adversity, bjj, triumph

Plateaus In Jiu Jitsu: What Gives?

One of the toughest things in BJJ is the dreaded plateau.  As anyone who has trained for long enough knows, plateaus are frustrating because they are so hard to break out of.  To break a slump, the first thing you need to do is gain insight as to why you’re stuck.

I took some time to reflect on my own plateau.  They can seem so unknowable, why your progress and attitude can flatten out for unknown reasons.  So I closed my eyes, and let my brain float up to the top the reasons for my plateau. I then took these issues and made a literal plateau pictogram. I found it to be really therapeutic and insightful. DESTROYING MY DEMONS THROUGH THE UNSTOPPABLE POWER OF MS PAINT.

Observe Figure 1:
PLATEAU

I hope you found this enjoyable, and my wish for those out there struggling with their own plateaus is for you find the same astounding courage I did in overcoming your own fears.

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adversity, bjj, competition, strategy, triumph

TIME OUT FROM JIU JITSU: THE BACHELOR EDITION

Let’s just take a five minute break from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and talk about my second favorite thing: Reality Television. While it’s not my favorite, the Bachelor is definitely the show that provokes the strongest reactions from me.  It simultaneously captivates and enrages, which is a rare quality in anything.

And like any competition, you have to know the rules.  If you ever get shanghaied onto The Bachelor, stick to these rules and you’ll be fine.  Who knows, you may just win and find yourself in a contractually obligated marriage! So please, accept this rose.

1) BE WHITE

Let’s just keep it real and talk about race.  If ABC could cast walking clumps of cream cheese it would. They don’t even bother hiding it anymore.  I wish we could take racism, put it on a rocket ship and shoot it into space, but I can’t do that.  “But current bachelor Juan Pablo is Hispanic,” people say.  Juan Pablo has blond hair, blue eyes, and is about as ethnically threatening as a Chi Chi’s Restaurant.  Worse than descriminating against minorities, The Bachelor ignores or minimizes any thing non-white or mainstream.  OH IT MAKES ME SO MAD BUT I LOVE IT ANYWAY. 

2) TAKE FEMINIST IDEALS AND LIGHT THEM ON FIRE

If you are cast to be on the Bachelor, take a moment and write down all the positive feminist ideals you can think on a note pad.  Then slowly cross them out with lipstick.  And then light them on fire.  Then bury them in the ground, salt the earth, and sell your house to bunch of bikers who’ll cook crank in your kitchen.

Because nothing kills the Bachelor’s boner faster than feminism.

3) SUBMIT TO THE LOVE

This is the most important rule. You have to  love the bachelor immediately, but not really know him.  And you have to convince him, and all of the women in the house its love at first site. All of this accomplished through a series of contrived encounters and interactions, in front of your bitter rivals.  Like a cross between Downtown Abbey and a North Korean Propaganda event. And if at any moment you falter in the illusion the other contestants will turn on you and be devoured. They will smell your fear.  

Its like some sort of group delusion everyone has to buy into, lest the curtain falls and all are forced to be witness to the hideous beast.  Are you prepared for that?  I’m not. Are you?

That about covers it.  Three simple rules to love and happiness that fucking moron could follow.

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adversity, triumph

Promotions, and Lack Thereof

So there has been some pretty big events going on, both at the gym and personally.  First, John, our head instructor, was promoted to black belt.  It was  a long time coming, and I couldn’t be happier.  It means a lot for the club, and the world for John.

Saulo Ribeiro was on hand to give a seminar, and then promote John.  Sometimes you meet people who seem so comfortable in their skin, so happy to be doing what they love, it’s a pleasure just to be around them. Saulo is one of those people.  His seminar was great.  Nothing too flashy, just great jiu jitsu you can use to crush you opponents into a fine powder.  And then blow the dust into the wind.

Speaking of promotions, I was up for one at work, and didn’t get it.  Losing to the dark horse candidate.  A bit of  a shock and a let down.  So much so that I left work early, rode my bike home and drank beer in my backyard to cool off.  But life, like Jiu Jitsu, is all about learning lessons.  Unfortunately the lesson I learned is one that you’ll learn all your life.  Shit happens and you don’t always get what you want.  Sometimes you just have to say fuck it, swallow your pride, and keep moving forward.

So, fuck it.  The sun will rise tomorrow, and there will be new opportunities down the road.

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