Be The Partner You Want And Need

The fastest way to improve in martial arts is to have great training partners, but the best way to have great training partners is to first become one yourself. In martial arts, paired drilling, the concentrated practicing of specific, often isolated, skills with another person, is an irreplaceable component of any well-rounded training regimen. However,…

Grappling With Your Hopes And Fears

If you want to know more about yourself, your fears, and your ego, grapple. Grappling is a form of self-expression, under pressure and against resistance. As a person’s skills develop in any grappling art, his or her personality begins to come through in the way that he or she trains. This is especially true in…

Truth in Art and Grappling

“It is only brave before you do it.” —Debbie Millman Art, creative work shared with others, is a lot like grappling in that it takes risk to attain any kind of reward. In order to be successful, you must put yourself on the line. You must invest in losing, a lot. You must invest in…

Three Archetypes for Better Randori

In competitive grappling, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), judo, et al, there are essentially three different ways that one can approach randori (free sparring), depending upon our personality, training goals, or partner. We can train defensively, offensively, or educationally. That is, we can approach randori like the tortoise, the hare, and the scientist. The tortoise…

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…