Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's all in your freakin' head...

Congrats to Australian purple belt Kit Dale for his Brasileiro win (and thanks to Matt at the Grappling Dummy for the find).... Kit's no slouch, having taken gold recently in the Abu Dhabi Pro World Cup. Check what Kit had to say:

"On the way there I remember running scenarios through my head, and getting into a positive frame of mind. This is very important with high level competing, as the game is 98% mental and 2% physical, it is easy to have your head ravaged with negative thoughts, creating negative emotions. This can make or break a competitor, so I put a lot of emphasis on controlled thoughts. If you can control your mind, anything is possible. But if you let your mind control you, you’re in a whirlpool of uncertainty and pain."

This is SO RIGHT! If there's anything big-picturey that I've learned in my competition experience (I have done 12 tournaments in about 2.5 years of training) it's that your MIND is 90% of your match. I don't think it's 98% but that's just me at my stage of development. 10% of any given roll is your physicality, your physical understanding of the movements and your ability to feel and discern timing and biomechanics, and your muscle memory; 90% is your mental attitude. (I think that perhaps at a lesser-experience place, maybe the percentages shift even more, maybe 70-30?)

Anyway, go read Kit's account of the tournament experience and watch the video on there of his finals match... some judo, some spider guard, two nice sweeps (who says scissor sweeps only work on whitebelts?) and some situp guard :)

More from Kit on the benefits of being observant in the pre-match time period:

"While in the back going through my mental preparation I noticed my opponent in the corner with his coach going through some interesting scenarios on the matts. The thing that struck my mind were that the positions he was going through were my favourites from passes to submissions; this said. . . That I had already got him on the back foot, knowing that he was practising worst case scenarios and defensive tactics gives me the picture that not only is his coach thinking in a reactive manner but he is engraining it into his student. So while he is focussing on what to do, if this happens and what to do if he does this, I am focussing only on what I will do; how I will dictate the match, and if for any reason I start thinking negatively for example; (what will I do if he takes me down) I immediately block that thought from my head and reinforce positive thoughts, for example; (I will take him down or I will sweep him this way). I believe that using the power of thought (quantum physics and neuron linguistic programing) is the best way to attract what you want into your life whether it be money, happiness or in this case success."

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