Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

Jiu jitsu Helps Strengthen Intellectual Capacity

Well, I think it does anyway, and I (sort of) have the evidence to back it up:

According to this article, a series of studies showed that strategic thinking exercises improved individuals’ abilities when it came to abstract concepts, reasoning, and innovation. Other areas of the brain also appeared to reap the benefits of the exercises, including memory, problem solving and planning.

And when you think about it, you get to a point where jiu jitsu truly becomes the “human chess” game- while still very physical, also becomes an exercise in strategy: when to go, when to stop, advancing in a position, utilizing a weakness in another player’s position. It’s all pretty interesting stuff.

Let me know what you guys think- otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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Rolling in BJJ: Sometimes You Have to Play on the Black Keys

It’s an expression my grandfather has said now and again. He was a part time jazz musician back in the day- I don’t know if it’s just a local expression, but when someone asks who you are feeling and you reply that you feel like you are “playing on the black keys”, it basically means you feel off or not yourself.

What I mean in this context is that sometimes whether you like it or not you are going to be in a place where you feel off: you’ll be in a position you don’t train quite as much, for example. We humans tend to shy from the unfamiliar: we experience a dislike and tend to have a strong aversion to things outside of our comfort zone. We like routine, to repeat the things we’re good at, to confidently tread over the well worn path of what is known to us with the knowledge that it will bring us the greatest chance of success.

It makes us feel good about ourselves, but it doesn’t really make us better. Or rather it makes us better at a very small range of things. To put yourself out there, to put yourself in bad positions is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to learn and improve your jiu jitsu game. I’m not saying just flop to the ground and hope things work out: I’m referring more to the idea of sort of venturing off the beaten path, casting yourself into the wilderness so to speak, and then work on finding your way back to the familiar. Sure, it’s a sort of trial and error sort of method but you may end up finding new opportunities for sweeps or submissions you never realized before, or something that didn’t work for you in one context, totally works in this new (albeit odd) situation you have found yourself in.

It’s the growing pains of learning and improving. Sometimes you have to play on the black keys to discover how to make a more diverse and intricate song.

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