Friday, August 21, 2009


For the lack of a better way to say it, this is something I've been trying to figure out for myself. When you play BJJ, do you stay present and mindful of yourself and the situation, or do you just go all zen, blank out and just do whatever? I can see both sides of the argument having good points. It gets a bit confusing for me, though, as each side has some really credible support.

For example, Saulo Ribeiro is one of those who advocate the no-mind-let-your-body-know-what-it-knows-to-do style of rolling. He quotes Rickson(?) by saying "if you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you get tired. If you get tired, you die." (source: Jiu-Jitsu University - IMHO a freaking incredible resource that was worth every cent!) That says it all so I won't try to elaborate.

On the other hand, Roger Gracie prefers to stay present and think his way through matches. To paraphrase him, "it's like chess. You've got to think. If you don't use your brain, you're going to lose" (source: Arte Suave vol. 1). It's really not as though you could argue with the man, based on his results. It is of course valid to note, though, not everyone is 6 foot 4, trains with a number of the greatest sport BJJ players alive, is super-strong, and has freakish Cobrinha-level technical ability - all at once.

For myself, I've noticed big results when I don't actively try to think my way through things. In rolling in the gym, or in competition matches, some of the best stuff I've ever done came in the absence of conscious thought. And on the other side, when I lose in competition, it's because I tried to use my head and work stuff out - while my opponent is already acting.

Which is not to discount engaging the mind and applying problem-solving skills to BJJ. I get a big kick anytime I'm able to have a game plan when I roll,and then implement what I can and adapt on the fly. For me, it feels really awesome if I can go in with an actual strategy. Just being able to read the situation and use tactics to get by is something I find amazing. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it's really quite cool. This must be how rock climbers feel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm withdrawing from the Bangkok Competition in September. I'm not injured, and I didn't give up competing - there's some stuff that has to take priority over this trip. That's just how it is.

Big ups and all the best to everyone who's still in. Especially to all my friends over there in Bangkok BJJ and also the Malaysian contingent. Stay safe, don't get hurt, and have fun!

And bringing some metal home with you would also be nice :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The weekend is over and with it, the latest Rodney King seminar at KDT. I had a tremendous time as usual, it was a lot of fun to hang out with everyone from the gym again. It was also good to meet James Woodfield-Jones, who is a new CMD trainer from Perth. Rodney was back and brought with him some really top-notch material for BJJ, CMD and MMA training. Some highlights for me included:

*Rodney's Combat Intelligent Athlete (CIA) module, which is a tool to help with preparation for self-defense. He covered some very interesting insights on self-defense and how these situations affect you physiologically.
*Of course, getting to hang out with Adam. Bummer that I couldn't train with him but there'll be time for that. Oh yes. Time there will be.
*James and (belatedly) Adam got promoted to Trainer! Congratulations, guys!
*Rodney's BJJ material. He covered some guard passing stuff which he actually showed before, but I seriously appreciated this second round. Last time there was a lot of stuff to go over and I wasn't able to get everything down on paper. This time though, I think I could understand a lot more of it, having had months to let it sit. Plus he showed some cool nuances to the techniques which were very cool.
*Kon and Naresh from Kreation BJJ in Singapore made the trip up and it was really cool to see them there.

I appreciate every opportunity to go to KDT, it's just that being such a huge seminar, it really made it quite the occasion. I'm a bit bummed that it's all over (a feeling reminiscent of the post-holiday blues, actually), but there's the seminar at Studio 23 coming up, and I definitely have a load of stuff to play with until the next seminar. It should be another awesome time and I'm so looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

EXQUISITE TORTURE... being in a room full of BJJ people and NOT BEING ABLE TO ROLL BECAUSE OF YOUR EYE. Almost all the KDT regulars were there at open mats. I especially wanted to train with Rich, who I've only recently met but who is a great (and really strong and skilled) guy. The salt in this wound was that Adam was also in town for Rodney's seminar and I couldn't roll with him. At least I get to train with him in Bangkok, but that's a month away and for right now it's really killing me.

At least the eye is doing much better now and I will hopefully be able to be on the mats (as opposed to sitting at the side with a notebook) when Rodney is over at Studio 23 in a few days' time.


Thursday, August 6, 2009


About 2 weeks ago I reaggravated the injury in my left eye. It wasn't so bad immediately, but a few days later when I woke up it started to feel like someone was scraping my eyeball with sandpaper. To make things even more fun, I could see a white dot on my iris. A trip to the doctor confirmed that not only did I have corneal scarring, the injury was infected. Extreme light sensitivity, sporadic pain and it honestly didn't help that I was so insistent on touching my eye. The doctor gave me some medicated eyedrops and away I went.

It's now much better, no more real pain, though there still is some irritation, which was made worse by the onset of the haze. There's nothing like waking up and smelling the faint scent of burning to start the day on the wrong foot. The odd thing is though, I started to notice that (I have required glasses to correct shortsightedness in both eyes since I was a teenager) I could clearly make out shapes and lines with my injured eye.

After the initial confusion, I went to the doctor again and was told that the scarring changed the shape of my eye. So it seems that me getting injured actually helped my vision(!!). Except, of course, for the fact that all my prescription glasses now have to be changed, including a really cool pair of sunglasses I just had made. Plus it appears that I'm now farsighted in the left eye, as things really up close are a bit blurry. Oh well, makes things more interesting, I suppose.

Anyway, I'm flying to KL tomorrow for the weekend, as Rodney King is in town for seminars at KDT. What's more, he'll be coming to Kuching for a seminar at where else, but Studio 23! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in KL, and a fairly relaxing time since I obviously can't do any standup for the moment. Here we go!
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