I just want to begin this blog entry with a curiosity. I've had some nice comments lately on my blog so thanks to anyone that reads and makes the effort to leave a comment. I had one comment on my "always someone bigger" post though that simply read something like:
"I think you should show a little more respect to your opponent"
Predictably, this comment was from "Anonymous".
I've put it in this entry so that it doesn't get lost amongst the other comments as I think it's important to address this one. I have no idea what, or who "Anonymous" is referring to. All I can say is that nothing I wrote was intended to show any disrespect to anyone - least of all any of the opponents I've ever had, win or lose. Absolutely, categorically, 100% not. I have nothing but respect for anyone that I train with, and especially for anyone that competes - it's tough out there no matter who you are.
So, just let me say this. If there is anything that offended anyone in my last post, I apologise. That was never my intention and I am, to be honest, still at a loss as to what it was that prompted the comment. All I do here is talk about my training and my thoughts. So that's it. If "Anonymous" is reading this - genuinely, please let me know what it was I said that seemed "off" - feedback is great, but only when it's specific.
On to business. I'm not training at the moment as I just got another tattoo. It's at the top of my back, between the shoulder blades (possibly the worst place should I decide to train when not healed!) It's of a Sakura (Japanese for "Cherry Blossom") - My Daughter's middle name.
Just waiting for it to heal up properly so it doesn't go all patchy. So thought I'd use the time to reflect on one of the most recent sessions.
Last Wednesday, it was just me, Si and Dean T. Dean started talking about the philosophy of the training that he's been doing and I can't possibly do justification to the conversation here but it was pretty wide ranging, touching on Eastern philosophy, Buddhism, various Martial Arts masters, including Morehei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido. We talked for almost an hour, with the ultimate crux of the conversation being about the self discipline/personal improvement foundation of martial arts. It is clear, the more you read into it, that most of the originators of Martial Arts created them with the intention that they would be practised in this fashion. Yes, there is a defensive/combative aspect to them, but this might be seen almost as a by-product of the discipline of training. It is this that is at the heart of what Dean has been teaching and, I believe, is what is at the heart of those that practice Jiu Jitsu at the highest levels, including Rickson.
I've read a significant amount about Buddhism, and, whilst I wouldn't consider myself Buddhist, a lot of the principles hold a resonance for me. Carrying these principles into your training make a lot of sense to me. Sure, I'll compete and I want to be the best...but only the best version of me that I can be. As I say, I can't do the dialogue justice here, but I will say that it had a real impact on me and the way that I see Jiu Jitsu and the way that I want to train it.
It's strange, very little physical training that session, but the mental workout was every bit as valid for progression in Jiu Jitsu. We need to nourish and develop our minds as well as our bodies.
There was one thing I did pick up physically. Dean coached me through rolling backwards. Sounds simple I know, but as I've said in the past, my lower back is not the most mobile and so I struggle with any movement that requires this. Dean took me through a few exercises and projecting the hips..and somehow it just "clicked". really pleased - once again it's these small breakthroughs that carry you forward. I tried to incorporate it into my rolling but realised that I stopped the movement - this requires you to just go with the movement...another theme of Dean's teaching of late - knowing when to give or take with the movement of your opponent - it's great stuff and when you get it, it feels like anything is possible...even if only for a short time.
So, I left that session happy, tired and with a bit of a headache...I'm sure that was dehydration and tiredness rather than the impact of the philosophical discussion we'd just had.
The tattoo's looking pretty good at the moment. I've been using a nappy ointment called "Bepanthen" and I've got to say, it works really well as a tattoo cream! Hopefully this means back to training next week!