While the Feynman technique is helpful in testing the depth of your knowledge of a certain technique, position, etc., the below exercise can help find the connections between these seemingly disparate pieces.
Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other.
We can apply this idea to BJJ by trying to find the connections within – and between – these three broad categories:
How you train off the mats can be just as important as how you train on the mats. In addition to my note taking routine, I also do the following exercise when doing a monthly review or just looking to add new things to my game.
The Feynman technique
Named after Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, this technique has four simple steps:
- Get a sheet of paper and write the concept you’re trying to understand at the top.
- Explain the concept as if you were trying to teach it to someone who has never heard it before.
- When you get stuck, or find that your answers are lacking detail, go back to your source material for the answer.
(Credit: Ultralearning by Scott Young)
I’ve found that the Feynman technique can be easily applied to BJJ. For example, here is how I’ve used it when learning a new guard.
As I write this, Covid-19 has brought the world to all but a standstill. For those in the BJJ community, it has brought fear and frustration as gyms have closed and training as we used to know it has ceased for what will be an uncertain amount of time.
What can you do if you can’t train? If you can’t go to the gym, or if you don’t have a partner? This series of posts proposes some alternatives and supplements to popular advice circulating on the internet.
While this series has stemmed from the current situation, there will be more added with the intent that all of these posts may be found useful whenever you find yourself unable to go the gym to train.
Training without a gym contents:
- Feynman technique for BJJ – An overview of how to adapt a learning technique developed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman to deepen your BJJ understanding and focus your study
- 6 degrees – An application of the six degrees of separation idea to BJJ
- How to study BJJ videos – An in-depth article that provides a framework for deliberate study of BJJ video resources
- Pre-mortem – An application of the risk management strategy to BJJ; explores a light version (ex. reviewing just-learned technique) and in-depth version (ex. competition preparation)
“We want this place to be the best part of your day.” It was the smile on my professor’s face that made me believe he was speaking from his heart.
Last week, the world lost one of my coworkers: a hard-working, pup-loving young man whose life had been cut short just when we started to know the best of him.
It was one of the hardest days I’ve ever had at my job.
We were allowed to leave early and I eventually did late in the afternoon, bright-eyed and dazed. At home, the only thing I could do was sit on the couch and stare at the wall.
A notification on my phone broke through the darkness. It was my reminder for BJJ class.
My body moved on autopilot. Somehow, I had made it to the gym. But it wasn’t until I was walking back home that I realized I’d been able to do normal things for a while – and not think about his passing.
I remember pausing in the middle of the sidewalk, overwhelmed with gratitude.
‘How lucky am I,’ I had thought to myself while staring up at the moon with watery eyes, ‘To have a place to go to in a time like this.’