Thank you for joining me!

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!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Welcome to Yogabjjville!

Greetings tribe!

Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere.

It is time for another update in the murky village of my mind and my training.

First of all, I must give public props and a huge shout out to my wife, who is kind, tender-hearted and gracious when it comes to my addiction of bjj. She is supportive and introspective and is awesome. Thank you for your support. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Training is going really well. I continue to have weekly "lets see what happens" sessions with HASL and last night's was epic. It included things like a combination between butterfly and deep half guard, transitioning to the back from the octopus hook, using the yoga hook from a failed double leg, and some thing like a reverse half 50/50 guard. It is also teaching me a big lesson on failure. Thanks to Ryron Gracie for the insight.

When I was young, I sought out the praise of my parents. Everytime I did something, I did it, not necessarily because it was a good thing to do, but because of the praise. And praise was always linked to success. The more successful I was, the more I got praise. Except in my case, I wasn't naturally good at things, and often sucked at what I was doing. And instead of learning from the mistake, I sought the endorphin rush of more praise and started doing thins not because of my joy derived from them, but from the "praise potential" in the activity. You can begin to see the many layers of flaws in this thinking. Likewise, I believe we have taken this line of thinking and are using it on the mat. We often seek success (the tap) and use only those things that we are good at (seeking praise based on success) to get there. Thus, I have become only good at submissions from side control. I have ended up neglecting the 13 other positions of bjj, because I was addicted to praise. If I want to experience the amazing benefits of jiujitsu I have to place myself in bad positions and most likely expect to tap. However, if I learn from this, I am fulfilling part of the beauty of jiujitsu. And here is the beauty of jiujitsu:

Everybody wins.

Even if I got tapped, I got the pleasure of training. Putting on the gi and getting a sweat for a few hours a week. This time on the mat helps me be a better husband, a better father and a better therapist. And I believe it is a direct consequence of rolling with the attitude of "seeing what will happen" and not being afraid to fail. Not caring about points or positions or even submissions, but enjoying the immense beauty of jiujitsu.

Wow. Kinda got sidetracked there...I was going to write about my recent yoga practice.

The end of September marked a personal experiment and challenge for me. I set out to do no other additional training for BJJ other than yoga for the rest of the year.. Mostly I have used DVD's, youtube video, and conversations with HASL and my wife (who also has a personal yoga practice) to form my practice. I am using a combination of Hatha, Kundalini, Vinyasa and Ashtanga. In the beginning, my body rebelled. All of the crackling and popping and stiffness seemed to get worse and not get better. And while I still have a long way to go, I am starting to see how yoga and bjj go together like "peas and carrots" (Thank you Forrest Gump). My hips are becoming and shoulders are becoming more open, my lower back is much more loose, I seem to be calmer and kinder and it even satisfies my need for more cardio (those sun salutes can really ramp your heart rate up.). Ny neck still resists, but it is a work in progress, as are those damn hamstrings (I should call them Damnstrings!- I just snorted!). I also enjoy how yoga and bjj force a sense of body mastery. In yoga you seek to master your own bodyweight, in bjj, you seek to master someone elses.I will continue this challenge and post more general reflections along the way. Yoga is also responsible for this weeks video. Have an awesome week and I will see you on the mats!

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