Transformation is at the heart of many martial arts “success stories”: practitioners go from bitter to compassionate, from reactive to proactive, from an unhealthy to a balanced lifestyle. Even the origin myths - those legends passed down over decades or even centuries - tell stories of powerful, personal change through martial arts practice.
Today’s podcast is a conversation with two students from our dojos - Tara and Nick - who understand transformation in a deeply personal way. As transgender practitioners, they bring a set of distinct experiences to their training. We talk about some of the obstacles they’ve faced (and overcome), what makes their journeys unique as well as what unites them with all martial arts practitioners. And we talk about the universal appeal of a positive, open, inclusive community of martial artists, and the hope that great training provides.
Yes, it’s a lot to cover. But we’ve been waiting to have this conversation. Honest, intimate and personally meaningful, it’s exactly the dialogue we were hoping it would be.
So we're in a bookstore and we come across a kind of weird, modern self-helpy kind of book, and lo and behold it has a bunch of advice about Jiu-Jitsu in it. Not technical advice but guidance and opinions around choosing a place to train, the right philosophy, and on and on. It takes the standard line about finding the right "gym", the gold-medal instructor and many of the other commonly-accepted tropes about doing "serious" Jiu-Jitsu training. And so we're off to the races...
In this episode, we take a look at what's so appealing about the hyper-aggressive vision of Jiu-Jitsu (and modern martial arts) as just another "extreme sport" and what it leaves OUT of the discussion at the end of the day. From choosing training partners, making meaning from your training, creating space for an alternative perception of what it means to be a practitioner - we tackle it all this week.
What’s the relationship between freedom and discipline in the martial arts? How much is too much? And how does your mindset determine your experience in training? In this episode, Gene Dunn and Brian Glick (of Brooklyn BJJ, and 3rd degree Black Belts under John Danaher/Renzo Gracie) look at how constraints operate in the martial arts - why they matter and how they work - and what we as practitioners need to look for (and look out for).
The Martial Arts Mind is BACK!
In this episode, Brian Glick and Gene Dunn (3rd degree Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts under John Danaher and Renzo Gracie) start with an analysis of one of the Martial Arts Mind’s recent posts, “Walk Faster”. Drawing on personal work with their own teachers, they discuss Sifu Paul Vizzio's contention that many practitioners go far…but not far enough. They delve into the importance of eliminating complaints, why presenting an “upright bearing” matters, and why we all need someone in our life to hold us accountable.