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Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bitter medicine...

What is UP!

It is time once again to apply a new coat of paint to my mental graffiti. Lot's of things going on in my mind as usual.

We just celebrated my youngest daughter's 12th birthday and I caught a stomach virus of some sort. Not the exact way I wanted to celebrate, but it would appear that I am much better. Sydney has begun to specifically express a desire to learn the martial arts and I think I may spend a little time with her in the upcoming months teaching her to hit the pads and playing with a little ground work. She is an amazing athlete and I believe will pick it up with no problem.

Still going on the primal blueprint and paleo diet with my wife. Although weight loss is much slower than it was in the beginning, it still appears to be steady. I have also integrated some intermittent fasting into the mix with good results and no hunger issues. My wife is making amazing progress and her body composition seems to change for the better daily. It has been no small adjustment and she is striding like a champ. So, so proud of her.

I have a friend in Hawaii who just received his black belt in bjj from Relson Gracie. Anyone in the bjj world can tell you, that rank from that source is the definition of legit. He and I were having a conversation regarding training and I was explaining my current template when he gave me a little bit of bitter medicine:

"As for training, yes, the balance point is individual. That said, hearken back to the old weightlifting courses of the 30s, 40s, and 50s...they all recommend about 3 training sessions a week. Now look at your matrix: 3-5 sessions of grappling, 2 sessions of conditioning, plus more...that's a minimum of 5 to 7 hard sessions a week. Twice what was recommended years ago. Yet our bodies are the same as they were in those times past. How can it be that we are capable of so much more? The answer, in my opinion, is that we are not, and that people who push themselves like this over time will eventually pay a price. It is a type of very natural greed: we want it all, and we want it now, but it may be that we are cheating ourselves in the rush to results.

Consider also, how much of what we do is out of desire for social approval. By which I mean, if one wins a jiujitsu tournament because they are stronger or better conditioned than your opponent, in what way are they actually testing or improving their jiujitsu? They're not. It's not cheating, but it's not a demonstration of jiujitsu. Tournament medals, big muscles, big lifts, name, fame, and's all what turns the wheel of illusion.

What if we just did the right thing--in training and in life--because it is the right thing and not because I want (equally lost) people to think I'm cool, or look up to me, or whatever garbage line of thinking?"

So in light of that, I am currently tweaking my focus. I am still preparing for my competition, but will do so a little differently. I am walking daily for my health and as a form of meditation and stress release. It really works too! I can definitely tell a difference on the days that I don't walk. I do jiujitsu 2-3 times per week, just because I LOVE jiujitsu. All of the other stuff ill be on purely an intuitive basis, what I want to do, when I feel like it. At this point, the occasional set of sprints or bodyweight workout will suffice. The excessive weights, yada yada yada ... will fall into file 13. I have also been practicing handstands before bjj practice as a way to get over my fear and anxiety of inverting, and as a form of mobility work and I must tell you my shoulders have never felt better. Thanks to his imperial suppleness for the inspiration to do this.

On the what I have been watching front, are you familiar with Kurt Osiander? He cusses alot. He has tons of tattoos and crazy hair. He is also the head instructor at Ralph Gracie BJJ in San Francisco. His approach is ultra basic and very clever. Check him out:

Also the Gracie Brothers, Rener and Ryron have just put out an amazing clip about the differences between Street Jiujitsu vs. Sport Jiujitsu. Watch and learn:

Tomorrow is the 4th. Altough we don't have major plans, I am thankful for living in the greatest nation!


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