Monday, 15 December 2008

Inspiration and opening the gates

This is just a post on somethings Ive been thinking about, reading and looking at. No real BJJ updates but hopefully something interesting which you may of experienced yourself. There might be a fair bit of babble.

Ive been getting inspired alot recently. From talking to people, watching, reading and experiencing different things as well. I find it difficult to shut my brain off, I have alot of internal chatter. Which is why people who know me find I talk...alot. And this makes it hard for me to focus sometimes, I dont quite have a train of thought. Its more like the London underground but with the trains driven by monkeys with a bad sense of direction. So I tend to over think and over analyse which does allow me to pick up alot of information. The downside is implementing it. I have to sift through alot of mental noise and that often means Im to late and not focused on the task at hand enough. But when something inspires me it allows me to really focus on whatever that thing is, and it makes it easier for me to understand whatever it is Im trying to do. The other way I handle this mental noise is by getting tired. When I get tired enough my brain starts to switch off and I fall back on the things Ive drilled and act more instinctively. Which is great!...but I want to be able to do it without having to get exhausted first.

So heres a few things that Ive been thinking about, just today:

This is a vid of Leo Vieira doing some playful demo rolls in japan. He starts with a whitebelt and moves to purple.

Whilst watching the first match I was abit disappointed, but it was only after watching the whole vid I realised how good he actually was. The white belt looked like he got the upper hand in his match a few times, but he really was insignificant. Leo was controlling him even whilst the white belt was passing for side mount, because he knew everything the white belt could do. It didnt really matter what the white belt did. And you can see this when Leo spars with the purple belt and goes to town on him, because the purple might JUST be able to do something if he got into a good position.

So how is this relevant to me? - I need to keep everything on my terms, even if Im in a bad position I want it to be in the bad position I want. I dont want to fight my opponent on a level playing field. So I need to keep busy, be subtle and use a dynamic multi pronged attack. Always 10 steps ahead, as soon as my fist bumps theres I want to have them in my web. I simply dont have the mental clarity and technical know how to do this now, but I think it will be a little easier knowing what Im trying to become. Everyone says you need to train to become "good", but what is "good". Its being better than your opponent. And I think the way I just described is how to do that, against any opponent.

So dynamic attacking can equal two tactics:
  • Limiting all your opponents options and abilities so that your submission is undefendable. I.E control and superior technique.

  • Creating an over abundance of your own options so that he cannot possibly defend them all. I.E chaining submissions attempts together. All his defenses have to work, only ONE submission attempt has to.
Unstoppable force meets immovable object.

Further note of interest: Going for an omoplata from mount!

Next is some inspiration from a fictional source. A source that reveals my nerdyness:

Rock Lee:

Probaly gonna have to give some background info here. Rock Lee is a character from a manga and anime series called naruto. Its about freaken ninja's. Rock Lee is not a main character, his secondary character at best. All the ninja's can use super chakre magic type powers...cause they are ninja's naturally. Rock lee cant. His essentially a ninja retard. And he looks like a stalker of the beatles. But what he can do is work hard. In rediculous fashion thanks to his teacher who is the same as him.

So I was watching Naruto, and Rock Lee had popped up once or twice. I hated every second he was on screen. And the characters are all fighting in a tourney. One of the favourites who is 10 times better than everyone else is drawn to fight Rock lee. Awesome, time to die Lee. Fight starts and Lee is speedy as thats the only thing he has. But the favourite (Gaara) doesnt even have to move his feet to show Lee that he has no chance. Lee's teacher gives Lee the thumbs up and lets him know he can take them off.. . Lee is very happy to hear this and jumps on a statue to take whatever it is off. None of this is even hinted so far in the show. Heres an edited version of these early parts of the fight:

When Lee dropped the weights he won over every anime loving geek in the world. As it was completely unexpected. Lee goes further and ends up going bat shit super sonic crazy by opening the gates. These gates are natural mental barriers to stop people overexerting themselves and injuring the body. But anywho thats more than enough background knowledge. Essentially theres 2 main things I liked about it. It really nicely characterised the notion of overcoming the biggest hurdles with sheer hardwork (a nice example also shown in the vid I posted of the paraplegic wrestler). And that you can push your body beyond the mentally percieved limits. Despite it being fiction I think most people will agree these 2 things have been shown to be true many times. I dont think any of this gives you any sort of magic power but I believe people are capable of amazing things when they really try.

I believe the idea of what these "gates" represent is actually quite commonly found in evidence. For example when I started running I found it damn near impossible and progress was so and felt like torture. It was only when I started going past what I thought was my limit that I made proper progress. Every time I did this however my limit moved up and to carry on being able to run further or faster I would have to beat this limit. Im sure alot of you are familiar with "training to failure". And even with the proper precautions I believe it would be possible for someone to run so fast they would cause horrific damage to themselves, by going well and beyond their limit. But in doing so perhaps going faster than any person has been before.

So first gate = exceeding your physical limit

Anyone can just schitz out and use all their strength though, but in BJJ that means nothing without mental clarity. I believe the 2nd gate is being able to keep this mental clarity under massive pressure, pain and duress. In one of the extra's in the Renzo Gracie documentary he talks about one of his fights (Abu dhabi I think where he gets caught in an armbar. And his trying to escape but he knows he wont make it, his got about 2 seconds before his arm breaks. In those 2 seconds he says he thought about his arm breaking, and that in 2 months after it heals he can fight again in a upcoming fight in Japan. So he thinks sod it, his not gonna tap. But he kept on trying to escape. His arm gets hyper extended but that mental decision to let his arm be snapped allows him enough time to escape and then win the fight. It wasnt the common new guy mistake of trying to aimlessly escape because they think if they have a big enough seizure like fit they will escape. It was a calculated move where he expected his arm to snap but would fight on regardless.

2nd gate = presence of mind and willpower
Now I know this is nothing earth shattering or even new, but what I am trying to do is to discover what I am trying to achieve prior to achieving so as to do it more effeciently. Because when I started I wanted to be "good" at jiu jitsu but had no idea what that actually entailed. And I dont want to be JUST as good as the best guy in the world, I want to be better. And whilst I am perhaps aiming outside my reach I think it will get me closer than by aiming low.

Let me know what you think about some of my ramblings here.


Anonymous said...

I think maybe you should set your goals a little lower but maybe with the ultimate goal Of being the best in the world. First maybe you want to be the best white belt in your club or the best guy who was only being doing BJJ les than 2 years. The once you achieve that you want to be beating Blue belts and then get your blue and become the best blue belt in your club etc etc until you’re a black Belt with your own club and you are able to beat everyone.

MMA Bart said...

I like the tone of your post - enthusiastic, upbeat. I wish you the best. I've had 18 months or so of good BJJ training and find myself thinking quite a bit about bursting into that next level.

Anyway, keep it up.

Jadon Ortlepp said...

Thank you for the kind words Bart, it may only take a small little tweak of technique or mind set and you might find yourself there.

To the Anonymous poster:
Your suggestion is realistic and reasonable, it is a SMART target. Which are good for keeping morale high and focus. My goal of being best in the world is unrealistic but I intend to do it by babysteps. Like you suggested. And just want to go as far as I can. I never want to be satisfied with what Ive achieved, I always want to believe I can get better. And hopefully with that mindset get myself as close to my unrealistic goal as possible. I wont be to dissapointed with 2nd best :D