The Triangle Concept: The Three Principals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The triangle is omnipresent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Many canonical gyms in the Gracie lineage and others use the triangle in their logo, one of the most well known chokes employs a triangular shape to strangle one’s opponent, or the structural strength of the triangular shape… The list goes on.

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Renzo Gracie demonstrates the iconic Triangle Choke. Arguably one of the most technical submissions to apply, the Triangle requires the practitioner to arrange their limbs into a triangular shape to strangle an opponent, cutting off their flow of blood to the brain. 

Recently, I have been percolating on another possible interpretation of the ever-present Triangle in Jiu-jitsu. In my mind I imagined a triangle; where the three points reflected Three Core Principals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and indeed grappling as a whole. Those three principals were: Movement, Breathing and Technique. In this post, I will meditate on why I saw this trio of principals as the three main points of the triangle that is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Continue reading

Rickson Gracie on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

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Rickson Gracie is one of the most well renowned practitioners of the martial art. He has some of the most insightful, philosophic views on the art and how it informs our lives on and off the mats.

Jiu-Jitsu puts you completely in the moment, where you must have complete focus on finding a solution to a problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase you awareness, your capacity to solve problems.

Listening: Your greatest tool for learning

 

This week I have been thinking a lot about how we learn. Often we leave school or formal education thinking that we already know everything we will need to get by. The reality of things is so far from this. My greatest experiences of learning have mainly occurred in the years since I left formal education.

More specifically, most of my learning experiences have involved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; through that lens I have learnt more about myself, others and the nature of the world. I am mainly a kinesthetic learner: meaning I learn in a tactile way, by doing and physically working on something rather than listening. I can work out details, understand techniques and grasp concepts far quicker by doing them or have them done to me. I have tried to extend my ability to learn in other ways, as it is sometimes not enough just to rely on the one dimension of learning to carry me through (especially if mastery of the art is the goal). I have focused on developing my ability to Listen. Continue reading

Reaching a state of Flow

We’ve all heard the term ‘Flow’ used before. “Going with the flow” is a phrase often associated with an ability to move, or transition easily between tasks.

Reaching a state of Flow can feel almost transcendent; it’s that feeling of being ‘in the zone’, having that perfect training session or a highly productive period of creativity. Often we stumble across this state by luck, or the perfect combination of factors that we may be unaware of. With a bit of understanding of the concept of Flow, can we reach this state frequently and intentionally to maximize our enjoyment of our chosen disciplines?

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Developing healthy habits: The foundation of success

In any endeavor, be it mental or physical, we are ruled by the semi automatic responses we have developed to certain situation; subconscious responses that we have either allowed to develop innately or developed intentionally. These are what we call habits. Habits, whether they are constructive or destructive, will undoubtedly shape you and your journey on the path to success.  Continue reading

Lessons from Japan

20161003_093535I still consider the two weeks I spent in Japan in 2016 some of the most formative in my  martial arts (and indeed life) journey to date. I decided to purchase some flights, contact Axis Jiu Jitsu Academy HQ in Tokyo and book a room at the closest hotel I could find. Over those two weeks, I spent roughly 6 hours a day on the mats, watched the All Japan Open, did some exploring and a lot of introspection. Continue reading

Mana in Action: Inspiration and the Kiwi Spirit at UFC Auckland

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Mana, noun; an impersonal supernatural power which can be transmitted or inherited.
On June 11 in Auckland, the UFC came to Auckland. In front of a packed out crowd at Spark Arena, broadcast to millions around the world, a core group of New Zealand’s leading mixed martial artists embodied the concept of Mana. Not only did Mark Hunt, Luke Jumeau and Dan Hooker get to display their considerable skill sets at home and on the largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the world, but they also displayed a true definition of the kiwi fighting spirit.

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