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7. Can having holes in your socks help your training? October 16, 2007

Posted by Adam Adshead in BJJ, Conceptual BJJ, Inspiration, Martial Arts, Thoughts.
Tags: , , ,


Photo Credit (It’s not my toe by the way)

Have you ever looked down at your one of you socks and wondered why one had a hole in and the other didn’t? Or subsequently that the said hole was created by your toe to escape?

If not then you obviously don’t have a very vivid imagination, jovial ambiguity or maybe you just don’t have holes in your socks. The point I’m making is that sometimes it’s worth looking at things from a different angle and not assuming that the obvious is the right or wrong answer.

Guided by opulence and a hunger for shiny techniques a lot of athlete’s magpie themselves whole arsenals of submissions, sweeps, combinations, throws etc which is great but the problem is that athletes can then train with Negative attachment. What I’m talking about is that almost all athletes at one time or another roll, spar and sometimes even drill with this ominous cloud of negativity and without knowing it this pervasive mindset can severely affect your training.

Now we’ve all rolled or spared with someone and thought;

‘That’s not how they usually play’

or even self critically thought;

‘I don’t usually roll like that’.

Now the reason comes from this imbalance from what is normally accepted between what you expect from your own game and that of your partner. So if the pressure is increased or external influences take hold it can ruin not only that roll/round but ruin the whole nights sparing for everyone. It’s almost carcinogenic and this negative attachment can spread to everyone on the mat.

But what is it?

It could be absolutely anything that causes you to act differently from your standard game and mind set. Maybe you had a bad day at work, you’ve rushed to training and arrived late, you might just be a bit run down or tired or it could be something someone has done to you in a previous round/roll. Wherever it comes from and whether you’re consciously or sub-consciously aware of it, it can only have a negative affect on your training.

I was almost involved in a serious car crash a while ago when someone cut in front of me at quite a speed in a very busy area of Manchester. Now my car was full and I was talking at the time and as if by slow motion this car came gliding across my vision and I thought that we’d actually been hit as this apnoeic and synchronistic gasp bellowed out. But being the raconteur I am, I carried on regaling the others about whatever I was talking about before I was drowned out by shouting and swearing from the other guys. After the initial outbursts one of them turned to me and said “Why are you not angry!?” and the reason was that almost pretentiously I don’t let external things affect my internal state of mind. It’s hard to do at first but it helps me live a relaxed life both on and off the mat.

The way to look at it is that there are three possible ways to react to any situation which has the potential to cause a negative mind frame and so attachment. So for the following outcomes think about someone really unloading on you in boxing, someone aggressively throwing guard on you or someone cutting you up on the motorway:

Outwardly react – vent your spleen at the motorist, start dropping bombs or start aggressively passing guard to combat their aggressive move.

Inwardly react – Do nothing but bottle up you feelings about being cut up, tagged with an over zealous jab or being locked down tight in someone’s high guard.

Do nothing – Forget about everything and react in a positive way to reframe the negative to a positive.

Now obviously the most proactive thing to do is to Do nothing and carry on unaffected with sang-froid and composure but how many of you reading this do that honestly?

Maybe on the mat. As it is rare to see in a PCWA gym someone that frustrated they shout and ball. But out on the roads or at work, it happens all the time. So the most common of the three is to Inwardly react. This might not even be a consciousness thought but usually what happens is that people bottle up the emotion and usually vent it on someone else, who in turn takes it out on someone else and before you know it; the whole mat can be affected and a negative training experience for everyone is created.

So what can you do?

A lot of people take things too personal. Although what we train is combative and on the surface deemed a possible outward manifestation of anger, we all know it’s not. If going to training was like something out of a certain Chuck Palahniuk book would we still go?

I wouldn’t and I’m sure most if not all of you wouldn’t either. So why do people take little changes in a persons game so seriously at training? Obviously ego plays a massive part but it’s hard for me to fathom. If someone cuts you up on the road you’ll never see them again, and yes they’re in the wrong but there is nothing you can do about it. (Unless you chase them down and kill them.) But people seem to find this semblance of acceptance in getting frustrated on the road and whether they react now verbally or with a shake of the fist, or bring that with them to training it’s not healthy for training or just generally in life.

Now I never planned on this article being a definitive answer to a question instead it’s merely an observation, an outlook, a perspective of how I see things. I think that it would be very anti-PCWA to be dogmatic and suggest how we should all do something. So this article is a jump off for further discussion and possibly even articles. So they say ‘Reading for the mind is what exercise is to the body’, so surely holes in your socks are to your toes, what new ideas are to your mind……. Well maybe not but it’s always worth looking at things from a slightly different angle.

Adam Adshead





1. www.learnhypnosiseasily.info » 7. Can having holes in your socks help your training? - October 17, 2007

[…] conceptualbjj wrote a fantastic post today on “7. Can having holes in your socks help your training?”Here’s ONLY a quick extractor even self critically thought;. ‘I don’t usually roll like that’. Now the reason comes from this imbalance from what is normally accepted between what you expect from your own game and that of your partner. … […]

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