One of the (unconscious) attractions to jiu-jitsu is that it offers anyone the opportunity to experience flow. I say it is ‘unconscious’ for two reasons. Firstly I don’t think people intentionally go to jiu-jitsu to find flow. Most people go to jiu-jitsu to learn a martial skill, as a vehicle to help them get in shape, an opportunity to breakout from the mundane of life, to be personally challenged, and because it looks like a load of fun (which it is). In the process of doing all of this they accidentally (but not always) stumble upon the flow experience.
It will come as no surprise to those who follow my work that I am an advocate that those who teach, should also be able to perform what they teach for ‘real’. I have never been convinced by the argument that someone can be a good coach in the fight game, but yet, never fights himself. Ill concede, that for some coaches, especially those who are older, and or suffer from debilitating injuries, that they may no longer be able to play the game so to speak. But in those instances, the measure of their success defaults to their students. In that sense, if their students are able to perform for ‘real’ what has been taught to them, then clearly the coaches methodology is sound.
I get asked all the time what do I think about X martial arts instructor, X style or method of martial arts. With the advent of social media, I made a decision that I would never comment by ‘name’ on other people’s work in the martial arts industry. The truth is, not only have I had my fair share of people taking a short video clip that may surface of my work totally out of context, but I am well aware of the martial trolls out there that just like to be assholes. I don’t want to be one of those guys. Notwithstanding, there are so many keyboard warriors these days, some of which are proclaimed experts in the field of martial arts themselves who love to trash talk other people’s work on social media — yet never produce anything of value themselves. At the very least, if you going to call out someone by ‘name’ and attempt to discredit what they are teaching, you should offer a visual counter method of what you believe would work.
I have been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for over two decades. Like many from the 90’s, what inspired me to start was watching Royce Gracie in those first UFC’s beating all comers, especially opponent who were much larger and stronger than him. I’ll be honest too, while I was impressed, I wasn’t totally convinced either.
As simple as this is going to sound, if you training in some form of martial arts, and if what you are training/learning as a fighting approach doesn’t look similar to what you do when you are working against an uncooperative, resisting opponent — you may want to reconsider the validity of what you are spending your time in training.