Effortless Jiu Jitsu

I usually listen to some type of podcast in the morning to get through my drive to the dojo or to teach Japanese. All the stuff I listen to is great, but this morning podcast with Tim Ferris was incredible. His interview with Terry Laughlin was profound in its simplicity as well as concise details to understand technical mastery.

The most important idea that I was drawn to, “effortlessness.” Terry comes from a background in coaching swimming, and explains the mastery of swimming in effortlessness. This idea applies directly to the study of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the many grappling arts and martial arts. While conditioning and strength are important factors, true mastery and efficiency comes as a result of using proper technique at the correct moment. All this is really easy to say and understand, but can be very difficult to actually execute. More importantly, it is very difficult to evaluate your efficiency.

In jiu-jitsu you often hear instructors train their students to “relax, slow-down, breathe, use their technique, etc.” All great reminders to help the student understand the importance of training to use their technique. The explanation of things feeling “effortless” is one that I haven’t heard in a long time. (My initial attraction to jiujitsu was in seeking to better understand the martial art while being in an ‘effortless’ state) I think this is a perfect form of assessment. “What was your effort today?” Not in the sense of how hard did you try, but how hard were you forced to work?

Continue reading the rest of the blog at EliotKelly.com

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