Tuesday, November 09, 2010


The other night in competition class, Donald showed me what REAL flow rolling is. I have seen youtube clips of flow rolling but I didn't connect that it is rolling without resisting. Whatever they give, you take.. and whatever they push for, you give. Shama and I tried to flow roll before nogi worlds and before I knew what Donald meant, and it was ugly. I resisted everything. Then Donald rolled with her and it was a beautiful dance! And then he rolled with me, and I was halfway getting it. I felt like I intruded on the rhythm and the grace of it when I thought about what to do next, but if I just went with everything, things clicked effortlessly. And I bounded up from the mat with an ecstatic smile on my face afterwards, feeling like choirs of angels were singing and rainbows were falling out of my gi, because THAT is how jiu jitsu should feel. If they're stiff or resisting in one aspect, there WILL be another place that they're giving you something, so don't bother with your original plan-- just be water and flow into any crevice that's open.

I spent some time playing around with a friend yesterday, working on the rules of open guard (femur-torso angle never greater than 90 degrees; femur-femur angle never less than 90 degrees; one foot on either side of their body always; 3 points of control always). Then this morning I tried to combine those rules with the flow rolling concept (but haha, it doesn't work so well when your partner is going for the gold.)

Just now, read this useful bit on Dave Thomas' blog Jits Happens.

"The slow march towards mastery includes moments where your growth, energy, and motivation are at their greatest. Coincidentally with my discussions on this topic, [Daniel] Pink calls this "flow." He equates flow with play, in that the labors and efforts of the work you are engaged in become effervescent and lost in the moment of unconscious progress you enjoy in flow. How can you find your flow and how can you make this a means to accelerate growth and enjoyment? How do we work to get lost in the moment? Translated as a Zen kōan, we should concentrate maximum effort to release effortless play. The more you flow, the more you grow, and the more fun you have on the path. Having fun is a great counter balance to the pain of training hard."

The whole 'maximum effort to release effortless play' pretty much sums up my addiction to jits.

This weekend was pretty cool, because we had the NoGi Worlds on at my house and a few training partners came over for spaghetti and shouting at the screen. Wooo, our teammate Daniel Moraes took silver in middle heavy! Here's what GracieMag had to say:

"Pablo “Weapon X” Popovitch, of the newly-formed and very successful Avengers team, defeated Daniel Moraes of Relson Gracie on points, 6-0. Popovitch finessed and muscled his way to a big win to become 2010′s medium heavyweight no-gi world champion."

Speaking of which, check out some killer pictures from the NoGi Worlds here.

Mitch's first day at his new job was yesterday and it went well. He's still in school full time also, so he's incredibly busy. This weekend he'll be in Dallas for the Dallas Salsa Congress, and I'll be training a bunch, gardening a bunch, and cooking a bunch. You know those soft white frosted sugar cookies available at a lot of bakeries, called Lofthouse cookies? Found a recipe to make them at home which I'd like to try:

2 cups Jiffy baking mix
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup milk
5 tbsp Crisco Shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix, drop on parchment paper lined pan, bake for 8-10 minutes and remove to cool.

My stupid toe is still jacked but it's not stopping me from getting some good training in.

Hope you're doing well!!!! :)


JCC-CSV said...

I liked that Dave's classes begin with a 45 minute flow roll. Well, when I flowed with higher belts it was a flow, when I flowed with lower belts it was "crank on the new guy". Ben sometimes starts our no-gi rolling at our gym with flow, but I still suck at it.

Anonymous said...

My sons were taught "Sticky Hands", which sounds like the standup version of flow rolling. They were kids at the time, so the instructor made a game of it. It's a "game" that they still play to this day. It taught them to sense someone's pressure and balance. They are now able to easily use one's movements against them. It's very frustrating to be on the receiving end of it. Everything you do to them ends up with you being on the ground with a *stupified expression*

When I come to visist, you'll have to show me.

Zen Mojo said...

Finding partners who get "flow" is hard (and I'm the problem at least half the time).

I've started grabbing guys before class and saying let's "play around to warm up a little." Since I'm calling it warming up instead of rolling a lot of ego and "will to win" gets disarmed and we often have a good flow.

It is so much fun when it happens!

Sorry to hear about your toe. While mine was broken a little while ago I learned all sorts of new ways to "apply pressure" since I couldn't get up on my toes and drive or concentrate weight. Hope it gets back to normal soon.

Megan said...

Love this! I'm aching to get to a level of flow. I rolled with a purple once that flowed like that and it was like rolling with silk. Ever since then I've wanted to be able to "dance" too.

Mike M. said...

I train with WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson at The Lab. Talk about flow, that dude with "smooth" (i.e. his nickname). Watch the first Donald Cerrone fight and you'll see him stay perfectly relaxed through tons of submission attempts.

I'm looking forward to trying this paleo pumpkin pie receipe

Kirsch: said...

Injured toes are crappy-- super sensitive, surprisingly important in Jiu Jitsu (not to mention walking), and hard to tape! (at least that was my experience)

Hope it's better soon. And I'm sure you're flow rolling is better than you give yourself credit for-- mine on the other hand could use work.