Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sometimes it takes a long time to see obvious things. I just realized, in the sense that I put it into words, that it takes a long time for me to allow someone into my very small circle of trust. I find myself on occasion in the company of huggers. Well, I'm a hugger, with a few people. Like kids that I love. All that's in the past now though. Very very few adults. And that doesn't include family, except for my son. So how do I handle it, with these causal huggers? Which is ruder? -- me, with my icy rigidity, or them with their sloppy demand to trespass into my space? Do I make them as uncomfortable with my social distance as they make me with their attempt at envelopment? I think I have the better case. But there shouldn't be a need for a case. We should respect each others' boundaries. Our boundaries should not include tearing other peoples' boundaries down.

So there's that.

I've been thinking about how I was taught bjj. One move at a time. Sounds sensible. But it's not. Bjj is not about discrete things, one move and then another different move. It's a move always followed by another move. Clear? It's combinations. So techniques should be taught that way. As a logical progression. Steps in a series. Where I used to train, sometimes combinations would be taught. But I'm using "taught" in a non-standard sense. Demonstrated. Taught would mean learned, and I didn't learn it -- because to learn you have to practice, which means repeatedly, day after day. Drill simple moves, the increments, and drill complex moves, entire techniques and combinations. Like in gymnastics, back in the day, when we put together a whole routine, one move after another, and then performed it. Don't some martial arts do that? I think so. Mostly dance, those, but dance is useful.

This is a very good idea.

Chess isn't about one move and then some other move. The masters think ahead. That capacity is trained. To hope that it eventually develops is to depend on hope. What a brilliant analogy. I'm brilliant. Mat time will make you good, eventually. The process can be sped up by good teaching. Randomness has its virtues. So does method. Teaching should be methodical. Testing should be randomized. You heard it here first.

I'm finally feeling like "mastery" of jiu jitsu is not an impossibility. If only all that mat time had been under competent tutelage. No disrespect meant to my erstwhile instructors. It's just that they weren't teachers. They were athletes, trying to teach, mostly by demonstrating moves. I actually talked to the guy who was always there, telling him about lesson plans, and about posting them. Nothing ever came of it. Sort of sends a message. Cuz I do know what I'm talking about. Develop lessons, teach them, review them, test them, add to them. Duh.

Ah well. Enough of how fantastic I am.


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