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
Due to having back surgery, I have had to let a few upper-level students teach my classes. Usually, I hate relinquishing control, but in this case, I didn’t have a choice. After class one night, one of my assistants messaged me. He had a revelation about teaching while filling in for me, one which is … Continue reading Why Complicate Teaching?: What I Learned from my Students.
Sitting in a political philosophy class in college, my professor noticed many students on their phones, texting or surfing social media. We then took a detour from Plato and Aristotle for the rest of the period. Instead of political theory, we discussed something more permanent, yet forever fleeting. That class was the first time I … Continue reading You Only Live Once (Chasing the Will-o’-the-Wisp)
Judo and Wrestling phenom, Justin Flores, posted a video on his Instagram recently of female UFC fighter Cat Zingano accidentally elbowing her training partner while drilling a technique. Have you ever done that? Or have you been on the receiving end of a stray knee to the groin while your partner is passing guard? Yeah, … Continue reading Crap Happens: Accept It and Keep Going.
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.
How do you think of your teammates? Do you see them as a few welcome acquaintances that you meet with a couple of times per week? Or are they something more, a necessary support group you can’t live without? In many martial arts (and fitness groups as well), we often hear a term, but we … Continue reading Back To The Primitive: Finding Your Tribe.
In one of my Judo matches several years ago, I was in an intense struggle for grips, and I was losing the battle. I heard my coach yelling, “You’re not moving him, Josh. He’s moving you.” My coach was right. I was letting my opponent lead the dance. In the famed Japanese swordsman and martial … Continue reading Winning: It’s all in his head.
At a family gathering, a young woman was asked why she cut the ends off the ham she had brought to the meal. “My mom always cut the ends off,” she replied. The young lady asked her mother later why she cut the ends off the ham. “I’m not sure, but my mother used to … Continue reading Family Traditions: A Recipe for Realization