Headspace, evaluation, bollocks.

I had started to write a big post about my situation and my headspace and other early-90s pop psychology terms, but the words of Hywel Teague echoed in my head (sounding surprisingly like those gents from Dirty Sanchez and saying something like “You’re thinking too much, Matty boy. Leeks. Cardiff. Sheeeeeep.”) and I thought, bollocks to that.

Pat at MMALife, a fellow kakutougi blogger, wrote a pretty decent self evaluation here and here, which made me think I should do the same. But I am definitely not in the same situation as he. He seems to be pretty confident with his game at the moment, as he should be, coming off some good wins at the inaugural Rickson Cup tourney. The kind of self-evaluation someone coming off a win writes vs. someone coming off two losses is very different.

Plus, he seems to have everything in order. One of those guys that knows how many calories he eats or what HIIT stands for. (Have Internet, Imbibing Tea?). Unlike me.

So I thought, fuck it. I don’t need to do that.

I’m going to keep it simple.

Turns out, my foot is broken. I had an MRI at the weekend which revealed a squiggly line in the bridge of my foot which is apparently a BAD THING. One of the big bones was fractured but has begun fusing together again in the last week, which is good. No big deal though, there is almost no pain at all and I think I will be able to persuade the doc to cut this cast off in three weeks.

That gives me time to chill and think about stuff. I’m still scheduled to teach a few days at the dojo to cover my sensei while he is in America at the mundials, and I think I will still do that. Chuck the gi on, direct the class, maybe do a technique and some pressups and situps, but skip the sparring. I can do that with a cast, right?

As for my game itself. I’m going back to basics. Keeping things simple. When I’m healed up I’m going to attack BJJ with a new vigour, a new mindset.

Priority number one: FUN! When I enjoy something, I do it well. When it becomes a chore, I don’t. Competing had become a bit of a chore. The next comp I’m going to go out throwing uchi-matas, wild triangles and crazy scrambles. Who cares if I lose, as long as I enjoy myself and perform well.

Priority number two: THINK FAST. My physical game has reach a certain (not very high level), but my mental game has yet to get there. I know the escapes. I know the submissions. I know the sweeps. But I am always a second too late in seeing the opportunity. So I am going to work on my reactions, my mugen, my zen mind state thingamjig. See the moves before they happen.

Priority number three: WORK HARD! That means never to “settle” for any position, to always push harder than the other guy in the scramble, and basically, make the other person work really, really hard to get position on me.

I’m going to print out some really basic self-affirmations and stick them on my wall to look at and remind myself when I am doing a little training at home. Nothing too cheesy… Something reminding myself to think fast, to play the game, and that I can win.

Oh, lastly, I can heartily recommend bashing your students with chairs* if you ever want to let off a little steam. Look at him, he loves it, the little bugger.

* I don’t actually recommend this at all, dickheads.

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6 Responses

  1. Good to see my influence extends across continents 🙂

  2. glad to hear someone liked it when i just wrote about myself for like 4 pages.

    i’m in kind of a special position, seeing as how i’ve basically had a whole year (well, i’m 8 months in…) to do nothing but work on my jiu-jitsu as a large part of my “research”. so even when i’m not training, i’m reading about diet, figuring out how to set up my conditioning routine, etc. not everyone can be so lucky. truthfully, i don’t even know how i’m going to adapt to the ‘real world’. but, i do believe that jiu-jitsu is only half what you do on the mats. eating well, sleeping well, conditioning and muscle training can have a huge effect on how you roll, and how you learn.

    re: self-affirmations, i remind myself to explode a lot. like i’ll wake up in the morning and think “explode”. just that word. and repeat it to myself throughout the day. actually, i should probably start doing that again, since i find myself not so explosive lately.

    re: DVDs, it’s exactly those kinds of small points that make DVD-watching worthwhile for me, especially if you’re deciding to focus on a particular aspect of your game. not everyone learns the same, though. personally, i think it’s useful just to see someone drill a move over and over. my instructor said after whooping my ass the other day that he got better by watching amazon’s movements and trying to imitate the ‘image’.

  3. Sorry to hear about the foot. 3 weeks is great though.

    “If you can dodge a chair, you can dodge an armbar”…. I smell t-shirt?

  4. Man, that’s rotten luck and sorry to hear about it. Like the new attitude though, and the priorities, although for me personally priority number two is still a bitch.

    Reminds me of high school days when some ADHD knucklehead was always going up to someone (me a lot of the time) and chortling “THINK FAST!” while in the same instant knocking their baseball cap off or grabbing their potato chips. Sometimes it’s just hard to know what’s coming (esp. when you’re over 40 and battling it out w/loads of hungry 20-something rollaholics who would like nothing better than to slap the tap on the oldster gaijin — but that’s just me).

  5. Yeah, I should have a cavaet (is that the right word?) like this:

    “THINK FAST: But don’t say that just before giving someone a surprise wedgie or spraying acid in their eyes.”

    Maybe number 2 should be “Don’t think, feeeeeel….”

    Keep on rockin Tom, us youngsters are secretly scared of the Dad-strength of the over-40s, that’s why we try so hard to beat you.

    Tokenminorities, your sitatuation intrigues me… I bummed around Australia for almost a year studying nothing but kung fu… good times man, good times, but I wish I had spent the time on BJJ instead!

    Yes, I somewhat retract my statement on learning from DVDs… very good ways to pick up pointers.

    Tony… good idea! Might steal that…

  6. Good caveat and love that ETD line.

    “Dad strength”….I like it & thanks. Still got some juice left so I will keep on keepin’ on.

    Re DVDs, they’ve been very useful to me, although I’ve been told recently that I should be focusing less on learning new techniques and more on refining my game/getting the little details down. Agree with tokenminorities about using them to home in on a particular aspect of your game though.

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