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Exploring Mind Maps As A Tool For Jiu Jitsu Development

Exploring Mind Maps As A Tool For Jiu Jitsu Development


Ideas on the mind maps for Jiu Jitsu…

The question for me is always, “what is the best way to learn Jiu Jitsu?” It is like a pebble in my shoe. It is always there. When I think that I have solved it then it reappears.

Certainly, there is no substitution for mat time. There is no substitute for great instruction.  Yet, I believe there are other elements that are impactful to our development. Lately, I have been playing around with mind maps as a development tool for Jiu Jitsu.

A mind is a diagram that connects information on a subject in an intuitive way.  They have a variety of applications.  These applications can include learning a series of task, organizing information, studying a subject, problem solving, and a knowledge bank.

The Life Hacker website touts these benefits of a mind map, It's a graphical tool that can incorporate words, images, numbers, and color, so it can be more memorable and enjoyable to create and review. The combination of words and pictures is six times better for remembering information than words alone.

Mind maps link and group concepts together through natural associations. This helps generate more ideas, find deeper meaning in your subject, and also prompt you to fill in more or find what you're missing.

A mind map can at once give you an overview of a large subject while also holding large amounts of information.

It's also a very intuitive way to organize your thoughts, since mind maps mimic the way our brains think—bouncing ideas off of each other, rather than thinking linearly.

You can generate ideas very quickly with this technique and are encouraged to explore different creative pathways.

I know, this is a Jiu Jitsu blog. What are the applications for Jiu Jitsu? One obvious application is with watching instructional training videos. A lot of videos span 8+ hours. That is a glorious thing but it is easy to get lost in the content.  A mind map can help you organize the information. For example, with Leg locks: Enter the System you could create mind maps around the three subsystems. You could document the subsystems and explore connections between them. It may not be practical to detail every step of every move but some noteworthy moves could be documented at a high level.

A second application of a mind map could be to explore your own Jiu Jitsu game. For example, you document your back attack system in a mind map. By exploring your process in a mind map it may better help you understand points of weakness. For example, perhaps you have trouble finishing bigger opponents on the over hook side. A mind map can help you explore this and you can proactively seek solutions.

A third application of a mind map is it may give you a different way to look at Jiu Jitsu. Danaher references quite frequently the central problem of a position. What if you explored your own Jiu Jitsu in terms of the problems that you are facing from a given position? You could also use a mind map to explore the principles why a move works.  Exploring the common principles across positions may lead to a unique perspective on Jiu Jitsu.

John Danaher has created some of the best submission hunters and finishers in the world. Click Learn More to for his back attack system.


So what are the rules for a mind map? Wikipedia lists the following:

  1. Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.
  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
  4. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.
  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the center.
  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.
  7. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.
  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.
  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.
  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.

Some will undoubtedly argue that a mind map is a waste of time. One should simply show up to class, learn the move of the day, and then catch a few rolls. However, in my own experience, I have found the return of an endeavor is directly related to the effort that I put in. Perhaps, a mind map is one such tool to see the highest possible return for the time on the mats.

Learn the Secrets of Back Attacks With One Of the Greatest Jiu Jitsu Minds of our generation with Danaher's 8+ hour DVD / On Demand Series: Back Attacks Enter The System




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