Let’s Be Friends

Some pretty interesting things can be found on Facebook (FB).  This is fast becoming the most preferred technological ways to communicate with the little time we have in the day or just to keep in touch with old friends.  I seem to get a faster reply through FB than from SMSing or emailing.  I must admit this never  appealed to me until Richard Norton got me into this.  If this is how we better find out things and learn from each other, then so be it.  So this is what I saw on FB the other day:

'The more I have been involved in Martial arts, I have come to understand it is less important to have volumes of disfunctional back stabbing friends & students and more important to have fewer real and loyal friends and students with good intentions'.

That's a good philosophy to keep in mind for Instructors but this has prompted me to think about the great friendships we have with our students. It's all because we share an interest and passion and, to a certain extent, we put aside time for each other.  This is true friendship.  How many people can readily say, any of the people they know, are a 'friend'.  We all know it takes time to get to know and trust someone and very few can actually make it over the net.  The martial arts has a way of people making friends in the industry, especially in the school, and sometimes life-long.  If this is the only thing martial arts has to offer, then it is all worthwhile.
Your friend,
George Adams 

The Best Medicine

How many times have we heard this cliche 'early detection is the best protection', particularly in reference to health which it is vital for existence.  Although we all agree this is the best medicine we seldom follow this course of action until it is too late because  we let other trivial things get in the way which, at the time, seem more important.

This cliche also means something in Jiu Jitsu; it explains why some techniques work and others don’t.  It is a matter of detection in the early part of the piece that something bad is going to happen if we don’t do something about it  When the martial arts were being taught, during the era of black and white television, self defence was usually based on reacting to situations usually when it was too late.  By this, I mean, eg rear naked choke; most people today know it's impossible to escape once it's put on tight so it is absurd to show a student how to get out of it.  It's a bit like expecting to get out of a stray jacket and handcuffs; or similarly, trying to block a punch when it is 2cm away from your face.

Students should be trained to put their plan immediately into action at the first sign of a threat; that's the best medicine.  Those who stand out in front of the class who think they can do the almost impossible lack reality based experience.  Anything else is pure entertainment.

Breaking the Magician’s Code

When a Jiu Jitsu technique is first shown it might appear incredible or even magic, going by the astonished looks on people’s faces, not to mention the heavy sighs in the room; but when explained how it is done we realise it is not so magic after all, just like the magician who reveals his secrets on that great show on Foxtel, after performing an incredible magic act; it's no so magic after all but very clever how it is done.

There's also magic in the martial arts.  People see something and wonder how ‘how it is done’ and ‘how can one learn this’.  You only have to look around the room and see the looks on people's faces.  In magic, there are three types of people.  First, there are those who just look, second, those who want to see how it is done and three, those who want do learn how to do it.  You can say the same thing for Jiu Jitsu. 

This 'magic' is often seen or experienced at seminars and I am not talking about John Will pulling a rabbit out of a hat or Richard Norton levitating with amrbars (ha, ha), but the amazing skills on display and the chance of ordinarly people (ie students) to learn the tricks of the trade.