Find Your Way Back to the Familiar

If you are stuck in a position you do not know how to get out of, find your way back to a position you do know how to get out of and escape from there. I received a call from one of my lead technicians the other day with a question about how to remove…

A Willow in a Snowstorm (Jujutsu and the Transcendence of Violence)

Does your jujutsu (jiu-jitsu) propagate violence or transcend it? The Japanese word jujutsu (柔術) is often thought to translate as ‘gentle art.’ Gentle implies a lack of force or lack of strength. Anyone who has ever done any form of jujutsu knows that there is nothing gentle about being thrown, pinned, joint-locked, or choked. In…

The Good Days Don’t Count

If our goals are shallow, most likely our commitment will be as well. Starting martial arts can be scary. Walking through the door for the first time is a huge step. Once we get started, however, staying can be even more difficult. When our initial motivation wears off, once we reach some short term goal…

John Danaher on the Importance of Training in a Gi for Beginners in BJJ

Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor John Danaher on teaching BJJ to beginners (excerpted and transcribed from the UFC Unfiltered podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton, episode 40): “I would run all beginner’s classes in a gi. Let’s break down what changes when you put a gi on and you take one off. Really, only a few…