Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
I've been thinking a little about wierd off-the-mat ways to improve my performance on the mat, and there are two things that I've found help more than anything (besides, obviously, working out).
The first is stretching constantly. Eddie Bravo has talked about it alot, and I've personally found that when I watch TV or am chilling on the computer or on the bus or whatever, I stretch. It keeps me flexible, and since I do use my flexibility alot in my training, it's really good to think about it, at least periphally, alot of the time.
The second is the one I really wanted to get to in this post (the first was just sort of a side note and a reminder-to-self).
When I'm not on the mat, the thing that I find makes me most productive is to take things less seriously. I don't always take my time on the mat hella seriously (I mean, I mess around with techniques and do wierd stuff, instead of the regimented BJJ and such, and I have a sense of humor), but I've found that just chilling out helps me to work much better on the mat.
I feel like this is just good life advice in general, but I feel like it's worth mentioning.
On days when I'm stressed out and riled up, I find that I don't feel as good about my performances, and then I get frustrated, and when I get frustrated, my game really goes all to sh*t (and this is true of most people). So just relaxing, keeping myself calm and not taking everything seriously keeps my happy, but it also keeps me productive.
Obviously, the two are interlinked. If I'm happy, I'm going to be able to learn more, because I won't have to deal with being frustrated. I'll be able to focus on training.
Still, there are alot of ways I've been finding to do this more.
The first is to schedule my days so that I don't have excess stress. I realize that it isn't possible for everyone to live like a Hawaiian (or, in my case, a Californian), but it really helps when I don't feel way too rushed. Just make sure that, if I do schedule alot of sh*t, some of it is sh*t I can look forward to and that will calm me down, so blood doesn't shoot out my ears.
The second is not to listen to hip-hop when I'm not either working out or in a club. I'll be honest, I love rap. I'm from the Bay, I've grown up on it, but it gets my heart rate going and my wheels turning and it gets distracting. I don't listen to rap when I'm working my jiu-jitsu (or my striking) because I like to be calm. I save it for runs when I want to push myself, and for clubbing. For the rest of the time, I listen to whatever sort of chill stuff I have around. This rule also applies to metal, which also gets me going too much.
The last thing is to not deal with other people's sh*t. If someone's having a crappy day, I just don't deal with them. No reason for me to go nuts over their messes. I've found that this is true on the mat and off. If I'm on the mat, rolling with someone who's having a frustrating practice and screwing things up, getting angry and overly physical and stupid, don't meet that stupidity and aggression with stupidity and aggression. Just focus on working the technique. Play your own game and let them deal with theirs.
I realize this is a pretty Zen post, but I thought it was an important thought.
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