Turn Toward Trouble (A Jiu-Jitsu Lesson)

Our only hope for overcoming our troubles is to turn toward them. One of the most valuable lessons we learn, as we practice jiu-jitsu, is that our troubles do not go away when we turn our backs on them. In fact, the more we train, the more we discover that, by turning away from our…

The Consequences Of Overextension (A Jiu-Jitsu Lesson)

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, we learn over time that overextending ourselves has very real, even painful, consequences. One of the greatest benefits of jiu-jitsu training is the near-immediate feedback we receive from rolling (grappling for submissions). When we make mistakes, if we are rolling with someone of equal or greater skill, there are consequences in the…

The Martial-Mystical Experience (Rolling Into Transcendence)

It is difficult to worry about our day-to-day problems when someone is trying to choke us unconscious or punch us in the face. Aside from simply learning how to fight or defend ourselves, there are many psychological, physical, and emotional benefits to be found in sparring based martial arts, martial arts wherein practitioners regularly pressure…

Efficiency is Intentional Nonresistance

Force against resistance begets more resistance. While the goal of grappling, whether manifested as a throw, a pin, or a submission, is ultimately to impose our will on another person, this is much more easily accomplished if we can create circumstances within which our opponent actually gives us we want, instead of having to take…

Committing Sincerely Without Overcommitting

One of the things that grappling teaches us is that people can sense a dishonest setup and, if we are to make actual progress toward our goal, our approach has to be sincere. When setting up a throw, a pin, or a submission, we must be prepared that our initial attack may be countered and…