What is Truth?
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Additions to ‘The Brain and Combat’ online course

Additional material for the ‘The Brain and Combat: Brain Science in Grappling Arts’ series, the online course on competition preparation with special focus on grappling arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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The confidence myth – the difference between self-talk and achievements

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Confidence is one of those words which has just as many meaning as many people use it. The most annoying misconception about confidence came from my coaches and trainers during my martial art journey. Most trainer were quite good at training the body, some had a good idea how it works as well, but was quite baffled about how it connects with the brain. Without any further ado, I’d like to share, in the simplest way possible, my definition of confidence. That is: confidence is remembering, we could do in the past, so that we can do it again. Picture this. When you stand at one side of a stream, telling yourself that you can easily make the jump, but your legs don’t move. Why do your legs still not move? It’s not lack of confidence, it’s the lifesaving inner response from the brain for the missing ‘proof of doing’. Your legs will move when the brain lets them. And the brain lets them, when it finds a relevant memory of a similar stream, in similar conditions under similar...

The ‘pressure-pain-danger’ scale

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There are two thresholds between 3 levels of impactful pain. Pressure, pain and danger (or simply ‘light’, ‘medium’ and ‘strong’ pain) are things that everyone need to deal with during training and come with severe physiological consequences. In combat sports, causing pain is commonly used in tournaments as a technique itself. Or more like, there are methods of executing some techniques that cause pain. Causing and taking pain is a different art itself if one aims to do it mindfully. Simply butchering the opponent’s body is not martial art.   When these techniques are used considerately, force has 3 main application levels: #1. Pressure The first level is called pressure. It doesn’t hurt, but the opponent notices the force and will apply force of their own in response. Fights usually slows down in this case and wrestling starts. Pressure in this stage, however, is nothing more than the presence of the opponent, their body weight and their grip. That pressure makes the opponent...

The combat underneath – Dare I say: Emotions

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Emotions, those foggy, sticky, muddy things, that culturally we don’t talk about. Especially, if someone was raised to be a ‘man’. This often means that, when they needed it most, 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. Why we talk about that? Because as you will see in the tournament psychology course, during combat, you have nothing but emotions. The cognitive layer is numb of stress and your driving forces are your emotions. Emotions, or more intuitively, e-motions, are the internal forces that make you move (or freeze in place). In practical terms, Joseph LeDoux (👉) has defined emotions as the result of a process which occurs in the body in response to a trigger from the environment. This bring us a little bit closer to why it is an important topic. Since they have chemical presence in the body, emotions create physiological changes to make you act...

What is Truth?