What Does “Leave Your Ego at the Door” Mean?

"Leave your ego at the door" is a common phrase you will see written on the walls of martial arts gyms everywhere. But it has always amused me because it would be almost impossible to do unless everyone had an existential crisis as they walked through the door. But more than merely being helpful, considerate and courteous to people, I think it might be useful to interpret it as not being fearful of receiving feedback or experiencing failure in the learning process. To simplify the process, we can experience failure and either laugh or cry about it. You probably have to do both at some points, and only ever having one reaction would possibly lead to negative consequences. Maybe accepting it as just the way things are and an unremarkable, expected, and natural part of the process seems to be the healthiest attitude. You might feel awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassed, but no need to make it worse by thinking that those feelings would be rare. Of course, you will find these new...

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The Talent Code By Daniel Coyle – Summary & Notes

The Talent Code written by Daniel Coyle says that developing talent requires three elements: deep practise, ignition, and master coaching. The central theme of the book would be the concept that talent comes down to practice and not innate traits, genetics or environment. The summary of the talent code will be split into sections on talent defined, talent & myelin, deep practice, ignition, master coaching and a conclusion. Talent Defined The book defines talent as the possession of repeatable skills that don't depend on physical size.It suggests that developing talent requires three elements: deep practice, ignition, and master coaching.The development of all skills alters the cellular mechanism of production of myelin which creates neural pathways.Making mistakes generates talent as it will produce myelin growth.The central theme of the book would be the concept that talent and skill development comes down to practice and not innate traits genetics. Talent & Myelin Myelin...

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The Spectrum of Teaching Styles for Martial Arts & Grappling

The spectrum of teaching styles appears as a unified theory of teaching that aims to describe the structure of all possible teaching methods. It starts from the basis that education will be a chain of decision making with each teaching decision being a result of the previous one. It identifies that the decisions can come from either the teacher or learner and in three distinct phases of a learning experience which are pre-impact, impact and post-impact. Pre-impact will be the planning and intention behind what you want people to learn; impact will be the decisions made during the lesson, and post-impact will be assessing how the experience went and incorporating any feedback. Depending on the configuration of decisions between teacher and learner will determine where the teaching style will fall on the scale. The two extremes are if the teacher makes all the decisions, which will result in a military-style strict drilling lesson. The other end will be if the learner makes all the...

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A Game Sense Style Pedagogy for Teaching Beach Wrestling

I have talked about how we prepared for the "King Of The Beach" competition on a podcast recently and what I noticed was what we did was very similar to how Andy from School of Grappling recommends that training be structured and also to the GameSense pedagogy I studied at Univerisity. It was excellent training as everyone had a purpose, it was enjoyable, and it was one of those rare moments in time at a practice where everyone was in the mix together. It makes you grateful for having positive training partners and getting to spend the time training together. Those kinds of moments that I can appreciate even more now that we cannot get on the mats. But one thing I did notice was that the level of everyone in the room did seem to progress substantially during that time and made me think about what we did. We trained for around 6-8 weeks doing two classes a week that followed this format. Generally, we did between five to ten rounds of each segment depending on how many people were in...

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Rise of the Gracie Hunter – Sakuraba Documentary Script

INTRODUCTION Kazushi Sakuraba, The IQ Wrestler. A Japanese catch as catch can and professional wrestler who became legendary for his bouts with much Larger fighters and his multiple victories over members of the Gracie Family that also earned him the nickname The Gracie Hunter.  In this study, we are going to look at the career, techniques, impact and the legacy of Sakuraba on the sport and entertainment side of the industry. As a professional wrestler, he made sure his entrances into the Pride ring were always a spectacle and entertaining, and it was another form of entertainment that would be the catalyst for Sakurabas Entrance into the sport of mixed martial arts.  Born in Japan in 1969, As a youth, he was a fan of the Japanese Manga or graphic novel called Tiger Mask which tells the story of a professional wrestler who battles against a mysterious organisation of wrestling villains known as the Tigers Den. The Manga also had an anime television show featuring the same...

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The Plus, Minus and Equals training system of Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock was an early pioneer of mixed martial arts training with a unique approach to cross-training and fight strategy that enabled him to become the first UFC light heavyweight champion before vacating it after an all-time classic match against Tito Ortiz. He formed an alliance and cross-trained his shoot wrestling style with the kickboxing skills of Maurice Smith and the guard work of Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and successfully blended them together to form a well-rounded skill set. Each member of the alliance was able to help each other improve in a different area and in many ways exemplifies his plus, minus and equals training system which we will discuss in this article. Perhaps due to its inclusion in the book "Ego is the Enemy" by author Ryan Holiday one of the most notable aspects of Frank Shamrock's training is his system of plus, equals and minus. The plus, equals and minus formula is as simple as have a training partner that is better than you, at the same level and of...

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Guide to being a Cutman for MMA Athletes

Cutmen at an MMA fight are responsible for treating a fighters lacerations or swelling in the one-minute break between rounds. Therefore, a cutman's duties include getting the fighters to perform at their highest level of ability by minimising the effects of cuts and lacerations that could hinder their performance. Also, if cuts become too severe, it may lead to a fight being called off by a referee or doctor so in some situations a cutman's work could make the difference between winning and losing a contest.  All major MMA promotions will provide corners with their cutmen; a smaller show may provide one cutman per fight and rely on the chance of both fighters requiring a cutman from not occurring. However, at smaller regional shows a cutman may not be provided at all, and it will be expected that the coach or cornerman of a fighter will fill this role.  Learning the skills required to be a cutman can be through an informal apprenticeship where you could help out a more...

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Beginners Guide to Lucid Dreaming for Martial Arts

Dreams have been held with importance in numerous world cultures throughout history and often connected with aspects of a person's soul or ancestors. But western society will often dismiss them as irrelevant to your life experience and best ignored with the exception of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung who developed theories of interpreting dreams believing they were accessing the unconscious or subconscious mind. Interestingly many great western thinkers have been influenced by their dreams including Albert Einstein who had a dream that helped the creation of his Theory of Relativity and Rene Descartes who had a series of dreams that helped develop the scientific method. Many more examples of dream inspired creation exist that suggest the content of dreams are valuable and should not be so easily dismissed as nonsense. The following article will discuss the process Lucid dreaming which is when you become conscious within your dream and feel as if you are awake while...

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Four Principles of Martial Arts Skill Development

The core of talent in martial arts is not dependent on the presence of remarkable attributes but rather the absence of limitations imposed on yourself by society and your subconscious. Society and self-interference can hinder your mental, physical and emotional performance and the four principles which embody this lack of obstruction are non-resistance, accommodation, balance and the natural order. All humans are naturally born free of all obstructions, and it is only through external influences of society and our upbringing that we unconsciously develop these restrictions that stifle our development as martial artists. These four principles can all be witnessed in the natural world and explained in proverbs with which you might already be familiar. Trees that bend in the wind are examples of the principles of non-resistance, a gentle stream that can cut through stone is a case of the principle of accommodation, life thriving in moderate cycles is an example of the principle of...

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The origin of the phrase “As Happy as Larry” is from prizefighting.

The Australian colloquialism where your jovial mood is suggested to be "As happy as Larry." find its etymological roots in the early bare-knuckle pugilism of a Sydney prize fighter and undefeated middleweight boxing champion at the turn of the 19th century. The Larry in the idiom is Laurence 'Larry' Foley (1849-1917), who was born in Bathurst and would gain recognition as the "Father of Australian Boxing". He spent his formative years in Wollongong where he served a Roman Catholic priest and had an expectation of joining the priesthood but instead moved to Sydney where he would later participate in a Roman Catholic street fighting gang that feuded with a rival Protestant group. Larry Foley would become the unofficial bare-knuckle champion of Sydney by beating Sandy Ross the leader of the rival gang in a contest which lasted 71 rounds and went for over 2 hours and took place at Como in South Sydney. The bout which leads to the birth of the phrase "As Happy as Larry" was against the...

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