What Is Truth?

Better training

Articles on physical and mental training for fighters with special focus on full contact martial arts.


The principles of body mechanics and their significance in grappling arts


Certain movements come naturally to human beings, for instance, walking, running, sitting and lifting. Yet, a large proportion of the population complains about having various pains in their backs and joints. It is estimated that globally, about 577 million people experience low back pain at a certain point in life (IASP, 2021), resulting from those movements being performed improperly. The...

When winning doesn’t come – how deep does the issue run?


Very often, it’s only when tournament results repeatedly bring disappointment in spite of rigorous training, that mental blocks start to reveal themselves. At this stage, it’s not necessarily clear what the nature of the block is. The only thing that is certain is that it’s not related to the fighter’s technical knowledge or physical condition, nor their dedication to the sport. This is all...

Why do people learn martial arts, what do they gain from it?


This is a very frequent question I get outside of the club. What do I gain from putting all that effort in, especially if I don’t plan to actually use the physical skills I gain? Which is true, I don’t plan to fight anyone outside the dojo, and if I’m in a situation that requires my fighting skills, I will always run first, if possible. This also makes people wonder why I bother to...

Strength; it’s not what you think it is – the role of mental and physical strength


The mat is a very specific realm where strength seems to be an obvious quality. Strength is visible, it’s advantageous, and it helps you to win. Overall, it’s, indeed, what we expect it to be: synonymous with physical and technical strength. It can be an eye-opening experience, however, to see champions struggle to manifest their knowledge off the mat regardless of their known strength...

The ‘pressure-pain-danger’ scale (in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)


Grappling arts have a specific weapon in their arsenal that other martial arts don’t – the pressure of the fighter’s own body. When fine-tuned, it becomes most grapplers’ best tool. Pressure and causing pain are commonly used techniques in tournaments. Regular trainers know well that causing and taking pain are arts in themselves if one aims to do them mindfully and purposefully...

Toxic support – Coaching patterns that do more harm than help


Good intention alone is rarely enough to guide students through the crowd to reach the championship. Differences between body types as well as personality types require expert knowledge on how to tailor support and class structure to help trainees get the most out of instruction. Not all clubs, however, have a firm grasp on what constitutes suitable support. In many cases, any study on coaching...

What is mental toughness and how to develop it


Mental toughness is often misconstrued as withstanding hardship and abuse for as long as possible. It comes from the military, where in a combat situation one is put under massive pressure for a limited period and needs to weather that pressure – no matter the cost. In the context of coping with life in general, this definition of mental toughness is not applicable. It’s simply not...

Reasons why some stay lowkey in the dojo – what can go wrong


There are two things that make a club a red hot place for trouble, and neither of them is the actual fighting. #1. The first is that a dojo is an emotionally charged place due to the boundary-crossing physical interactions and the community based framework. Accordingly, most of the time spent in the club is spent with being rather emotional than rational. #2. The second thing is the cult...

The combat underneath the martial art training – Dare I say: Emotions


Emotions—those foggy, sticky, muddy things that culturally we don’t talk about, especially if someone was raised to be a ‘man’. For many, this often means that, when they needed it most to express or cultivate, their emotions were suppressed. We have all heard the slogan ‘boys don’t cry’. This phrase sets a man up for a lifetime of struggle to understand his own emotions. So why are we talking...

What Is Truth?