Mind States: Flow vs. Image Management

Something hilarious if not embarrassing this weekend was picturing myself as Joe Hill’s character, the Fireman, from the novel aptly titled: ‘The Fireman.’

Delusional moments aside, something this helped me see is ego is built on the logic that having and nurturing better thoughts about ourselves leads to a happier, more secure existence.

While the above assumption makes a certain kind of sense, and therefore an easy trap to fall into, the truth is it leads to self-absorption.  Why?

Because winner/loser are both sides of the same coin, and life is an experience not a contest.

Flow is our true nature and birthright.  No image management needed, however creative.




Mind States: The Role Of Faith (Intuitive Training Part #4)

‘Faith’ is one of the most misunderstood concepts in religion/self-help/personal development:

The point of faith is clearing our minds enough to open space for new thought.

If you still want to adhere to the idea that faith is a belief about beliefs that’s fine, but consider making some space for the above idea. =)

Back to faith and ‘letting go,’ our personal, habitual thinking usually plays a role, if not ‘the’ role in keeping us stuck in whatever situation we’re trying to move from or into.  It’s not magic.  To the contrary, ‘seeing’ our role in a less than stellar situation is often quite humbling!

As far as misconceptions, people often interpreting such faith born receptivity to being an unfeeling husk or empty vessel.

While I can appreciate the preceding sentiment, it’s more about tapping into our natural common sense.  I can assure you, if you want to go back into heavy emotions and issues, they’ll still be there.


In Jiu-Jitsu speak, the faith concept represents tapping into our potential versus current game and understanding.  As before, barring traumatic head injury, our conceptual and mechanical grasp of Jiu-Jitsu isn’t going anywhere, so chill pill it; we have to empty our cup for it to be filled.

Commentary: A Take On Team, Affiliation, & Community

First and foremost, we are all connected to each other through shared humanity, and to a certain degree the animal kingdom via consciousness despite sensory differences.  This connectivity is our birthright, requiring no ‘doing’ just ‘being.’ =)

Next, when we strap on the Gi or Rash Guard and grapple, drill, problem solve, and do all things Jiu-Jitsu we are automatically connected to every other Jiu-Jitsu dude/dudette. No affiliation, special attire, belts, or cliques needed.  Just two friends who want to build on their understanding of Jiu-Jitsu.

These two ideas represent our grounding as martial artists.

To illustrate, if you think you’re a better ‘human’ than some one because you’re a higher belt in Jiu-Jitsu, or train at a ‘affiliated’ school; high school called and wants its mentality back. =)

And while it’s cool to be part of tribe, team, or affiliation, don’t let that get in the way  of our common Jiu-Jitsu brotherhood, which is the REAL reward for throwing on a Gi and our taking lumps on the mat.

Last but not least, and I know you guys and gals are too smart for this, but needing to be a part of a particular individual or group of people isn’t community it is co-dependence.

To that distinction I offer an excerpt from Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet:’

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of heavens dance between you.  Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.  Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.  Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.  Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.  For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.  And stand together, yet not too near together:  For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”


Mind States: The Fun-Potential Connection (Intuitive Training Part #3)

surfing fun

The above Phil Edwards/Duke Kahanamoku quote was sent to me by G-Money in a text conversation where I relinquished that being ‘good’ at Jiu-Jitsu sometimes superseded having fun. =(

Realizing the error of my ways, I immediately saw that our art/hobbies/passions are conduits for breathing life into our innate potential.

Further, ‘standards,’ whether ours or some one else’s, help to put a stranglehold on this potential.  Contrarily, having fun opens the creative floodgates =):


Mind States: Emptying The Cup (Intuitive Training #2)

Emptying the cup is much more challenging than it sounds, as it’s about giving up things we often feel are an essential part of our nature for something more.

Also, it can mean surrendering something that’s worked fairly well up to now for increased effectiveness.

So in a lot of respects emptying the cup is akin to jumping off a psychological cliff with no immediate reward in sight.

The above is where a bit of faith comes in, because a least part of what we’re after is seeing that what we was thought was a leap, was our refusal to let go of the mental teddy bear we’ve got a death grip on.

Also, this is where ‘branding’ can hurt people, companies, and institutions as it breathes life into self-image and all the comparing, proving, and justifying that goes along with it.

open mind


Mind States: Intuitive Training Part #1

Something I really got wrong about intuition is seeing it as a ‘deeper’ part of my personal, habitual thinking.

Even worse, and perhaps linked to the above, is using said ‘intuition’ to chase the hopes, wants, and desires of the above habitual thoughts.

What I will say about intuition at 5/10/16 it’s linked to consciousness, the infinite space from which we can observe thought and consolidate information through the senses.

As far as ‘intuitive training,’ and going back to habitual thinking, we have to be open to the idea that a current approach may be totally misguided and garbage. =)

In other words, goals and approaches are cool, bitchin’ even because that’s our creative process at work; but intuitive training starts and draws from the space that formulates these goals and approaches.  It’s deeper boi!



Mind States: Jiu-Jitsu’s Anchor

In dancing the thing you want to do most is listen to the music.  Yes there’s technique, and mastery of technique requires reps, but at the end of the day it’s about how well the movement compliments the music.  If the moves are on beat, you’re going to funky, even if the technique isn’t there yet.  Again, the key is hearing the music:

If hearing the key to dance, I asked myself what’s Jiu-Jitsu’s anchor?  The answer of course is relaxing enough to feel our opponent.  As in dance, getting our structure (technique) down is important, but means little if not coupled with timing through sensitivity.

If our tactile sense-ability is high, our technique doesn’t have to be perfect because we’re ‘helping’ an opponent into positions their energy is already moving in…

…This is the doorway to effortless Jiu-Jitsu.

The problem is we are often ‘successful’ using speed, power, and cardio to force positions that aren’t quite there, and pretty soon we’re using Jiu-Jitsu positions to not do Jiu-Jitsu. =)

‘Getting results’ in the above fashion is analogous to using a heavy-duty sledge hammer to drive nails.  Yes it may get the job done in certain circumstances, but we’re not being nearly as effective as we could be, which hurts us the most when it counts the most.

Principles: Economy Of Motion

Have been studying a number of Technical/Side Mount escapes, and dismissed a few in favor of others because they required more movement for essentially the same result.

Less movement means less energy output, and counter opportunity. =)

Another small distinction one can make here is two approaches may have the same number of steps, but the ground covered in each step can be vastly different…

Pedro Sauer demonstrating economy of motion principle by comparing Rickson one step armlock with traditional armlock approach:

‘Economy of Motion’ concept credited to the venerable Bruce Lee.


Mind States: Excitement, Maturity, & Function

There’s nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with excitement as it’s a natural part of the emotional continuum we experience as human beings.

In the context of function though, acting on excitement can hurt us because of a tendency to want to do as many things as possible at once, ‘finishing’ today.

Such states are the opposite of the mindful, one thing at a time, in it’s own time, process orientation quality requires.

To close, would say maturity isn’t about whether or not we experience excitement, it’s about internalizing it differently so as not to get caught up in the cascading of distractions that provide a rush in the moment, but ultimately lead to nowhere substance wise.

Side note:  The bane of well-intended marketing is getting people pumped about something these marketers genuinely feel will ‘help’ people, not realizing the foundation of what they’re doing is based on eliciting counter-productive states! =)