John Danaher is arguably one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaches in the world. He’s known for his incredible insights in BJJ and martial arts in general. He has a philosophy degree, which adds a feather to his cap to me. Danaher’s teaching method is something that martial arts coaches and academics alike should study.Continue reading “A Way With Words: John Danaher and the Transmission of Knowledge”
Category Archives: Philosophical Thoughts
How Do You Find Motivation?
I’ve had several students at my college come to me lately asking what I do for motivation. I admit I am not a motivational expert. I don’t have any witty or sensational quips to offer them. Instead, I take a different tactic, one that involves a brief history lesson. When we begin to doubt ourContinue reading “How Do You Find Motivation?”
How does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fair against multiple attackers?
A question on Quora made me think critically about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how it may fair in a fight against multiple attackers. I think one of the common misconceptions of BJJ is that it is seen as a sport or grappling-only art in recent years. While that is true in many cases, BJJ is oftenContinue reading “How does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fair against multiple attackers?”
Poetry in Motion: A Philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu
(Photo by Richard Bustos on Unsplash) Is there a philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu? It makes a great metaphor for life, but there are also great analogies to explain the learning process of this beautiful art. Let’s address the question with a little help from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom and MMA fighter Ryan Hall. In a recent video,Continue reading “Poetry in Motion: A Philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu”
Looking Back. Looking Forward.
It’s safe to say we have all had an interesting, if not rough year. It would be easy to say that the year was a complete bust for most of us. With COVID shutdowns, election-year drama, and unexpected surgeries (in my case), who knew if we would survive. If there is one thing we canContinue reading “Looking Back. Looking Forward.”
CYA: Justifying Your Use of Force
In a 2009 Black Belt magazine, Reality-Based Personal Protection pioneer Sgt. Jim Wagner quoted an adage, “There are two fights you must win. The first is for your life, and the second is for your liberty.” In several firearm classes, I’ve heard the phrase, “If you pull the gun, it will change your life. YouContinue reading “CYA: Justifying Your Use of Force”
Playing Not to Lose Until You Learn How to Win.
Have you ever felt like a loser because you just couldn’t win at anything? Here is an idea you can try to start winning, but it will take time, learning, and a willingness to lose in the short-run. I played the game Connect Four with my son the other day. After he lost several timesContinue reading “Playing Not to Lose Until You Learn How to Win.”
What is a Martial Arts Master Called?
We could address the question above by attempting to define what we consider a martial arts master, but that is a rabbit hole into which I am not prepared to climb. Instead, let’s ask a simpler question. What do you call your head instructor or person leading the class? In some cases, it might beContinue reading “What is a Martial Arts Master Called?”
John Johnston: No One Needs a Gun Until They Do – Reblog
Originally posted on Gun Culture 2.0:
For the third consecutive year, John Johnston of Ballistic Radio and Citizens Defense Research guest lectured in my Sociology of Guns Seminar at Wake Forest University last week. Here I want to briefly summarize the ideas he shared with my students, while respecting the fact that the session itself was…
Moving Mountains: The Meaning of Kuzushi
If you ever spend much time training in Japanese-based martial arts, you might hear the word “Kuzushi.” I recently had a revelation about this interesting term. On a coaches’ forum, longtime Judo coach Richard Riehle posted that one of his favorite kanji in Judo was 崩し or “kuzushi.” He noted that these are the charactersContinue reading “Moving Mountains: The Meaning of Kuzushi”