Fighting, lying down…

After 20 or so years of doing ‘kind of the same thing’ – a martial art called Wing chun that involves stance, position and maintaining standing up, this week I started to learn BJJ. BJJ (or Brazilian Ju Jitsu), or ground fighting, which is all about not standing up. I’m quite scared. 

Changing your perspective on how you do something is great for new insights and for highlighting what transportable skills and values you have.

Having a different view like being horizontal (in combat, or any walk of life) really changes your perspective on things. It’s the most obvious example of doing something differently. 

Try sitting in a  different place in your weekly team meeting and see what that does to your view, who you work with and how you participate. You could try lying in the floor, it’s not always appropriate in all meetings. 

So in combat, here’s what changes when you swop to the floor. You’ll probably find this an interesting analogy. Your hands that used to guard you are now knees, your arms are now for balance and your legs pick up where your arms left off. It’s a real challenge for your brain and you feel pretty vulnerable at first. But it’s good to be a beginner again too. It’s refreshing and scary and also exciting that there’s lots to learn.

Having another man lying on your chest is also new for me, but jokes aside it’s  the claustrophobia of your opponent in BJJ that’s behind the initial panic of floor fighting. It’s exactly what I’ve been training to avoid (not do) for some time. Yikes! 

Panic, to get some perspective, is just unfamiliarity, it fades (so I’m told) with time on the BJJ mat. Amazing how quickly it eats your oxygen though in any new situation, where you are out of your depth and previous ways of thinking don’t immediately apply. This is true of work (and physical grappling with others) in the pursuit of learning.

As with everything, I have learned that finding an instructor or coach that you gel with, trust and can learn from is key to success.

There are always plenty of high quality practitioners (do-ers) but good teachers are not so obvious and what you need for real progression. Anyway, teachers are another blog for a other day. 

Just like martial arts, it’s good to change your paradigm, your ways of working and shake up what you do periodically. Maybe more often than 20 years. 

In work, just changing the location of your weekly meeting or running a meeting using pictures instead of Ppt in a more visually organised way can help. 

What ever you do, hobbies, sports or in working life, try shaking it up and find a new perspective so you keep your learning moving forward.