12.5.10

The Gladwell Talk

As some of you may know, I attended the Malcolm Gladwell Live talk last night at the Lowry. It was a great event and I left it a richer intellectual being. But we'll get to that in just a bit. My beautiful evening went off to a great start.
Little did I know that I'd run into fellow BJJ Grappling enthusiast Adam Adshead and his girlfriend. He commented on my Facebook that he'd be there and we agreed to meet during the interval (since there was no interval, we moved that to after the talk). Adam spends his days working the dream job at NME and his evenings chasing the perfect kimura in his capacity as the BJJ Grappling coach at Factory BJJ. I have been in contact with Adam for over a year now and this was actually the first time we met and shook hands. I was hoping we'd spend a few moments chewing Jiu Jitsu and of course the evening's topics before parting, but as I said above, he didn't come alone and his girlfriend was tired. Oh well.

The theatre was about 90% full and in a quick, unscientific scan of the audience my eyes spotted 3 or maybe 4 persons under the age of 30. Malcolm entered the spotlight at 8 sharp and proceeded, with wit and engaging charm, to take us on a journey. An exploration of the talk's topic: Serendipity. An exploration that took us from the courageous Galileo and the enthusiastic, if not incompetent, C. Columbus thru the world of pharmaceutics, past the state of education today and, like any good story teller, back to Galileo. It was a very exciting 80 minutes. Exciting because we didn't really know where he was going to take us (something that proved very relevant to the theme) but also because when he opened doors and unveiled statistics, he also proved the value of the whole journey. The value that lies in braving the unknown. It's safe to say that I got more food for thought than I can shake a stick at and that's in BJJ Grappling, coaching methodology and life as a whole. Simon Biltcliffe can go get knotted!



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