bjj, competition, improvement, matchups

Mail Day!

It’s Mail Day! Let’s answer some questions.  As always, if you have any questions you want answered, write me at askheavytraining@gmail.com.

Greg from Albany writes:

What is your favorite Mythological Creature and why?

Thanks for writing Greg.  I’m going with Minotaur. Six pack abs, natural sense of rage; it’s the perfect combination of power and sexual charisma.  Here’s a ranking of my top players in the mythological game, from first to worst:

  1. Minotaur
  2. Centaur
  3. Genies
  4. Unicorn
  5. Medusa
  6. Jesus
  7. Pegasus
  8. Bigfoot
  9. Hydra
  10. Giant

Jeff, from West Chester asks:

Two part question. If Hitler’s preserved brain was transfered into a grizzly bear, would you volunteer to fight him to the death?  Do you think you would win?

Thanks for writing, Jeff!  My question to you is when, temporally speaking, would this fight take place?  If it was 1937 I think I would step up to the plate.  In 2014 Hitler’s just fighting for pride, which makes him more dangerous.  I like to think that this fight would take place in 2099 AD, where me and Hitler-Grizzly are fighting to amuse our corporate overlords at their Christmas party.

Anyway, I think I would have a fighting chance.  Because Hitler has the mind of a man, in the body of a bear.  He wouldn’t know how to use the patented bear moves (mauling, biting,  rearing up to terrifying heights, etc) that makes bears so dangerous.  He wouldn’t maximize his built in advantages as a bear.  Conversely, if you put a bear’s mind in Hitler’s body, he’d flail around, not knowing how to use a man’s body.

I think I could conceivably get behind him, take his back and choke him out before he could figure out how to shake me off.  Then it’s bear steaks for everybody.

Troy from Hoboken NJ writes:

My girlfriend says I spend too much time at Jiu Jitsu.  It’s becoming a larger issue than it should be, leaking into other aspects of our relationship.  I’d like to strike up a compromise with her, without losing any mat time.  What should I do.

Thanks for writing Troy.  Troy!  What a name.  Anyway, you’ve got a real problem on your hands.  You can save it though! Here are a few techniques:

Basic:Most arguments in relationships, especially boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, are invisible struggles to seize and maintain the moral high ground.  You’ve already seized this position because your girlfriend is asking you to change something about yourself. All you have to do is hold down the fort. The most basic defense that you can muster is that she should love you for you, and that trying to change you into something you’re not, or  to make you do something you don’t want to do, would violate the most basic of all relationship principals.  Say something to that effect and watch the waves of guilt crash down all around her!

Intermediate:  To try something a little more advanced, let her know that the time spent at the gym is a wholesome, bettering, activity, and it’s not like you are spending your nights and weekends drinking and fucking around with your friends and other women.  You’re an athlete, god damn it.  This really only works if A) you are not currently spending your nights and weekends drinking and fucking around with other women and B) your girlfriend values fitness and comraderie.  If she genuinely wants you around so you can watch her while she watches her 5th episode of Chopped, I would stick to the basics.

Advanced:  Compromise, skip a bunch of classes, and be miserable.  So miserable that she “allows” you to go back to your normal schedule.  This is a shrewd high risk strategy.  It involves you seemingly conceding your moral position to her, only for your girlfriend to realize later that she’s the one who’s wrong.  It’s like a double switch ending to a movie where it turns out she’s Kaiser Soze where all along she thought she was Katherine Heigle in 27 dresses.

The risk is that your girlfriend may not care you’re miserable and it turns out you’re dating a monster.  Or you act too insufferable and she breaks up with you because she thinks you’re a monster.  Or maybe you’re just meant for each other because you are both awful people!  Good luck!

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That’s everything in the mail bag!  If you have a question you want answered, send it in at askheavytraining@gmail.com.

 

 

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adversity, bjj, improvement

Generic self centered post #23

I got a new job, and I’m pretty excited to start. My old job, which I’m leaving on Tuesday, drapes me in a rich and luxurious cloak of despair. But I’m moving to a start up company, and shit is about to get real. I plan on working a lot more, and training a lot less, and that was really stressing me out, inordinately so. To the point where I couldn’t sleep. So last night I got shit faced and had an epiphany: I tend to turn the things I like to do into obligations, and then I wind up not wanting to do them any more, because they feel like obligations.

It doesn’t help that I’m task oriented, in the worst way possible, meaning that I see activities as things to conquer and then move on from. It’s all part of the very Anglo-Saxon colonize/exploit/destroy/leave mind frame. I’m constantly worried that if I do not put my time in, I won’t “beat” Jiu Jitsu, Obviously you can’t really beat something that is part of a never ending continuum of learning and growing. But somehow I made it my task and my obligation to go to class and improve, where it should be more a gentle goal; a nice glowing light in the horizon to walk towards. Know what I’m saying?

There is no end goal. I’m not stabbing my way through a hallway past trained assassins to win a million dollars. I’m not in a pie eating contest. I can’t “win” in the traditional sense. Which makes me feel a lot better about myself, and my training.

OH! I ALMOST FORGOT. SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT. My new job is at 3rd Ward Philly. It’s a great coworking and skills development space for all people. Check it out at www.3rdward.com. I’d love to see you there.

 

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improvement

Top Chef Challenge

I watch Top Chef with some regularity.  I consider it the emminence gris of reality televsion.  Chefs, at the top of their game, fighting like snow leopards on top of a mountain for their very survival.  What lessons can we learn from them, and carry over into BJJ?  Here’s just a few:

Knives make things intersting.  Perhaps in the middle of a match, the ref can throw a simple kitchen knife on the mat, just to spice things up (pun intended.)

Competition brings out the iron reserve in some. It’s interesting to see someone wilt like a hot house rose in the heat of the moment.  All the bullshit and bravado fades away, and you’re left either on the top spot, or with your dick in your hand wondering what just happened.

Teamwork only gets you so far. Being able to play well with others is a skill that should be valued.  But this is America, Jack.  Fuck up my bernaise sauce, or stand in my way, I’ll cut your face. (see point 1)

Tom Coliccio is an excellent kisser. There’s just something about his round, bald head,  and soft lips that makes me think that.  I can imagine him watching me practice, as I grunt and sweat and strain.  And then he meets me afterwards, and we go to a nice italian place that’s out of the way.  We share a few bottles of wine, talk shit on Eric Rippert, and go back to my place for a night cap.  All the while, I keep thinking of of his lips, and his strong hands. 

So, anyone else have anything to add to this discussion? Has tv taught you anything?

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