March 2017 Journal

Crazy month.

Have a ton of hobbies and realized I make myself nuts with them, as any amount of time I take off, I feel a little guilty.  Kinda crazy when the whole object is positive feeling.

So yeah, re-set button; laid low, but did do some of the following… (more than I thought!)

Law of Attraction books:  Haven’t read any new-age books in probably over 10 years, but was interested in subconscious learning and stumbled onto author Neville Goddard and his books on the cheap at ‘Out of This World’ by Neville Goddard; ‘Control Your Inner Conversations’ by Neville Goddard; ‘Feeling is the Secret’ by Neville Goddard; ‘Manefestation Through Relaxation’ by Neville Goddard, Tim Grimes; ‘Relax More, Try Less’ by Neville Goddard, Tim Grimes; ‘The Relaxation Manifesto’ by Tim Grimes.

Other books:  ‘Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus’ by Matt Taibbi; ‘Providence, Act 1’ by Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows; ‘The Elephant in the Room’ by Jon Ronson;  ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ by H.P. Lovecraft.

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Magic/Mentalism:  ‘P.A.T.H.S.’ by Matt Mello; ‘The Decode Project’ by Matt Mello.

Movies/Media:  More Richard Matheson adapted Edgar Allen Poe starring Vincent Price with the ‘The Raven (with young Jack Nicholson), and ‘Pit and the Pendulum.’ ‘Logan’ was a brilliant Hugh Jackman swan song that exceeded all expectations; ‘American Sniper.’

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Jiu-Jitsu:  Henry Akins Guard Passing, Cross-Side Escapes, and Leg Work from Open Guard.  Note:  Henry’s understanding of Jiu-Jitsu is so much deeper than mine, I’ve pretty much stopped Jiu-Jitsu blogging and spend time learning from him instead.


Training: 3 Focused Learnin’ Areas

Big on 3’s right now; have no idea why…

3 areas of focus in words: Fun, Legacy, & Competence.

Fun topical focus is doing whatever the hell you feel like focusing on in a given moment.  While this sounds a bit lazy, it actually allows room for your subconscious to flow and give you access to information that isn’t readily available when you try to plan every step of your Jiu-Jitsu path.  It’s Zen sh*t:  Focus with no focus.

Legacy topical focus is kinda the opposite of the above, even though it’s still fun.  It’s focusing on a specific topic at least 6 months.  6 months isn’t written in stone, but the idea is we are in an LTR with a position instead of hopping from bed to bed.  This is where we build depth of understanding.  We’re disciplined here: Zen sh*t.

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Competence topical focus will be defined as taking the soberest look possible at our game and addressing holes as they come up.  These holes will generally be revealed in sparring or by a coach.  This isn’t by nature as fun as fun (unless our attitude is humble and gracious), and we aren’t going to suss out holes in a legacy project because that’s more apt to be a strength than anything else.  Honesty: Zen sh*t too.

Image result for neil degrasse tyson

Mind States: Mental Trifecta for Performance Part 2 – Fun

With fun, we have two types of fun:  One is lighthearted and renewing; while the other is tension fueled escapism.

The difference is awareness.

In some respects it’s easy to get the escapism and awareness based fun confused because they both can feel great, but awareness based fun is generally more relaxed and subtle.

To Jiu-Jitsu, awareness based fun enhances everything we do and/or steers us back in the right direction.  Yes, you can still have worldly success without it, but you’ll likely be out of balance and won’t enjoy it ala Scrooge:

On the other hand, with an ‘aloha’ fun in mind, you can have everything with nothing.  It’s all about the feeling!:


Mind States: Mental Trifecta for Performance Part 1

To attain an extremely high level of performance we have to do lots of stuff, and do that stuff well.

In the mid-2000s my training partners and coaches talked a lot about fun, which, as we’ll see in the coming posts is indispensable and awesome, but I wasn’t training that smart or frequent at the time! =)

So, 10 years later, having realized ‘fun’ doesn’t necessarily translate to getting things done, have come up with a mental trifecta of sorts:  Fun, Smart, Frequency.

World class work means we’re doing all three.  We’ll examine the definition and utility of fun, smart, and frequency in depth is future posts…



Study: Absorbing Technique through Relaxation

One of many legendary Rickson Gracie stories is him crushing people with leg locks ONE DAY after being shown by Erik Paulson.  Rickson explains this a bit in his epic Joe Rogan interview, saying the leg attacks naturally fit into his game.

Even with proper fitting and Rickson’s deep understanding of body mechanics, the above story illustrates a steep learning curve by anyone’s standard!

Still, some things we CAN do though to heighten our learning capacity is:

  1. Be inspired by this story.
  2. Believe it IS possible to learn this quickly some of time.
  3. Relax, relax, relax.

Relaxation is key in any learning scenario, because excess tension reinforces the fact that we don’t ‘have it’ yet; otherwise we wouldn’t be bull-rushing our way to competence.

To reiterate, relax and let process run it’s course.  If it’s worth our time, we’ll take the time, but let’s not get in our own way before we start.


Rickson with as nasty of a leg lock combination I’ve seen circa early 90’s (eat your heart out ‘new school’) @ 4:01-4:50:

Erik Paulson demoing some of his Leg Lock technique:

Rickson’s Joe Rogan interview:


Training: 3 Kinds of Mindfulness

A hurdle Jiu-Jitsu folks often have to jump through if they haven’t done much drilling compared to sparring, is slowing down and being more mindful.

The problem is, when sparring, if we think too much we get our asses kicked.  So yes, it’s mindful, but in a survival oriented context!

Conversely, during repetition style drilling, it’s naturally more of a challenge to be mindful, as attention lapses don’t result in being strangled!  As such, I liken this to meditation where our drill or intention acts as a mantra of sorts, re-focusing us when we get off track.  Discipline son, discipline.  Don’t be lazy and just free roll if that wasn’t your goal.  Work the work.

Rigan Machado on these two different training methods:

To recap, we currently have a survival oriented mindful, and a repetition based mindful.

The third is data oriented mindful, where we’re trying to process a combination of new, complex, or detailed information.  Picture eyes glazing over or nodding off as we’re trying assemble all the individual parts that make up position, or during a seminar style information dump.

Probably the best advice I’ve heard is studying data heavy material in 20 minute chunks with brief rest periods in between as outlined here by Dr. Chris Dula:

So there you have it, three types of mindful: Survival, Repetition, and Data.


February 2017 Notes

Books Finished:  ‘TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald’ by Timothy O’Brien; ‘Neonomicon’ by Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows; ‘A Dance with Dragons’ by George R.R. Martin.  Short Stories: ‘Pickman’s Model’ by H.P. Lovecraft.

Image result for dance with dragons artwork

Magic/Mentalism:  ‘ET Q&A’ ebook by R.W. Cosley; ‘Serial Thriller’ ebook by Sudo Nimh; ‘Eclipsed’ ebook by Sudo Nimh; ‘Sudosuke’ ebook by Sudo Nimh; ‘The Mental Mysteries of Hector Chadwick’ book by Hector Chadwick; ‘Conscious Magic 1’ dvd by Andrew Gerard, Ran Pink.  Routines: ‘Reversal’ by Banachek/Sean Waters; ‘Cardology’ by Blackstone; ‘Astronomical’ by Peter Turner.

Media: Vincent Price marathon – ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’ ‘House of Usher,’ ‘Tales of Terror.’

Jiu-Jitsu: Side Control Bottom – Turn Away Escapes, Scarf Hold with Underhook (Straight Arm to collar/jaw & Hip Tilt), Reverse Scarfhold with and without underhook escapes.  Cross-Choke from Closed Guard and Mount.

Dance:  Waist movement.

Cardio & Conditioning:  Fairly lazy month, especially with cardio, but been trying to cycle kettlebell work (just started doing kettlebell squats), bodyweight conditioning, and running.