So there’s a nasty virus lingering around the world having come from bats or from labs and it’s yuck and the government gets worried and now we’re in a lock down and it’s all weird and we can’t train jiu jitsu.
Covid or not, life is full of curve balls and this is another one of them. So what can we learn from curve balls? We improvise, and adapt, and work with the evironment, and situation at hand in order to overcome.
Start with Why
Why are we on the mats sweating, and choking, and armlocking in this practice of jiu jitsu? Aristotle used the term Eudaimonia. It’s akin to the idea of human flourishing. For us, jiu jitsu makes us better people thanks to all of the beautiful parts of it. It’s our vehicle to getting better off the mats too, and why we practice.
Currently jiu jitsu is out. And yet if the goal is Eudaimonia, there are numerous other vehicles that allow us to get there. There is so much to do toward the goal of getting better in all aspects of life.
Keep the Goal the Goal
We’re mostly at home, or away from the mats, and we want to use this time wisely. Keep the goal the goal. And let’s get cracking!
1. Get some coaching
While we are under stay at home orders, currently we can exercise outdoors in groups of no more than 10. It means one on one or group training is still happening! And if you’ve ever wanted to work with someone, what better time than now, and what better place than the great outdoors?
It never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn from other people. These are people who have placed their attention in different areas to me and thus have lots to share. When you train with others, it can dawn on how little your knowledge translates to your ability to get things done. This is liberating, and a good time to get it started is now!
Of course this also includes Higher Movement sessions in the Domain Park!
2. Do some fasting
Intermittent fasting is a big sounding idea for simply ‘not eating.’ It doesn’t seem like too much at all. The benefits are numerous, and while doing it can be a drag, I love how it makes me think and feel.
Thing is when you’re in lockdown and the light is Green for regular fridge stops and pantry visits, suddenly there’s a can of worms open, and it can get very difficult to get it back. Fasting is a way not just to avoid munchies, but to rethink how you approach the munchies when it’s ultimately time to go back.
A personal reflection – Sometimes if I have a less than ideal breakfast then I’ll think it’s done for the day and proceed to eat everything in sight. John Berardi had a great strategy for this where rather than seeing the day as one unit, cut it in quarters of morning/lunch/afternoon/evening. So if straying from the plan happened in the morning that’s ok because you can correct course for lunch.
Most importantly, fasting in whatever protocol you choose, is a tool in building health, and self awareness, and ultimately quality of life.
3. Watch those BJJFanatics instructionals.
Instructional overload has become a thing in BJJ circles. It’s not difficult to see why, because I battle with it too. During regular life it is a struggle to find time to sit and watch a video. During downtime pre or post class, sometimes instructional watching is neither reasonable or desirable.
But if you like the idea of learning from the top monsters, and are a sucker for a quick Flash Sale or something then it’s easy for the instructionals to keep piling up. You now have some free time. Schedule it in and get watching!
4. Read books
Just like instructionals, the idea of reading, and the prospect of having the knowledge in the book sways me to buy them. It achieves some kind of positive in my brain, and I’m happy to do it. But I won’t ever read all of the books I have bought previously. My ‘to be read’ category just gets deeper and deeper.
I have succumbed to this, and now take satisfaction in knowing I could read them if ever I got the chance. Time off the mats means a spare moment to sit and read something new.
5. Cook something different.
There is a list of dishes I would take pleasure in making but have never made the time for actually researching it, and preparing it and bringing it to life. It seems like this is the case with a lot of things. We have the intention but not the resrouces. Well, now time could well be on our sides. So get out the cookbook and get creative!
6. Bulletproof for BJJ / YogaforBJJ / GMB / Higher Mobility series.
Joey and the Bulletproof crew are doing a great job over there. And Sebastian from YogaforBJJ is also is also full of one liners worthy of practicing yoga. GMB is also another mobility platform which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
Either way, whatever you choose, check in and get it done on the regular. Maybe even a few times per day. Get it in and get it done.
7. Go for a run.
Get the heart beating, get the legs moving. Running is all sorts of good for all sorts of reasons, and in Lock downs, it can be lots of fun to go out and feel the breeze on your face, and sun on your skin, and move.
The benefit of lockdowns are that you can run when you like, which means multiple runs per day and that sounds awesome!
8. Start a journal.
Lockdowns can produce many different emotions in oneself and nothing is better in this case than expressing them on a page or on a screen. When yo uget your fingers moving to the sounds of your mind some funny stuff comes out. Thing is you are writing to only yoursef, and like everything good thoughts take time and thus you filter them until you find the gold.
When you write in a blog, you have a visual representation of what is happening in yuour thoughts. Patterns can reveal moods and priorities that you weren’t wholly aware were there. When you build curiosity around this you can find some interesting things.
9. Write a novel/blog post.
Or the video or the creative thing you have been meaning to do for a long time. Put it in your diary, carve out the time, usually a big chunk is preferrable in this case, and get your fingers typing.
Note to self/ and you: Writing is a different process to editing. One of the biggest pieces of advice I received was to treat these differently. Editing as you type ruins mojos and you find yourself not getting anywhere.
80% rule too. Nothing will ever be perfect and we know this.
Absolutely positively one of things that I always wish I had more time for. Headspace makes it so easy. 3mins or 5mins or 10 mins or 15 mins? It can be any one of these. And if we work out the average duration of Instagram scrolling with the amount of time we do it per day, we will find more than enough time to slot one of these bad boy sessions in there with it all.
I fall off the Meditation bangwagon because I think I am too busy for it, and that is precisely the time that you need it most. So sit down, and simply relax, and feel your breath. Does it need to be this hard?
11. Catch up on sleep!
As a father of a 1yr old and a heavily impregnated wife, I am loving that my sleep tme can be a once shameful 9pm. The problem these days is the couch’s chance of sabotage. If you are going to do it, best to do it well. It means get off the couch John, and avoid the couch crank. Go brush your teeth, and wear something worthy of sleep time, and tuck yourself in, and do some proper sleeping!
Those 3 hours prior to bed aren’t just extra sleep. They are less time that my nose will be in the pantry looking for late night snacks. So make everyone happy and just Get to Bed.
12. Naps! Many naps!!
If you’re at home and aren’t always at home and get a little snoozy post lunch, why not bring a bit of European spice to the hood and give yoruself a siesta snooze? There’s nothing better than a noon snooze. Those Wogs get it done like its a religion and so why should they have all the fun? Lockdowns = Naps.
13. Call some long lost friends
‘Man I wonder how that guy is going?’ Well, now you get a chance to give the guy a call and see for yourself. A quick chat, ‘how’s it going mate.’
14. Clean out your cupboards & computers.
I look at the same old clothes all the time and only wear a fraction of what’s there. If only I get some time to clean out these wardrobes. Well, here we go! It’s your time to clean out the closet. Same goes for the computer and smart phones. All those memories don’t really need to be in your everyday device. Get the back up done and get them out of there once and for all.
16. Wash your car
In amongst the hustle and bustle of life outside of lockdown, the car can easily get messy. For weeks on end I’ll look at the same bits of grass, and think shit I need to vacuum this car. Well now is the time!!
Get out there Dyson in hand and give your car a clean because it needs it.
Well there you have it.
Some ways to keep the goal the goal. Move forward in your quest for jiu jitsu skills and quality of life off the mats, no matter what the circumstances in front of you. We focus on the things we can control, and we pivot, and mould, and adapt and make the best of the situation at hand.
This is one way of applying jiu jitsu to life off the mats, and how we can overcome any situation by our playing cards right and still keep going.