For those of you who have been fortunate enough to travel, you will already know that intense, heady joy that comes from spending time immersed in a foreign country. For those of you who train, you will know that same feeling when you step onto the mats. Travelling and Training, when combined, can create the memories of a lifetime and carve a profound impression on your life/training journey. Continue reading
Our words are powerful. They affect our thoughts, as well as those of the people around us. By giving words to the problems we have in our lives, we give them power. That power can change the way we look at a challenge, that power can drain your optimism and replace it with that soul crushing pessimism. Giving power to you complaints is essentially self sabotage, but it can be avoided. Continue reading
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” – Mark Twain
Since we, as human beings, have been capable of abstract thought we have wondered about our purpose in life. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Most importantly, what is the meaning of life? We look for answers to this question in religion, in literature, in people and philosophy. Often we are thrown into despair when we project these questions outwards into the void of the universe and hear nothing, not even an echo, in reply. But are we looking in the wrong place? Instead of looking outwards, why not look inwards?
If Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (and indeed martial arts in general) has taught me anything, it’s patience. The more you try to rush to the finish, the more you try to force it, the worse the situation you end up finding yourself in. This can be said for so much more than martial arts, the same applies in work & relationships too. Continue reading
I sit with a student in the careers office, I ask them “What do you want to do with your life?” in response I receive the non-committal slur; “I don’t really know, I just want to be happy.”
I’ve really grown to detest this sentiment. Granted, an adolescent kid will be unlikely to have a good grasp of what they want to do, and that’s okay, that’s not where I see the problem. The problem I have is that happiness (and it’s pursuit) often stops us from reaching our full potential.
This is a discussion about growth. Growth means change. We have to change things to reach our goals. Is it always going to be happiness, sunshine & rainbows on the road to your goals? Probably not. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Definitely not. Continue reading
I’ve always been told that there are two kinds of people: Those who eat to live, and those who live to eat. As someone who falls into the latter, many of my travels have had a semi food-centric nature. I’ve had the great pleasure of eating authentic cuisine in places like Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand. You may have noticed that I’ve only referenced Asian Cuisine… There’s a reason for that, and I think the people of these countries have stumbled upon a secret to eating.
Increasingly, we find ourselves seemingly at the mercy of the busy schedules we have created, how can we find that ever- elusive balance? Continue reading
As a high school teacher, (often fueled by the demands of students, tight reporting deadlines, helicopter parents, or even simply by a strong coffee and the thought of the weekend) the largest obstacles I tend to encounter are not physical, but abstract obstacles that hinder both my own and my students’ learning.
These obstacles usually are referred to as mindset. Our mindset is sometimes our own greatest obstacle in learning. Our mindset is that running narrative in our head that tells us when to push harder or slow down, to press on or give up; that is often our greatest motivator and, at times, our greatest Un-motivator. Continue reading
When describing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to someone who does not train, you’ve probably run into a plethora of seemingly questions about your training that simply come from a place of ‘un-knowing’ if you will:
“Is that like karate?”
“Is that the hugging stuff they do on the ground?”
“Isn’t that, like, pajama wrestling?”
I’m sure you’ve heard them all. You can’t blame people for their ‘un-knowing’ in this area; people often don’t seek to understand disciplines they are not engaged in. The key thing to remember is that before you and I started, we were in a place of ‘un-knowing’ too. I remember seeing BJJ for the first time as a student walking into a boxing academy for some fitness. Having done judo as a kid, I recognized the gi and some of the newaza techniques, however I was curious in the face of something new. A week later I put on my first BJJ gi and started a journey that would have an irreversible impact on my life. Continue reading