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
Letting Go, part 2.
Recently in class, one of my students who had moved away stopped by for a visit. We were training and he tried to break my grip from his collar. He couldn’t and remarked, “Geez, Coach! You have a strong grip!” Aside from him not using the proper technique to strip the grip, I do have … Continue reading Letting Go, part 2.
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
Maximum Efficiency: Jigoro Kano and Buckminster Fuller
In Judo, we often hear the phrase, “Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort.” Judo’s founder, Jigoro Kano, spoke about the concept in 1932 during a speech at the University of Southern California. He said that for anything to be ideal, it must be performed on the principle of maximum efficiency. Throughout the speech, he argued about using … Continue reading Maximum Efficiency: Jigoro Kano and Buckminster Fuller
Rationality is overrated.
I like to tell myself that I’m a rational person. In feedback on an upcoming publication, I was called a “neo-liberal.” I wasn’t sure how to take that, but the implication was that I was too rational for my own good. I admit I lean heavily on logic and identify in many ways with the … Continue reading Rationality is overrated.
Churchill on Change: Be Like Water
I am a sucker for biographies of Winston Churchill. I can’t explain it, but his life is an amazing story to me. I don’t know whether it’s his resolve in the face of danger or his startling wit that I’m drawn to, but Churchill ranks at the top of my list of interesting people. One … Continue reading Churchill on Change: Be Like Water
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
Kano’s Vision: Judo as a Humanistic Endeavor
One of the primary martial arts we teach at my academy is Judo. When people ask me about Judo, I get excited. I mention the physical attributes such as the emphasis on throwing your opponent to the ground and rendering him immobile with a pin. But there is also an equally beautiful quality in Judo … Continue reading Kano’s Vision: Judo as a Humanistic Endeavor
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