An overview of my ideas

Extracting the essence

To live a meaningful life, we must find the balance between analytical and intuitive minds. This path requires a conscious effort and brutal honesty toward ourselves. One cannot achieve inner peace and joy by staring at the light but by shedding light into our darkness.

For many years, I tried different disciplines. While I could extract the essence from them, I noticed that many things in the way they were taught were just too abstract for me.

The mind has to be open to new ideas. Still, one should maintain critical thinking, which is essential when there is a lot of misinformation around. I kept myself away from all the dogmatic, narrow-minded practices as I noticed that they wouldn't lead me anywhere I wished to go. The teachers were misleading, confusing, and dishonest. Along the way, some students, unfortunately, get brainwashed. Some people become too afraid to leave out of fear of being called a deserter. Others, although intuitively knowing something is wrong, bias themselves into seeing it all as right, even though they already know it is not for them. They shut down their intuition in favor of their image in the cult. This happens everywhere.

The Westernization of Yoga either over-inflates the spiritual concepts and creates a myth around Yoga or extracts them entirely, forming Yoga into something purely physical. I see this compensation in modern society, where the east is trying to absorb the technocratic ways of the west. In exchange, the west is creating its version of "spiritualism," with Buddhism, Yoga, and other eastern teachings being on trend as consumer goods.

I go in-depth about the meaning of the word "Yoga." First, one should understand that Yoga is continuously evolving. Any connection to the Self is the most natural path of any human being on this planet.

BJJ is hugely diverse, but Modern Jiu-Jitsu has become too competition-oriented and pragmatic, distracting the mind instead of enlightening and freeing it. Schools, coaches, and students measure their success based on their teams' results in competition events. Although I enjoy the path of competition and the game, I must recognize that it can form a completely closed mindset. This can cause people to constantly compare themselves and their achievements with others, forcing and promoting a one-sided mentality that points our personal compasses in the wrong direction. As a result, people will sacrifice their bodies with injuries for years and be proud of them. Many say that we should "leave the ego outside of the mat," but I believe that another "ego" takes its place upon stepping on the mat.

Improper guidance in any discipline like BJJ or Yoga is detrimental to the student's physical, psychic and mental health, as they lose the reasons for why and what they are practicing. It evolves more into a means of self-confirmation and a source of attention-seeking. It becomes less fulfilling to the students as they will never achieve anything personally. In combination with social media, they lose their way. I've seen this happening all around, including in myself.

Like drug addictions, we always try to recreate the 'first high' feeling.

I never intended to make a "Yoga for BJJ system" or meditation to improve work performance or sports performance. So, Yoga is a complete discipline in itself and BJJ. Still, I propose to return to the essence of what martial arts intend to promote, which is the well-being and balance of the individual to improve society. 

But I like to go on the essence of things. And for me, the principle is found fundamentally in the balance.

 

The basic structures for development in Jiu-Jitsu & Yoga

I see Yoga, BJJ, and the basic dimensions of our personalities as structures that are connected and support and help develop each other. Being aware of all these structures enables and promotes physical and mental health. However, this is all recursive. We never have an end or beginning.

We are only complete if we reach harmonic balance. For that, we need to integrate parts of our personality into our actions and vice versa. Studying Jiu-Jitsu in combination with Yoga will improve all these necessary skills for our self-growth.

 

Reconfigure your mind

Reconfigure your mind. Giving it a simple goal will reconfigure the world to enable you to maintain that aim. Still, for this, you have to connect your thoughts and emotions and embody them so that you can act consistently. So be genuine about the goal, and the world reconfigures itself around that goal, but be careful about what you aim for.

Your goal determines the way the world manifests itself to you. A few things can be asked if the world is manifesting itself negatively. For example:

  • Are you aiming at the right thing? 
  • Is your personal compass leading you the right way? 
  • Are you resisting or reacting? 
  • Are you focused enough? 
  • How is your discipline going?

Open-mindedness

The mind has to be open to accepting new things. Being honest with others is more comfortable than being honest with ourselves. So we must be open and honest with ourselves before we are to others. If we are not honest with ourselves, we cannot improve our life situation. We are already dead if we believe we don't need to improve our lives.

Agreeableness

We need to learn when to say no. Finding a balance in agreeableness is crucial for not becoming like a football, being pushed around, manipulated, and ending up in a cult. And then your mind gets trapped. Learn to stand up for yourself and what you believe.

Diligence

Yoga and BJJ are never-ending journeys with ups and downs. You have to be able to keep focused, even during hard times. Reaping the rewards can take years to achieve. So don't stray, don't let yourself be distracted, and if you do something, do it with awareness and conviction. Your focus will develop as a healthy habit during the practice. We need to be able to pay attention and not go on auto-pilot.

Discipline

To achieve a goal, we need to make a structure in our lives, we need to organize and clean our houses, and we need a schedule and a plan. Especially if we have creative and spontaneous/messy personalities. We need discipline as a necessary balance.

Facing the challenges

The only way you're going to grow is out of your comfort zone. Anytime you feel afraid of some unjustifiable fear, then prepare yourself for the challenge. Don't be scared of failure. Learning to deal with your losses healthily opens the path toward self-growth. As I always say to my beginner students: No one here has lost more than me.

Resilience

Take the hits and move on with the joy of walking the path. Accept things as they come, accepting the obstacles. This doesn't mean taking the hits without doing anything, but becoming an expert in problem-solving and patience, acquiring the wisdom of recognizing the right time to act, and being able to actualize this by moving at the right moment.

This doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to look for failures, as they will inevitably find you. Accepting doesn't mean giving up, but embracing the challenge and learning to overcome it. Respond instead of reacting. This leads to another important topic.

Communication

Developing empathetic communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is another crucial point. Communication is critical in all areas of life, personal, professional, and relationships and training. The way you communicate when put under pressure is quickly noticed, for example, while you are sparring in Jiu-Jitsu. We never developed this skill correctly, so reacting instead of responding to arguments or dilemmas is normal. We usually get blinded by our feelings and emotions, so we ignore others' needs and wants. We tend to react and say things without really paying attention to whether the way we communicate is accurate to what we mean. Good verbal communication can enable you to de-escalate dangerous situations successfully. And excellent body communication will accelerate success in learning Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga. Communication also means how we deal with the voices within ourselves.

Making associations

Associations between ideas; how they connect are vital to our lives. It can also be trained in Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga. Symbolic relationships are the key to learning and developing uniqueness in style. We need to learn how to assemble things, take them apart and put them together differently. Jiu-Jitsu has many different techniques, but one can only memorize some of them. Therefore, learning how to make associations is extremely important.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the skill of filtering valid information. Assimilate only what makes sense. There are many pieces of information around that are biased and disorientate us. So, for example, even when reading this, don't accept it as it is, but analyze it yourself and take what is essential and makes sense.

Self-learning

The thirst for knowledge, search for more information, and learning how to learn are essential skills that determine success in anything we decide to do in our lives. The self-learner, without a doubt, progresses.

Never stop learning. If you believe that you have learned everything you need, you have become old in your mind. It doesn't matter if you are 18 or 81. Being aged is not being fluid and flexible to learn and experience new things. Our world is continuously changing, and we must always be aware of the next step. If we stop, we become late, and if we get behind, we lose, as in jiu-jitsu.

Move step-by-step – the practice of patience.

Stay within your goal to avoid passing over it or getting lost. If you want to improve something, start with small things. Making small changes every day will make a significant difference in the future. Don't think that the secret of success is to push beyond the borders of your body and mind. You will only collect injuries and traumas. And from wounds, we learn how to be defensive and not how to turn the odds in our favor. Knowing how to deal with traumas is fundamental.

The only one you can compare yourself to is yourself. You can reach which step you are today, compared to which stage you were at yesterday. Comparing your progress to others, although inevitable, is mentally insane. It is essential to be aware of it and notice how you lose your focus while comparing yourself to others.

 

Movements - The connection between Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga (and everything else)

How do BJJ and Yoga connect?

My motivation is to bring people back into their bodies. As we are connected within, we are connected without. So it means that by improving ourselves, we will directly impact the world around us.

I connect Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga through movements. When I talk about movements, I am not only relating to physical movements but also the movements and changes of the mind. Thought patterns, mindset changes, and breathing patterns help us connect with ourselves and understand the body and its mental and physical abilities. But it's even simpler than that.

Yoga calms the waves of the mind and makes us enter the flow state where body and mind are synchronized. Focused on one activity. The more aware of your body you are, the more knowledgeable and focused you become in your mind. Fewer shadows will be cast over your unconscious.

Jiu-Jitsu is the most elegant tool for entering the flow state. Through BJJ, we learn how to fight with intuition and reason. The opponent (the problem) constantly changes in form, size, and gravity. BJJ offers cognitive flexibility. We adapt and change with the situation, solving any conflict with maximum efficiency and minimum effort.

My Teaching and Training Method

A few years after I dropped my engineering career, I realized that it was still crucial for developing my analytical mind. The one that plans, organizes thinks critically, and makes decisions. It also influences my teaching and learning skills.

I extract the essence of each step in each piece's mental, physical, and spiritual aspects and show the bigger picture. Neuroscience and bio-mechanics continuously add to Yoga as well as to BJJ. But the laws of physics never change. They are the foundation upon which the whole universe is built (not only Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga).

Technical solutions are the old way of teaching. I have witnessed the constant changing in ways of performing techniques, and I am very convinced about learning just movements and concepts (physics, biomechanics). I use methods to illustrate, applying a combination of movements and ideas. Still, I would say I prefer to avoid constraining creativity by pointing to the right thing to do. Each concept will also recall a philosophical correspondence. Everything is connected, and there is no beginning and no end. I also give a more significant overview of emotional reactions to physical actions. It all adds up to a unique style for each student.

I train Jiu-Jitsu mainly using a structured approach. First, I build up a game based on a problem I have, and I quickly find its flaws again. I research solutions. After studying the principles involved in the situation, I create and drill a set of techniques and do the first test in sparring and, ultimately, competition. Then I find ways of beating myself and my structure again.

I practice Postural Yoga using the Vinyasa style. And I combine with different movements. I carefully consider transitions and settling into a pose (allowing the pose to come into us). I use the sequences that I intuitively developed based on my experience. They maintain the body, opening joints, muscles, and the mind. My Yoga practice is holistic. What I mean by that is that I consider the body, mind, and spirit as a whole.

Sometimes I do workouts with equipment or weights if it becomes necessary for any reason.

I organize my circadian rhythm, Going to bed daily around the same time and standing up daily with sunlight as much as possible.

My eating habits have to support the whole system. Our eating habits greatly influence us, from our state of mind, physical performance, emotional stability, etc... This is why everything should start and end up eating. I don't call it a diet because the word "diet" reflects something temporary. Since this is a vast topic, I can discuss it in the future.

The way I train directly reflects the way I teach.

Using Jiu-Jitsu & Yoga as Movement Tools

Yoga gives us a solid routine that helps regulate our sleeping patterns, diet, and social life. It opens the mind to new insights and promotes mental and physical health and emotional stability. Yoga helps balance the logical, pragmatic, analytical, emotional, and creative sides.

Yoga helps differentiate between the voice of the devil and the voice of God (the true Self). It returns to us the true Self, which learns to understand, accept ourselves for who we are, and love ourselves as we are. This leads to the ability to accept and appreciate others more.

Jiu-Jitsu is the highest form of body and mind communication and problem-solving. It represents a series of chaotic and complex moves. Therefore, it is an efficient tool for keeping focus, self-control, precise decision-making and maintaining the balance/of the body and mind.

Meditation is the ultimate workout for the soul. It belongs intrinsically to the experience of the flow state achieved in Jiu-Jitsu & Yoga.

By digging into the depths and essences of these practices and expanding people's awareness, the students can discover their motivations and reasons for their actions. This enables them to create their own personal way of life and lets them carry on evolving, developing themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally and becoming more and more complete with themselves and with their surroundings. By contributing to the personal development of others, we contribute to our own.

For me, Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga are tools and instruments to grasp the essence of life. The whole purpose of my work is to connect body, mind, and emotions through thinking-feeling, moving, and breathing. So people can become more conscious and understand why and for what purpose they are doing the things they are doing.