Chess and Collar Chokes

“If we are playing chess and I do two moves, but you only do one move, who is going to win? Jiu-jitsu is like chess. I do one move and you do one move, but if I do one move and then you let me do another move, game over.” – Relson Gracie In life,…

Enter First With Your Mind

“Always irimi, even when retreating.” – Budd Yuhasz There are a lot of valuable lessons beneath the surface of Japanese weapon training that translate to empty hand practice. With sword-work in particular, the principle of irmi* becomes especially evident. Irimi, meaning ‘entering body,’ is more than simply the act of entering into an opponent’s physical…

What is the Lesson?

Pressure, resistance, and pain are the path to knowing who we truly are and what we are capable of. If you seek to do something worth doing, something that will change your life and the lives of those around you, you will face difficulties, obstacles along our path. These obstacles will slow you down, sometimes…

Lose Now to Win Later (As a Big Guy or Gal in BJJ)

Are you playing the long game or are you trying to win? As a big guy in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), I am often encouraged to use my weight and size to my advantage. It is common to hear, “No one tells the smaller guys to be less fast or flexible. Use what you’ve got.” On…

Art is the Expression of Essence

“I’ve found that this dish takes a lot of black pepper.” -Chef David Chang Taste is subjective. It is a personal and/or cultural preference. Essence, on the other hand, precedes and transcends taste. It is the thing that just looks, sounds, tastes, or feels ‘right’ even if we cannot exactly describe why. Essence is the…