Jiu Jitsu

Begin With The End In Mind

This week’s blogs are grounded in lessons derived from reading that have applied directly to my practice of Jiu Jitsu. In our first post, Ann Lamott’s Bird by Bird gave us a mental framework with which to approach something as vast as Jiu Jitsu. Now we turn to Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of […]

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On Incremental Progress

In this week’s blogs, I went to the bookshelf to share some books which have influenced my Jiu Jitsu. The first is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, an enjoyable read about the adventures, loves, and struggles of writing. Lamott chose the title for her book from an interaction she observed between her father and brother: […]

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Injuries and Jiu Jitsu: Understanding our Time Horizon

It seems to be a fundamental truth: if you are going to achieve a high level of technical competency in Jiu Jitsu, you will accrue injuries along the way. Though this is inevitable, we are not completely at the mercy of chance. From a pragmatic approach, there is much that we can do to minimize […]

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Play, Rather Than Work, Jiu Jitsu

One of my greatest obstacles to happiness is that I am so hyper-focused on becoming that I often neglect being. In a culture of growth and innovation, we are constantly tasked to use our time in the most productive way, and when we are not actively striving toward some grand aspiration, ennui sets in. Our […]

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“Savage”: Why We Need A New Vocabulary

If writing has taught me anything, it’s that words matter much more than we are consciously aware. Members of the Jiu Jitsu community have been using the term “savage” in a complimentary manner to describe one another, and I believe we do this at a great cost. We are aware of the connotation of the […]

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Why My Kids Will Train Jiu Jitsu

When I am a parent, my kids will train Jiu Jitsu because a maturing human being needs to purposefully meet resistance to optimally develop. Life in America, for most of us, is better than it’s been in any other time period or location in human history. Our culture has done a fantastic job of providing […]

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Jiu Jitsu, Humility, and The “Big 5” of Academic Psychology

Jiu Jitsu is the vehicle through which we achieve self-mastery. It’s complexity and difficulty create the perfect environment to mold our character. While I was writing On Jiu Jitsu, I found that much of my writing centered around the theme of humility. Since we were kids, humility has been praised as a divine virtue, but […]

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Jiu Jitsu, Death, and Self-Optimization

I spent a great portion of my twenties studying Buddhism and Stoicism, both of which heavily value the theme of death. “Memento Mori,” remember that you will die, inspires us to make optimal use of our finite time. “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die […]

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Why We Must Train BJJ Consistently

With Matakas BJJ opening next month, I have been purposefully training less so as to let my body rest for the many training sessions to come. Though my joints feel refreshed, I noticed that after a long training session of tight guard passing, I had brush burns all over my face. The body adapts, and […]

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How BJJ Teaches Kids To Delay Gratification

There is an experiment known as “The Marshmallow Test,” in which children are seated at a table with a marshmallow in front of them and are told that if they can wait ten minutes to eat it, they can have two instead. Studies have shown that those who are able to wait the allotted time […]

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Jiu Jitsu and Persistence

While discussing my athletic career, my mom reminds me, proudly, “You always won the Mom Awards.” I never won most valuable player, I was most improved. Never most outstanding, but hardest working. As a young boy with a simple philosophy, I did not value these awards. I valued objective success, not the effort which made […]

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What The Dragons of Mythology and Garry Tonon Taught Me About Jiu Jitsu

I have recently found much value in my study of Mythology. Myths are more than stories, they are windows into the collective unconscious, revealing the archetypes we inherit and act out, often with our complete unawareness of doing so. The study of myths is the study of ourselves. A common motif is the dragon, the […]

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3 Reasons Your Child Can Benefit From Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu is more than a martial art with which to defend yourself; Jiu Jitsu is a tool with which to mold yourself.  The training of our character must rise in proportion to the comforts of our daily environment. The heavy cognitive and physical demand of Jiu Jitsu forces our students to grow in myriad […]

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What is Jiu Jitsu?

I was at a wedding this past weekend and so many friends offered a similar sentiment, “Congrats on your new Jiu Jitsu school! … but what’s Jiu Jitsu?” Below is a quick description of what Jiu Jitsu is, why it’s valuable, and why you should seriously consider trying it yourself. What Jiu Jitsu Is Jiu […]

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Our Logo: An Explanation

I felt an explanation of our logo was necessary. Traditionally, Jiu Jitsu schools use an apex predator to symbolize their strength in the dominance hierarchy, a perfect representation of Jiu Jitsu’s superiority relative to the effectiveness of other martial arts. As apt as this symbolism may be, I didn’t feel it best served our purposes. […]

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