consider it akin to brushing your teeth or doing taxes.

Along these lines, everyone by way of personality has things they love and hate doing. The trick is to be smart with the hate. Dowse it in things you love, whatever it takes. ;o)

Study: Understanding & Leveraging Limitation

What are the limits of each study phase listed below, and how do other phases work to fill in the gaps?

For example, I’ve read people who say reps aren’t necessary and possibly even harmful to progress who’ve NEVER trained reps for any length of time. Lol.

On the flipside I’ve seen people whose sole training method is repetition and it’s easy to tell they have no depth of understanding of holding/dominating positions. That is, repping a cross-collar choke is a waste of time if you aren’t well versed in the overall geography of mount as it relates to maintenance as well as functional transitions.

If serious about developing each skill (research, experimenting, repping, sparring), pick a phase and specialize for 6-12 months before balancing things back out again.

Study: Information Gathering Cycle

Usually go about gathering information via four phases:

1) Research – Getting information from watching people roll, studying youtube clips, DVDs, or instruction in a class setting. Sometimes I get things by chance and other times session with specific end in mind. 98% of the time I utilize written notes here.

2) Experimentation – Actually getting on the ground and seeing how mental and written notes jibe and assimilate tactically on a grappling dummy or training partner. I often consult and use written notes out in this phase too.

4) Drilling – If I think an idea is strong enough and/or fits in well with what I already do, I’ll do some reps until I have some degree of feel for the position.

5) Sparring – Does it work in sparring? If not, why? Do I need to do more research or is the idea a pipe dream and/or not a good fit? Am I missing something? Often times this spits me back into the research phase again with the cycle repeating itself many times before I have something solid.

Psychology: Being vs. Doing

It’s not so much ‘being vs. doing’ as being affecting everything we do.

The mantra in the context of building a foundation is I can never go too slow.
And, since foundations support everything, I need to go slow all the time.

Go slow, observe casually, and let the body find its way.

Guard Passing: Calibrating Center

Whenever you’re passing the guard in training or drilling, a fun thing to do is calibrate center of gravity in relationship to the ground and/or you’re opponent.

As post below is evidence of, this principle can applies to structurally dominant positions as well, as cascading effectively shifts center of balance from thighs to hips.

Domination: Cascading

This is a difficult concept to explain in words, but basically it’s about raising your hips up in structurally dominant positions with the intent of dropping full weight of torso, arms, and head down from above:

Pablo Popovitch cascading pressure from front headlock at 2:11:

Henry Akins using cascading pressure from cross-sides: