Triple Down on Your Strengths

The “A” Game 

I am a fan of doing what you are good at. We hear a lot of advice on working on our weaknesses, particularly as it pertains to Strength Training and Jiujitsu. I agree with those concepts too – but you need a game-plan to implement this.

With JiuJitsu, you need to develop your “A-Game” on Offense. That means having a go to move(s) and chain of techniques that allow you to get to the best control or submission options you have the highest percentage to achieve. To keep it simple, I recommend having a submission on every joint in the body (wrist, elbow, shoulder, knee, ankle) and develop your techniques around getting into and around those offensive techniques. You may not be able to work on all of these at the same time, but one at a time is a realistic goal to start. For your defense, that is a slightly different animal, in that, you need to know many different attacks in order to develop the defense to them. That said, it may be a better use of your time to study concepts related to defensive postures, distance management and framing maneuvers in order to find the common thread that binds the defensive successes all together. Having holes in your defense, especially if you complete, is a no-go.

Watch this video by Gary Vaynerchuk. He is one of the few people on the internet that puts out motivational material aimed at helping people start doing what they should be doing that makes them happy and “triple down” on them.

Jiujitsu Training

What are some ways you can triple down on you? One way is to develop an “A” game for the position that you are most dominant. Most White/Blue Belts begin to have “go-to” moves that they use all the time from each position.  Instead of thinking that you need 20 moves from one position, make the moves, maybe 1-2, super-sharp and continue to work them.

In the clip below, Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan ponder on Marcelo Garcia’s game after Joe mentions that Marcelo “does not “believe” in arm-in chokes” or the kimura because “it’s a strong man’s move”.

As you watch the clip, what emerges is the idea that if you only work on a few things that you polish over and over again and make them as error-free as possible, you may be better off than someone who works on numerous things without fully mastering any of them.

Strength Training

For Strength Training, when starting out, I believe you should pick exercises that you are naturally better at. For example, if you pick the Deadlift for total body strength, you should spend time finding which variation works best for you. This means finding the grip (i.e., mixed grip, overhand grip, snatch grip, etc.) and stance (sumo, conventional, etc.) that allow you to use the most weight with proper technique and then go “balls to the wall” to work that “A-game” move for as long as you can until you coax as much out of it (in terms of progressive overload).

At some point when your technique begins to display weaknesses, you will want to focus on bringing them up. This can be over years of training. In order to maximize this in your continued growth within the technique, you need to work on the weaknesses in your game/technique (i.e., accessory/auxiliary movements) to strengthen your “A-game” technique chain.

Try tripling down on your strengths and keeping the “A-game” concept in mind and let me know how it works for you.

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Hard Work Profile: James C. Hawkins

“Everything they said I couldn’t do, it became my goal to do.”

“It takes more skill to NOT hit somebody.”

“What people fear is the unknown and what they don’t know or don’t understand”.


These are words to live by.

As my coffee was brewing, I sat on the couch for a few minutes and surfed through all of my social media feeds looking to see what was going on.

I found inspiration from this video clip in my Facebook feed this morning by none other than Wheaties. It was one of the few videos I’ve watched all the way to the end, usually opting to fly through the feed quickly.

James C. Hawkins story was captivating and was a story that I wanted to share right away.

He is a Karate Black belt, a Veteran, an Executive.

He has had 3 battles with cancer and won them.

He has endured incessant racism for a large part of his life.

Here is a summary of some of the things that stood out to me:

  • In a school of 450 kids, he was the ONLY non-white minority in the whole school.
  • He had a fight every day after school for the first 90 days.
  • When he moved to Massachusetts, he and his wife had a coalition built against him by their next door neighbor, night time phone calls, etc. for 30 days of hell. He later became close friends with the same neighbor.

Here is the video:

James Hawkins has words of wisdom from his life that he shares.  This is what resonated most with me.

This man is a true champion.

Through the training of martial arts and the lessons learned in training sessions, the discipline you develop to accomplish or to restrain yourself allows you to get through every day with a clear slate rooted in knowing you did everything you could to improve yourself.

His life is exactly the mission of advancing human potential through Hard Work, Heroic Will, and living a life worth following.


 

“A champion is the one who gives an honest and complete effort in everything he attempts.”

“Don’t tell me why you can’t do it. Tell me what you need to be able to do it.”

“All winners aren’t champions. You know in your heart that you did your best and you accepted responsibility for it and went for it.  That makes you a champion.”