As a martial arts coach and educator, I teach self-defense seminars from time to time. While I enjoy the opportunity, I also prefer calling it a “personal safety” seminar instead of a “self-defense” seminar. I can hear detractors screaming, “semantics!” However, there is a reason for the terminology. As I understand it, self-defense implies a … Continue reading C.A.T.S. PERSONAL SAFETY SYSTEM
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Humanizing Tradition: Finding a Way Forward with Understanding
On a recent Judo coaches’ forum, one coach mentioned a sensei who typically had a cheerful disposition, happily helping young students learn a technique. However, on one particular day, the sensei saw a brown belt, maybe 18 years of age, “walking to his mat area with his belt slung around his neck.” The sensei proceeded … Continue reading Humanizing Tradition: Finding a Way Forward with Understanding
Legends: Judo Gene LeBell and Leandro Lo
The grappling world recently lost two incredible individuals: Judo Gene LeBell and Leandro Lo. One was from an era of tradition, yet broke the rules; the other was from a newer age of a rapid-changing art where the rules were still being written. They both pushed boundaries. "Judo" Gene LeBell Judo Gene LeBell, who passed … Continue reading Legends: Judo Gene LeBell and Leandro Lo
The “Simpler” Gentle Art: Applying Occam’s Razor to Jiu-Jitsu
Have you ever seen something and thought, “There’s got to be an easier way to do this”? A recent post from a friend and fellow Jiu-Jitsu coach, Scott Ferguson, and a rereading of Old School Jiu-Jitsu Manifesto made me want to discuss applying one of philosophy’s tools to martial arts, primarily sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This … Continue reading The “Simpler” Gentle Art: Applying Occam’s Razor to Jiu-Jitsu
One Habit That Can Change Your Effectiveness.
A lesson my friend and fellow coach Scott Ferguson often teaches his classes is that faster isn’t always better. He asks his students to add 2+2 and give him the answer. Just as they start to speak, he yells “7.” The point he illustrates is you can be faster but that doesn’t mean you are … Continue reading One Habit That Can Change Your Effectiveness.
Coaching Wisdom from Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
At the 2021 ATJA National Judo tournament, I was privileged to meet Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, a man of many accolades and much experience. He was a 2004 Judo Olympian, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, ADCC competitor, and D1 wrestler. As impressive as his martial arts knowledge and ability may be, I was more impressed with … Continue reading Coaching Wisdom from Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
A Philosophy for Passing Guard
One of the major facets of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the guard. That also means knowing how to pass the guard is equally as important. There are numerous guard passes, each with its own utility for the given guard you are trying to pass. But having so many tools in your arsenal can also make it … Continue reading A Philosophy for Passing Guard
Catching Up With Old Friends
First, let me apologize for being away so much recently. I am finishing my master's in the next few weeks and have had to buckle down on my thesis. That process has taken much of my time and mental energy. As a brief break from the mental drudgery, I spent the weekend at The Greatest … Continue reading Catching Up With Old Friends
Training as a Relationship: Partners Aren’t a Food Group.
Training is a relationship. If your interests are not in keeping your training partner safe, healthy, and able to continue to train, then it’s not a positive relationship. Training is about give and take. Ancient gladiators in Rome practiced different skills and with various partners to prepare to fight to the death in the arena. … Continue reading Training as a Relationship: Partners Aren’t a Food Group.
A Way With Words: John Danaher and the Transmission of Knowledge
John Danaher is arguably one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaches in the world. He’s known for his incredible insights in BJJ and martial arts in general. He has a philosophy degree, which adds a feather to his cap to me. Danaher’s teaching method is something that martial arts coaches and academics alike should study. … Continue reading A Way With Words: John Danaher and the Transmission of Knowledge