Peaks and Valleys.

In Jiu-Jitsu, a lot of people talk about plateaus. You reach a certain point in your training where you don’t feel like you’re progressing. It happens to the best of us, but I’m going to approach it with a different school of thought. One that’s used everywhere else, and can be applied to Jiu-Jitsu also. A man called Spencer Johnson wrote a book called Peaks and Valleys. It’s a simple school of thought, that can completely alter the way you view anything. Whether you want to be minimal and alter the mundane tasks in life, or why not be grand? Alter life itself, and everything within. It would be a discredit to mention his school of thought (albeit a very crude understanding) without mentioning him.

Jiu-Jitsu has peaks and valleys. If you picture with your mind’s eye how a four-year-old would draw a mountain range. There’d be a peak, then a valley; and so on. There would probably be a disgusting oblong sun too, but hey! This fictional kid is only four. Give him/her a break. That fictional four-year-old’s crude drawing is enough to give you something to visualise. If you can’t picture it, I suggest you find a four-year-old and hold them to ransom until they draw a mountain range. Alternatively, draw one yourself. Whatever lands you less jail time.

What I’d like you do to is put your accomplishments with Jiu-Jitsu at the top of the peaks. Your bad training days, competition failures, can sit in the valleys.
It doesn’t matter which one has a bias, as that isn’t your primary focus here. The positivity you will have when you a reach a peak, will far outshine what it does when you’re in a valley. I guess that’s because you’re closer to that fictional ugly oblong sun.

On Saturday, I had two matches and was pulled apart like a a bit of melted mozzarella. Both opponents were more technically proficient. They didn’t waste time, or energy and made me look like a novice on the mats. I was as far into the valley as you can be.

I’m not going to give up there though, because you can only go up from here.
So after my drubbing, I had a great roll with a new purple belt. The sort of roll that takes you out of whatever funk you’re in at that time. It was flowing, and fun. That’s the very beginning of my climb to the next peak.

On Saturday whilst driving home, I started thinking about hand placements on the lapel, and where the fundamental mechanics of the body can lead to certain grips. I came up with something, but I wasn’t sure whether it would work. I knew I’d have to wait until Monday to find out. So I sat on it. Visualising the same sequence over and over again.

On Monday I had a great training session. We were learning something fun, and afterwards, I had some brilliant rolls. Attacking throughout, whilst defending. I caught people, and they caught me, that’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

At the end of the class, I got to try ‘my’ move. It worked without a hitch, and my teacher immediately stole it for his own game. So that’s something! Now, I’m not going to take total credit for creating a move, because this is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Someone else would have been through the same thought process as I, and the same epiphanal journey, realising that even when they’re not doing Jiu-Jitsu, they can create or imagine attacks that can actually work. I think I’ve reached a peak.

Two days after sinking into a valley, I’m back on top. Wednesday was more of the same. I’ve been nursing an arm injury since the weekend, but I partnered up with Grant and Ronnie, and we blitzed through the technique. I then had some fun flowing rolls, and went home to watch a film.

Sooner or later, I’m going to have another horrible session. That’s just part of the sport, but I’ll be climbing to the top of the mountain again right afterwards.

What a cheesy fucking post that was. Anyways, off you pop.


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