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.
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
While helping coach wrestling at my local high school for five seasons, I also trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the off-season. It was a whirlwind of techniques and rule-sets, with each system using various leverage points. There were similarities and differences between the systems, but I tried to focus on what united them. They were both … Continue reading A Jiu-Jiteiro walks into a Wrestling room…
A question on Quora made me think critically about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how it may fair in a fight against multiple attackers. I think one of the common misconceptions of BJJ is that it is seen as a sport or grappling-only art in recent years. While that is true in many cases, BJJ is often … Continue reading How does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fair against multiple attackers?
(Photo by Richard Bustos on Unsplash) Is there a philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu? It makes a great metaphor for life, but there are also great analogies to explain the learning process of this beautiful art. Let’s address the question with a little help from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom and MMA fighter Ryan Hall. In a recent video, … Continue reading Poetry in Motion: A Philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu
We could address the question above by attempting to define what we consider a martial arts master, but that is a rabbit hole into which I am not prepared to climb. Instead, let's ask a simpler question. What do you call your head instructor or person leading the class? In some cases, it might be … Continue reading What is a Martial Arts Master Called?
If you ever spend much time training in Japanese-based martial arts, you might hear the word “Kuzushi.” I recently had a revelation about this interesting term. On a coaches’ forum, longtime Judo coach Richard Riehle posted that one of his favorite kanji in Judo was 崩し or “kuzushi.” He noted that these are the characters … Continue reading Moving Mountains: The Meaning of Kuzushi
I had a newer student who tried to submit me any time we rolled. It’s fairly typical behavior when someone comes in with little or no previous training. The name of the game is to submit your opponent, right? In Wrestling, the new kid rushes in like a bull and in Judo, the new guy … Continue reading Survive. Then Thrive.
My main martial arts experience is in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), but I usually attend The Greatest Camp on Earth every summer. The camp is set up primarily for Judo, but it also has instructors for a few classical or Japanese Jujitsu (JJJ) styles. My first exposure to the older systems came at one of the … Continue reading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Jujitsu: A Comparison
I received some pretty rough news. I have a herniated disc and a possible fractured vertebra. The degenerated discs in my lower back are likely due to years of training, competing, and rough-housing with big boys on the mat. The fractured vertebra came from a recent “Hey, y’all, watch this,” moments. I don’t know how … Continue reading How to Be Happy Despite Fate’s Fickle Ways.