I just read Dave Penn's article about John Danaher. http://sidecontrol.blogspot.com/2010/03/meet-john-danaher.html
What really piqued my interest was Dave's blog and this quote from John Danaher -
“[Fighting] is a problem solving activity, and the people who do best at it tend to be people with rational, inquiring minds,” Danaher says. “And so, the relationship between philosophy and mathematics has to do more with human beings using their rational faculties to solve problems, rather than, in the case of jiu-jitsu, blind strength, anger and aggression.”
Danaher's words drew me in. And I want to learn more.
In my work life, I'm a pharmacist that is functions as a safety officer in an organization that follows LEAN manufacturing methodologies. We utilize LEAN for everything from structuring meeting, to strategy deployment and project management. LEAN is the use of systematic problem solving techniques - Plan, Do, Check/Study, Act. Understand the root cause to the problem and act on the root cause. Its easy to act on the surface defect, and that is the problem.
Problem solving requires life long learning. Really.
Quick example of working a root cause. - Ask the 5-whys to get there.
I was late to work so I need a new car to get me to work faster. Serious? Let's get to the root cause.
Why were you late to work? - I left home later than normal.
Why did you leave home later than normal? - My alarm clock didn't go off.
Why didn't your alarm clock go off? - The clock wasn't plugged in.
Why wasn't your clock plugged in? - I unplugged the clock to charge my phone.
We could keep going - the solution will probably be to charge the phone elsewhere to not disrupt the alarm clock. A cheaper solution that makes more sense than getting a faster car.
I always was interested in understanding why Jits is a life long activity as well. Well Danaher's words put it in perspective a bit for me.
What do noobs do - at first we're spazzy elbows, knees and exposed necks waiting to be grabbed on to.
This first time I got caught in an arm bar, I thought that it was obviously because my opponent was stronger than me. Let's problem solve.
Why did you get submitted in that arm bar? I used my arms to push my opponent away.
Why did you push your opponent and leave your arms open that way? I thought that I could bench press my opponent off of me. I pretty strong.
Why did you think that strength matters? I was panicking because I'm not used to my opponent being so tight on me.
Why did you panic? I haven't practiced in this live manner before.
Solution - instead of pumping iron, live rolling and an awareness of my body positioning and the need for my opponent to obtain proper positioning is key to obtaining/negating a submission attempt.
It is PDCA on the mat - what is the problem (the root cause), what is the plan to solve that problem, do the work to implement that solution, test that work, and act on any gaps that still need work.
LEAN and BJJ. This is still bubbling in my head! I got to really work out the parallels in this. I know why I love this game so much.