Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Push and pull

The natural resistance we all have when something is pushing into us is to push back, we do not want to go where you decide we go, we want to decide to go there on our own. In martial arts we can use this for traps, we can use this to setup arm-drags and leg-drags and sweeps and submissions alike. In the real world, maybe a more subtle game of this is played. I believe that people don't inherently want to change another person, but I do believe we subtlety attempt it. The small, why don't you try this instead of that, reassuring, friendly notion that maybe there's another way to do whatever it is you're doing.

Then there are the bigger ones which are overt and in your face. The, you're doing this wrong, do it another way. In martial arts, it's easy - I can see if someone is overtly trying to setup a trap, they're slow with it, sluggishly moving to do the same thing over and over until I fall for it (I have, I will again, I'm sure), in the real world, it's usually over something petty. Something that one person for whatever reason wants to change in you for themselves, not for you. I'm not sure where the desire of this comes from, and I'm for sure guilty of doing it myself, I'm still not in an internal agreement that I'd continue to do it if I became overt to it.

That's the crux - I'm not sure if the person who is attempting to do this is even aware that they're doing it for themselves and not for my own benefit. On top of which, I'm not even sure they're aware that they've created an issue within several others by coming to battle so hard against something that has nothing to do with them. Almost to the point where a game of it has entered my head. I'm fully aware of the misnomer this person has when attempting to correct me, they're utterly wrong in the belief that this is something I should want - because other peoples beliefs do not have to be my own, a simple truth which I have held onto for the latter part of two decades. I am me. This is who I am and I will have a beard and it will, at times, get messy when I eat foods that cause it to be messy; and now you know the heart of this story, therefore I give you my pledges.

I will never not eat runny egg sandwiches because yolks get in my beard.
I will never not eat pizza with that delicious sauce because sauce gets in my beard.
I will never not eat ice cream because ice cream gets in my mustache.

I'm sure there are others, and I'm not purely a savage - I often wipe my mouth during my meal, just not after every single bite like some perfumed dandy who can't abhor the look of the crowd while he has tomato sauce in his beard. No, I am me, and I will enjoy my food, and if me enjoying my food makes you unable to enjoy yours, I suggest you search inwardly - because, like most things in life, the problem is usually not other people and their actions, but solely the reaction you have to it.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act

Today at the end of class coach Phill was discussing a way of seeing called ooda. The idea is to create loops of your own and break loops of others. In my head, the idea of creating loops within loops within loops is normal - I cannot even begin to explain the nuances of my brain, not even to myself, but I'm in a constant diagram of connecting several different things to one another. Like the madness you'd expect to find in an analysts head, I'm not sure whether I seek balance in the chaos of the loops or if the chaos is the balance I need. Now, breaking the loops of others is an interesting concept to me. It's not really a way of thinking I've explored, though to create advantages in life it makes complete sense - out pace people by being in a constant loop ahead, or break down their will to try to keep up in your loops.

If I observe and see an opening, I need to orient myself and then decide whether it's a good thing to act upon. Acting upon that observation requires the other person to then observe what just happened and they need to start their loop anew. If my loop is continuing forward while they're orientating themselves to the first position of my loop and I'm into my second, the pace stays on my side. Though, at least in jiujitsu, being tactful enough to keep your loops from being broken is much easier said than done. People have explosiveness to get themselves out of awful situations that you don't anticipate, people are really strong in weird places, people are cunning, and patient, and will catch you when you do not expect to be caught.
So is it the ability to continue to see loops everywhere you go or is it the ability to not let others who happen to break your loops demoralize you to the point that you can no longer observe situations and start a loop anew?

The more I look at that question the harder it seems to answer. Being demoralized to the point of giving up, and choosing to not observe your situations anymore is a frequent position to be in when the chips are down. It's easy to say, 'yeah, I gave up, it was too hard'. Way too easy. Though I do not wish to live a life of regrets. I have far too many as it is and I'm not even halfway through this life. I'd rather have my loops broken again, and again, and again, instead of not looking for a new one. Again though, easier said than done. In waking life, I've given up far too many times. I've done things I shouldn't have done. I've backed away from things that I should have absolutely done. I've started to do things that I love and let them slip away from my fingers like handfuls of sand. What must we do, as individuals, as groups, as a collective whole - to keep ourselves orientated to the observation which best suits our current situation? How do we know when it feels right to decide and act upon the decision?

To lack feeling is to be dead, but only children act on every feeling they have.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Apply the choke ; on laziness

Jiu-jitsu is the hardest thing I've ever done. Not probably the hardest, not might be the hardest, for sure, the most difficult thing. It is in a whole category on its own of difficulty. The difficulty arises from the physical side of jiu-jitsu blending with the mental, having control over both of those simultaneously, and most of the time it's a complete mystery to me. When it works, it works great and I most likely couldn't tell you right away how I got from point A to point D. The flow state is usually what takes over for me when I have success in jiu-jitsu. 

I feel the need to clarify that the practice of not thinking, or no mind, doesn't actually mean I don't know what I'm doing, more so that what I'm doing is so natural for my body that my brain doesn't need to think about step A, B, C, and D, it sees D as an option and runs A to C with precision and speed, and it's exactly the latter of that duo which I lose from direct thought. For many more times than I can count, when I'm in a roll, I'll stop and over think the situation and whatever opportunities I had in front of me to think about are long gone by the time I can actually work the technique necessary to accomplish the sweep or control or submission I was looking for. 

Today in training Nathan was showing us a ten finger guillotine choke to butterfly sweep from mount, in order to samurai roll and take the back. There's tons going on here, and breaking it down is not easy at all. I was struggling to keep my posture during the sweep, going from mount, to butterfly guard, sweep back to mount. It was during the sweep back to mount where I was losing it. Nathan broke down for me that I need to actually apply the choke for the sweep to function correctly.

Cue light bulb going off. 

In training it's easy to be lazy, yesterday I was lazy when training with Jon while taking his back during samurai rolls. Today I wasn't applying a ten finger choke on Tyler as I should have been. For technique to work correctly you need to train it correctly, something that I need a constant reminder of. After figuring out the correct pressure I needed to execute the sweep properly all the pieces fell into place, another good tool to add to the arsenal. I'm glad I have training partners as good as Tyler and Jon to help me see more areas of my game that have significant (all areas) opportunities to develop. This week has been a couple of steady reminders to remove laziness from the game.

Most recent post

Push and pull