Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hiding in plain sight.

In one of my last posts, I mentioned that there really aren't any new techniques, yet to be discovered.

While I believe this to be true, the other night, I was reminded of just how few techniques from this existing body of knowledge that I've discovered, or more accurately, how limited my knowledge of them remains.

I've done kote gaeshi (wrist throw) thousands of times, but the other night I was shown a way to make them more effective, painful and easier.  And it was so simple.

A few nights before that I was shown a counter to a tai otoshi (body drop), that was so simple I could not believe I hadn't discovered it on my own.

These are two of my 'go to' moves that I've worked on for years, and am fairly good at them, so this took me off guard.  After my Sensei demonstrated the techniques, I felt dumb that I hadn't figured out these methods on my own.

My Sensei said it was time to refine my techniques and that this was the start of beginning to master them.  It was another humbling moment, when I realized how, even after so many years in the arts, I still have a lot to learn. It's what I love (and sometimes find daunting) about Jiu Jitsu and the martial arts.

I wonder what other martial secrets are hiding out there, right in front of my eyes...

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it.


  1. I know what you mean. I was at instructor training last weekend. We worked on kata and kobudo. I felt "dumb" a lot during the session. I think it simply part of the process. Remembering how much there is to learn reminds me to continue exploring.

    Happy Easter Journeyman!

  2. ...that's why i hate when i miss a class; you never know when a secret will emerge... now your curiosity will drive you mad and make you think about other go-to techniques the same way....

  3. I've encountered the 'there is nothing new under the sun' explanation when discussing tactics and techniques. That is of course countered by, 'there is a first time for everything.' And of course, we cannot forget the insightful Charles H. Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, who in 1899 said in a report to President McKinley, 'Everything that can be invented has been invented.' He argued that the Patent Office should be abolished.

    There is always something new. Even just from the relative perspective of one's own experience.

  4. Michele,

    You're right, it does help you to keep an open mind, and to keep yourself in check. There's always more to learn, even with the basics. Thanks for commenting.


    It really does make you re-examine what you know, which is a good thing. I have to remind myself that it would take a skilled practitioner to counter the technique of another skilled practitioner.


    I think there are no new techniques, but I also think my journey will always be full of new discoveries, as you mentioned from my perspective and experience. Funny quote about the patent office.