A couple of years ago, Shihan asked me to paint a sign for the dojo that says “Think”, which is something his Karate teacher, Seikichi Toguchi, often told him (usually accompanied by a thump upside the head). Sensei Ossian told me that I should put “but not too much” below it, for students such as myself, who have a tendency to over-think.
Yesterday in Jiu-Jitsu class when I was practicing a technique with Ray, he remarked that my body knew how to do it, but I was letting my mind get in the way. This is an issue I’ve struggled with since the beginning of my training, and I believe it’s tied into the difficulty I have with relaxing. Sometimes my brain convinces my body that it cannot do things which it actually can, or I spend so much time thinking about what I should do that I lose my chance to act. I think myself into failure.
The good news is that Ray is right. My body does know more than my brain thinks it does, and when I relax and stop thinking so much, I am much better at Jiu-Jitsu. I believe I did a pretty good job with that during class yesterday, so I had an easier time understanding everything, but I did have to think about reminding myself to “lead with the hips”.
|“Think, let your mind go,
let yourself be free.” -Aretha Franklin
Unfortunately I wasn’t as relaxed when I rolled, but seeing as how I grappled with Ray and Conan, I think that’s somewhat understandable. Conan and I started from standup, which was nerve-wracking enough, but Captain Judo was also in the building, and I don’t know if he was watching or not, but the thought that he might be made me super nervous! The Captain did tell me that I was allowed to come to the kid’s Judo class afterward, so I’m not sure what that means (but I’m not going to over-think it ;).
It’s seems as though I have the opposite problem with my brain when I compete. It shuts off, and I have a hard time thinking at all. So it’s a good thing that my body knows some stuff!