As some of you may know, the podcast and website are more than just hobbies for Kevin and me. We both train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu recreationally and are big proponents of the "gentle art." So even when we're not toiling away editing articles or the podcast, we're always trying to learn more about the craft. Over the years, I've seen this book pop up more than a number of times in my social media news feeds, but was never motivated to actually purchase it (and if not this one in particular, others like it). Ultimately, I figured I could just make my own version of this book if I really wanted to.
And I did! I tend to use a lot of moleskin notebooks a lot to jot down notes, jokes and observations and decided about a year ago to dedicate one such notebook solely to my BJJ training regimen.
It worked... for awhile. I made a regular routine of writing down the lessons each day and figuring out what parts of my training I needed to concentrate on. But, over time, I stopped writing in it on a regular basis. I'd constantly lose it or forget to go over the day's featured technique. Pretty soon, I found that lessons of the day would go by the wayside—leaving all that knowledge I was working so hard to build to just rot away in my brain (which, itself, is a fragile thing). And, lo and behold, that happened to be exact moment when I felt parts of my training recall and execution were becoming stagnant.
It bugged me. I'd occasionally pick up the book and try to start the routine over again, but, for whatever reason, it never seemed to stick. Eventually I just figured it was gonna take something pretty big to motivate me to get back on track.
Enter our interview with Rafael Lovato Jr.
The night of that interview something just snapped. Here we were interviewing a guy who didn't have the luxury of a nearby Black Belt teaching him how to improve his game when he was coming through the ranks. He had to travel thousands of miles out of his way just to learn more about the process. It wasn't just about wanting to be better, it was about making the commitment to be better.
Suddenly the "tough" challenge of writing in a journal didn't seem like such a difficult task by comparison. Try as I might, I just couldn't justify my own excuses for skipping out on the BJJ journaling process—especially as a guy who likes to consider himself a writer.
Promptly after the interview, I saw a link for the book again that praised it's usefulness. At this point I said to myself, "screw it, if I'm going to do this, my money should go to someone who took the time to make this and who appreciates the craft of BJJ like I do."
Moreover, I wanted the accountability. The safest way to ever force yourself to do something is to make it an investment. Suddenly I wasn't just forgetting to write in a training journal, it was now "hey dummy, you're wasting money if you don't keep this up."
So keep it up, I shall.
I'm happy to report that it landed on my desk two days after I put in the order and, as of this moment, I've already filled out two days worth of entries on a heavy training week.
Additionally, now that Kev and I have the luxury of the extended family that is the VerbalTapCast.com community, I feel it entirely appropriate to occasionally wax poetic on my own BJJ struggles to an audience who can either appreciate my perspective or have been there themselves.
I hope you all will keep me accountable on this and, in return, I'll try to bring the same eye for fun, nonsense and humor about my trials and tribulations with training in the same light I do for all things MMA, BJJ, and UFC posted on this website. I'll let you know how my progress comes along (or doesn't). It'll be a great time.
Sound good? Deal!
Thanks in advance and I'll see you on the mats.