BJJ Tips: Goals and Resolutions and BJJ / Grappling

Those of you who are close to me as a person know that I don’t believe in setting goals. This is one of the reasons I could no longer work as a manager as one of the important parts of the job was setting SMART* goals for the team I managed and for myself. I may write more about the evils of goal setting in a later instalment. I wasn’t even going to write about it this time if it wasn’t for a couple of coincidences.

I am a very happy subscriber to the both Fighter Magazine (a Swedish publication covering the world of martial arts with a focus on my home country) and Fightworks Podcast and I suggest you join them too**. They are at the forefront when it comes to BJJ / Grappling competitions, personalities, views and interviews and they don’t just restrict themselves to the mat but there work also covers interviews in a number of interesting subjects such as conditioning, athlete sponsorship and even scientific research. Just go join the Fightworks Podcast as a subscriber for free and download a few past episodes onto your iPod or laptop and get educated and entertained at the same time. Yeah. They are excellent Edutainers***!

January’s issue of Fighter Mag started with an editorial piece by chief editor Marko Gyllenland where he, amongst other things, talked about the value of new year goals and objectives. I received that issue a couple of days ago and that piece stuck in my mind. I actually even dropped Marko a quick email to which he was kind enough to respond.

This morning I downloaded this week’s Fightworks Podcast show and it has a number of excellent interviews, one of which is with Martin Rooney, elite conditioning trainer and the author of Training for Warriors: The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Workout. Martin talked very passionately about resolutions and goals. He may be a fantastically knowledgeable conditioning coach but he didn’t say anything that a any trained manager couldn’t tell you. Then again, good BJJ is Fundamental BJJ and I suppose the same is valid for any field.

Having said that, I don’t agree with the above gentlemen in their views. “Who are you to disagree?” some might say. I’m a happy man.

Martin had a simpler version of SMART. He just used MAT: Measurable, Attainable and Time-framed. He also stressed the value of making goals public to those who matter to you and your progress, citing group involvement and peer pressure as further factors that can help push you forwards towards your goals.

Just thinking and writing that actually hurts my head. Of course you don’t have to think this way. You can go on your merry way believing in the goals and targets. Personally I feel that if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. I believe in living. I believe in living every moment to the fullest. If you follow that with the question of “But how would you achieve anything in life?” I would have two possible answers for you:
  1. There is no such a thing as an achievement. Achievements are illusions based on a wonky flawed sense of worth and biased ideas about measurement. The only reason people strive to achieve is because they feel that less than 100% worthy just the way they are and that achieving something will add to their worth****.
  2. You achieve accidentally and as a byproduct of doing something you are passionate about, which to me is more or less the same thing, as long as you keep the same loose definition of achievement.
The more I learn about the principles of exercise physiology, the more I believe that this is true. Find your passions and give them your all. Live your life and you will love it and don’t do something just because a warped perception of reality makes you think it is to be done.

But then again what do I know. I’m just a happy man.

*To see what the acronym SMART stands for click here
** Fighter Mag is published in Swedish only (to my knowledge) and subscriptions can be organised on their website. As for the Fightworks Podcast either click on the link above or the link on the side in my reading list. Dan and Caleb put on a fantastic 1 hour weekly show and it’s all about BJJ and Grappling. Most importantly, the guys are BJJ guys themselves and not just some random shmoe executive who is in it for the money. They are great reporters and very personable. I took less than 24 hours to get an email response from them to a question I posed and he even complimented the Part Time Grappler blog. Caleb likes my little blog!
***I just googled this and I think this is the first time Edutainer has been used in this context: to describe someone who is both an Educator and Entertainer. You read it here first world!

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