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

The Art of Finishing what you Start.

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When you start down a path, making sure you reach the end is a sign of self-respect.

“Never leave a job half done.” My grandfather told me that as a boy. I haven’t forgotten those words, even if at times I have failed to act on them. He had been sitting, watching me finish a simple drawing one afternoon before I had decided to wander off before it was complete. In his way, he didn’t say anything at the time, but waited instead until I came back to sit down with him for lunch.

“You know that drawing you were doing before?” In my mind I was anticipating some sort of compliment or critique.

“You didn’t finish it…” He stated objectively. “Never leave a job half done.”

As a boy I didn’t think much about it until after his passing. Today, the more I reflect on the sentiment of his words, the more profoundly his advice affects me.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like everything he said to me had some intentionally deeper meaning he had planned and percolated on before he brought his words, or actions, into the world.

We, as individuals, are not just responsible for our choices or the paths we decide to walk down, but also for making sure we finish what we start.

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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.

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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Yoel Romero: A Master of Violence

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Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero

With Yoel Romero fighting Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 on the 8th of July, we will potentially be seeing the making of the next Middleweight Champion. With both fighters boasting impressive win streaks, an interim title on the line and the chance to fight George Saint-Pierre and current Champ Michael Bisping, everything is on the line. Let’s take a closer look at the “Soldier of God” Yoel Romero. Continue reading

The Power of Complaining: A discussion on perspective and how complaining can cloud your outlook.

20160927_122242Our 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

On finding your “why”: Thoughts on Motivation.

20160927_122238“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?

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Loss and Victory; Growth and Fixed Mindset.

20161120_133130As 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