In the past 12 months I’ve read more books that I’ve probably read in my life.
Here’s short list of what I’ve read, followed by what I’m currently reading:
TALENT IS OVERRATED
SLOW PRACTICE WILL GET YOU THERE FASTER
GOOD TO GREAT
MADE TO STICK
THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLKS
WHAT THE DOG SAW
HOW TO WIN EVERY ARGUMENT
THE 7-DAY LOW-CARB RESCUE AND RECOVERY PLAN
EXISTENTIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND SPORT THEORY AND APPLICATION
THE BOOK OF FIVE RINGS
And I’m currently reading:
THINKING STRATEGICALLY – THE COMPETITIVE EDGE IN BUSINESS, POLITICS, AND EVERYDAY LIFE
ROAD TO EXCELLENCE
THE SPORTS SCIENCE OF ELITE JUDO ATHLETES
And I’ve been reading all of the research of skill acquisition and expert performance that I can get my hands on.
In the past 6 months, I’ve created a system where I can improve VO2 Max anywhere from 15%-50% in a healthy young adult in 4 weeks time. We’ve already done it in the Bahamas with the young judo players there. This may not be amazing to some and is nowhere in the realm of remarkable, especially for untrained or detrained individuals, but it is a major milestone to have a STANDARD protocol which we know that everyone can do and improve so now we can disseminate the information because it has been tested and proven to work. Although the tests are practical and anecdotal in nature, they still are evidentially factual (for lack of a better scientific phrase, since one doesn’t really fit here) LOL.
I have been reading, voraciously, all of the research on expert performance, talent, skill acquisition and chess strategy and studies that I can get my hands on.
I’ve actually found out the secret to development for short, medium and long term development for sports such as boxing, judo, jiujitsu, wrestling, etc.,. (but not MMA, the mixture of disciplines makes it very difficult. I’m going to have to start reading some research or pentathletes, triathletes, decathletes, and gymnasts. The multiple disciplines make MMA a very difficult study. I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYBODY SAYS!!! I KNOW!!!). It’s crazy because some people think that they know, some do know, but many are just guessing. And I will admit, I guess to. Sometimes you have to do, but I don’t purport my guesses as facts, but educated guesses.
Here’s what I do know. If you want to be super good at anything, there are 4 things that you are DEFINITELY going to need. You will need others, but you will definitely need these FOUR.
Number One: Coaching
I don’t care who you are or what you are doing, if you do not have QUALITY coaching, you can FORGET BEING GOOD AT ANYTHING. I don’t care, if you think that you’ve coached yourself, if you are receiving some advice from different sources and its working out for you, its more than likely that you are getting some good coaching. Now your coaching can actually be better, but it is better than not having any at all.
This year, Jimmy Pedro and I created an online Newaza Coaching program from Judo, Sambo and BJJ players. Jimmy wanted to do another DVD and I told him, “No, let’s do an online coaching program where people can watch the videos from anywhere and also ask questions so that we can provide a quality exchange of information.” He agreed. I’m glad that he did because we now have the ability to coach people from all around the globe. They don’t have to worry about differing codecs for DVD, PAL format versus NTSC, or shipping costs or not getting their video. Once they invest, they can start learning IMMEDIATELY.
Many of my customers had been asking for this option and I didn’t provide it at first for two reasons (1) I was terrified of it and (2) I really didn’t know how to do it or what format or method of deliver-ability would be best. I found it >>> http://www.NewazaMadeEasy.com <<<
The importance of coaching in gaining a competitive edge in sport and life cannot be underestimated. Right now I’m receiving coaching advice from a Northwestern MBA Graduate who has built up his business without the use of any internet, limited advertising and no use of credit cards and has a home of the beach in the islands. The model is VERY different from mine, but there are so many things to learn about business that I DO NOT know. And although my marketing is good, there are still some things that I need help with through the understanding that social networking is not a new phenomenon but something that we think is new because of the online social networking portals.
Without getting deep into this discussion and rambling due the excitement of the moment, I will tersely say – COACHING IS IMPORTANT!! YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT. And if you have a coach, who doesn’t think that you should get coaching from elsewhere as well, FIRE HIM OR HER IMMEDIATELY. They are jealous, ignorant and STUPID!!!!
>>> http://www.NewazaMadeEasy.com <<<
Number Two: Practicing
I’m sure you’ve seen boxers shadow box before.
The crazy thing is that you never really see judo players do shadow randori, but you do see wrestlers doing shadow drilling.
I’m not sure why more judo players don’t do this. One of my judo advisors Angelo Ruiz, a 3-Time Olympian and former head coach of Puerto Rico, was a huge proponent of this and recommended hours and hours of it. As a matter of fact, when I was preparing Brian Picklo for the 2008 Olympic Trials, I flew Angelo Ruiz into Florida to help with Brian Picklo’s preparation (I introduced ANOTHER coach because I believe in coaching) and he and Brian did hours and hours and hours and hours of shadow randori and shadow uchikomi. We even did shadow mock matches where I was able to call out the commands based upon the tendencies and Brian was able to perform on cue.
Brian was also able to practice by himself. Practicing alone is VERY important. Self-directed learning and alone deliberate practice is important and IS DONE BY CHAMPIONS not by the average. If you want to be good, you have to do more than the normal levels of practice. You have to do more. That doesn’t mean that you have to “kill” yourself, but it does mean that you have to practice until you can absorb more.
WARNING!!!! There is one problem. If you practice by yourself, WITHOUT having learned properly from a seasoned coach, you can create problems for yourself because you can possibly create bad habits. This is why coaching is so important.
>>> http://www.NewazaMadeEasy.com <<<
Number Three: Environment
Don’t have the practice partners?
Don’t have Advanced Placement classes?
Don’t have weightroom?
FIND A WAY TO GET STRONG WITHOUT IT
Don’t have S.A.T. preparation in your neighborhood?
START READING A BOOK A WEEK.
Don’t have a judo club or bjj club?
FIND AN ONLINE COACHING PROGRAM
Don’t have good grades and need a tutor?
PUT AN AD IN THE NEWSPAPER AND BEG SOMEONE TO VOLUNTEER TO HELP YOU.
Here’s the bottom line.
FIND A WAY TO GET IT DONE. DO NOT MAKE ANY EXCUSES. CREATE THE ENVIRONMENT AND EXPERIENCES THAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO EXCEL.PERIOD!!!!!!
Number 4: Understand that
Strategy and Tactics ARE
More Important Than Technique……
After you have a sufficient level of
We can alway be more technical – that is a fact.
Deion Sanders can be more technical. Jerry Rice can be more technical. Jimmy Pedro can be more technical. Manny Ramirez can be more technical.
But here’s the issue… THE RESEARCH STATES VERY CLEARLY that there is a well-defined chronological window of time where you can be at the TOP OF YOUR GAME. And in that time, you have to make a decision of what you need, take inventory of what you have, and look at what you can gain the quickest and fastest during your “golden hours” of athletic prowess. Gaining more technique is certainly key. But it is NOT the only key.
If you had some great and blessed early development where you technique is SUPERB, well… I’m happy for you. Not everyone is so fortunate and most people learn a great deal more AFTER they have retired. During your “golden hours” you need to find a way to win and what the research says is that strategy and tactics are key.
Don’t believe me, then do the studying for yourself. You will find the information in the area of chess development and study and expert performance in chess. You can spend the hours reading and researching because you want to fight what I’m saying or you can believe me and we can keep this party moving.
In newaza, I’m a pretty damn good technician. When it comes to gripping… I’m not to bad there either. When it comes to tachiwaza, I’m not that great…. BUT, I don’t look at tachiwaza as you do. Tachiwaza, for me, is a system NOT a move or moves. I implement strategic systems. This allows me and people like me to beat the “pretty” uchimata people LOL. REPEATEDLY!! And they get made and pissed off and upset because while they are studying uchimata and judo, I’m studying “game theory” and dialectical relationship of “the technician” and “the grinder” and constantly analyzing the iterative process of synthesizing. (if you don’t understand this…. it’s okay. If not, just look up Hegel, game theory, and systems theory and start reading and studying).
I could go on for days….
I could go on and on for days on this topic, but I thought I’d just put these thoughts on your email/blog for today and allow you to access the information at your leisure.
You most certainly can’t beat someone like me, handing you their book list from the past 12 months. That’s worth it’s weight in gold. If I were you, I’d put those books on my Christmas, Birthday and wish list and get them are start diving into them. You will love them.
Today, I put the following
on my Facebook page
I’m laffing my butt off because all these people are racking their brains and bodies about how to get good in Judo and I know the secret. LOL. The answer is ALWAYS in the “0″. Judo is like a donut. The key to the donut is not the round part. The key to the donut and what makes it a donut is the “HOLE” LOL.
But here’s the key: The improvement of your judo exists within that which you CANNOT see, not in that which you CAN see. Just as in religion, the ability to jump over the spiritual chasm is for you to begin to WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe in that which you CANNOT see, so mirrors development in life and sport. There is a level of “blindness” that is necessary to increase your “vision” which creates the “Ohhhhhhhhhh now I see it” phenomenon. It’s crazy when it happens, but it is the truth.
THE ANSWER IS IN THE “ZERO”!!!!!!!!!
To My Haters……
There is a faction of people out there who enjoy relying on their “time” and “experience” in their profession or sport as their main point of argument for superiority in their area of expertise. Usually when they are making their point they call out the “new experts” as overzealous, “young bucks”, or “marketers” without being “in the trenches” and usually they are talking or speaking with people in their demographic or their fans.
It is very difficult for them and others to understand that people like me can RUN circles around your knowledge because the marketplace provides more learning portals, more information and more opportunities at ones fingertips than before.
I can literally train 5 people in Strength and Conditioning a day, do 3 Mixed Martial Arts consults over the phone and then teach BJJ class at 5:30 and train boxing at 7pm to 830 and sit down and read my email when I’m done training, check my voicemail log for the day, and “write” a paper or email on the way home by speaking into my Blackberry and then having my assistant transcribe it by the morning and have it ready to go out. And that’s only a SMALL portion of my day.
There’s NO WAY for one to understand how “we”, the younger generation can catch up and surpass the older. There are things like maturity, etc.,. that you really have to “grow” into, but when it comes to knowledge, understanding, coaching….. I’m telling you right now… some of you older dudes are resting on your laurels, you are not reading, you are not learning, you are not doing what you are supposed to do. MOVE OUT THE WAY and allow others to do their work and stop hatin’ or start MOVING yourself.
You can’t do this thing “part-time” and have a “full-time” understanding.
I too will be where you are one day and when that time comes…. I would love to know that I can offer advice and NOT HATERADE.
Cool out on being threatened… it doesn’t look good on you.
Yep, the Olympian status is from the United States in the sport of Judo. You can hate on it if you want to, but that’s where I live.
Yep, the Ph.D. is from Capella University an online institution, I attended from 2002-2009. I was going to school while training for the Olympics AND training an Olympian and creating one of the best Judo businesses in the world today.
Yep, the Brazilian Jiujitsu Black belt is from Ricardo Liborio and the white to brown belt from Lloyd Irvin. They don’t GIVE those things away, and YES, my newaza knowledge is more extensive that 99.9% of the Judoka that you know.
Yep, my wife graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University and went to The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is one of the top Internists in the country. Not my fault.
Yep, I attended Howard University and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1997 and a Masters of Arts of Teaching in 2002.
Sooooo…….. you can keep on hating.
It’s what you do. I’mma sit over here and keep doing me.
As you are hatin’, I’m creatin’.
Like my fellow Alumnus from Howard University, Sean “Puffy” Combs says, “Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop!”
Take care and have a great day.
Rhadi Ferguson, Ph.D., CSCS
4-Time National Judo Champion
BJJ Black Belt