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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lesson Five Reframing Your Possibilities By Kevin Seaman

Lesson Five: Reframing Your Possibilities
By Kevin Seaman

An excerpt from his book, The Mind Game Of MMA

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”
Jamie Paolinetti

Most of us have heard the term Frame Of Reference. The term actually
comes from the way we perceive something due to our belief about that
subject. In my book; The Mind Game Of MMA, I briefly covered the
implications our references play in what we believe to be true or false and how it pertains to Combat Sports in Lesson One called The Mental Toolbox. References are supports that confirm why we feel something is actually the way we believe it is. OK, here’s the punch line! What you believe becomes your reality. And, this is true regardless if it is actually, in reality, real or
not. Whether or not others believe it, it’s still your reality. These Support References will be Personal, Second Hand or Imagined, usually a combination of all three. Here’s an example: You know you’re a great
fighter. How? You generally smoke most of your competition (Personal),
your coach and training partners tell you how awesome you are, you see it in the write ups and on video (all Second Hand), and finally you see it in your head (Imagined). You dream of being the best, you play the mental pictures over and over in your mind’s eye of outstanding future performance (Imagined). These references support your frame of belief to help bring you one step closer to being the best. This powerful triadic support drives you confidently, boldly and unerringly toward your victory again and again.But, sometimes our mind creates conflicts of reference, and establishes conflicting beliefs. And sometimes those conflicts create a feeling of uncertainty. What do I mean? Have you ever driven your car out of your driveway with your parking brake on? You’re accelerating, but there is resistance from the brake and you can feel it holding you back. That’s what conflicting beliefs do… create resistance!

Avoiding Conflicts

I’ve seen athletes who usually do well, blowing through the competition,suddenly put that emergency brake on. There’s a term in psychology for thisknown as “Approach Avoidance.” With a fighter, it could be that he/she has been successful and on track, and somethingor someone influences their belief that they will succeed. In many cases, their imagination does the rest,creating a disruption in their direction and yanking the emergency brake on, so to speak. Another possibility is that they feel they are not worthy of the success they are achieving or that people won’t treat them the same, if they become too successful. Other times it may be because they have a conflict in
their values. I want to become great, but have seen what’s happened to
fighters that have been on that road. That’s not who I am or want to become.These are all valid concerns. The question is, “What’s most important to you?””To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not,pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Mental Exercise #1

Here’s a great exercise to help confirm your beliefs. Draw three ovals on a page side by side in the Journal Entry area in the back of the book. Above that write your belief about something pertaining to you, your training, an event you’re involved in, your skill sets, etc. Now, write in the ovals Personal, Second Hand and Imagined. Starting with the first oval-Personal References, draw a line to another oval and write an example (reference) you’ve personally experienced in the past that proves you are capable and have accomplished something similar.
Next, draw another line with another bubble and continue your list, creating as many bubbles as you can. Next draw a line as you did previously, now for the Second Hand References.Who’s told you “you can do this”, where have you seen it done before, who else has done this? Find as many examples as possible. Last, draw a similar line and bubble connecting to Imagined (references). Here write what you see in your head, how do you see yourself succeeding? What do you imagine yourself doing absolutely excellent? Imagined References are the most powerful! Think of an instance in history where there were no Personal or Second Hand References, yet people still accomplished amazing feats, feats
accomplished in exploration, science and human rights. Imagination ruled those references in the heads of pioneers.

Substantiating Your Beliefs

According to my friend Greg Nelson, who is an amazing trainer, currently known for developing the talents of several outstanding competitors in Combat Sports, with his most recent fighter being Brock Lesner. “The belief in those around (training partners especially) is huge. If a fighter feels his training partners abilities and skills are second to none in preparing him for an upcoming fight, his confidence is definitely heightened.” Greg has long been driven by his powerful beliefs and emulates what it takes to be a champion at his academy in Minnesota. I worked with a fighter once who had five consecutive wins, yet as his next fight neared I could sense he was very unsure. After talking to him, it was evident he was focusing not on the previous Personal References, but rather Second Hand References of what he had heard about this next competitor. Then his imagination took over, and apprehension seeped in. I recognized the problem immediately. His focus was on what he’d heard about the other
guy, not what he’d done personally to his last five opponents. Once he
realized I was right, his face changed immediately to confident and calm.Two days later he KO’d the guy in less than a minute. Most of the time your beliefs will be relative to what you focus on. Bottom line, if you look, you will find enough evidence to substantiate your belief and then move in the direction as if it were true.

Reframe Your Outlook
When Goliath came against the Israelites,
the soldiers all thought, “He’s so big we can never kill him.”
But David looked at the same giant and thought,
“He’s so big, I can’t miss him.”

What is reframing? Reframing is a method of changing the way we may
look at something by placing it in another frame of perception to a person’s viewpoint about the subject, changing the meaning and there by changing the emotion attached to the previous view or frame of reference. Our emotions are dramatically affected by the meaning we give to our experiences, and the meaning we give to any experience is shaped by the lens or filter through which we perceive it. The quote from Dale Turner is an awesome example of the power of reframing. Whereas the other soldiers all were afraid of Goliath’s mammoth presence, David saw the situation in another, entirely different way. His frame of reference enabled him to feel powerful instead of petrified. After all, what we will do in any given moment depends not as much on our ability, as on our state of mind. Reframing is an invaluable tool for creating a Winning Mind Set. It gives you the opportunity to see things in different, more empowering perspectives.
Thomas Edison offers a classic example of reframing. It took him something like 10,000 attempts to invent the incandescent light bulb. When others chided him for failing so many times, and asked when he was going to give up his crazy idea, he was reported to have said, “I didn’t fail, I just figured out another way not to invent the light bulb.” He reframed what others saw as failure into a new distinction. He saw it as gaining more knowledge because he now knew one more approach that did not work, and so he could save time and effort by avoiding going in that particular direction. Because his reframing made him feel empowered and excited, he persevered. Had he been discouraged because he had failed yet again, chances are high that he
would not have had the motivation to continue.

“The strongest leverage for all achievement is passion and desire. Weak desires, bring weak results, strong desires produce powerful results. The most difficult person to stop is the person with a burning desire”
– Kevin Seaman

Mental Exercise #2 How can you reframe a situation?

Easy, all that you have to do is ask different questions. Consider the following in regard to any recent issue you may have experienced:
How might this be seen in a positive way? How can I use this
constructively? What is actually good about this that I may not see, may be overlooking? In what ways does this get me closer to my goal? What did I learn from this that I could use in the future? What did I learn about myself? What lesson can I take from this? How will this experience make me better? Be sure to write your results down in a Journal, this helps materialize your thoughts.

“Everything we are at this very moment in time, is a result of each and every decision we have made in our life up until NOW. If we don’t like the answer, time for us to ask better questions.” –Kevin Seaman

When a fighter loses, it is essential for him to process the event mindfully. The challenge that many have is that they look into the future and project their current failure. So instead of feeling down only about their current result, they project it to include all future results. Their internal self talk might go something like this: “If I messed up here, and I’ve done it before, I’ll probably do it again or I can’t believe I keep doing this. I’ll never get any better, I don’t even know why I even bother…” One objective of reframing is to limit the emotion of “failure”, which may include feelings of guilt,
frustration, apprehension, and dejection, to the present experience only so that this negative emotion is not projected into the future. The other objective of reframing is to change the meaning you may have of the current experience from a negative, disempowering one, into a positive, empowering one; from a feeling of “I can’t believe I screwed up so badly,” to “I just learned what not to do in that situation.” Be truthful with yourself, what do you need to work on next? Who can help you who is extraordinary at this skill? Get to work! Using reframing to focus and direct your emotions into positive change creates a Winning Mind Set, and motivates you to continue to strive towards reaching your goals.

“If we change our frame of reference by looking at the same situation
from a different point of view, we can change the way we respond in life. We can change our representation or perception about anything and in a moment change our (emotional) states and behaviors.”
– Anthony Robbins

One of the best examples of reframing I’ve ever heard came from World
Renowned BJJ Black Belt John Machado during a class I was taking at the Inosanto Academy in Los Angeles. It went something like this, “When you tap, do not think of it as giving up. When you tap, you are thanking your partner. Thank you for showing what I need to work on, thank you for showing me not to get into that position again, thank you for helping me to learn. Thank you my friend” “When you believe and think I can, something extraordinary happens. You activate a part of your brain called the Reticular Cortex. This small human bio-instrument immediately begins searching for all the possible ways for you to be successful. This creates drive, motivation, commitment and excitement. These qualities all directly relate to your success and the opportunities will disclose themselves!”-Kevin Seaman

Kevin Seaman has been in the martial Arts for 40 years, a Full
Instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto, Master Chai Sirisute and
an instructor in several martial arts systems. He has written 3
books, The Winning Mind Set, The Mind Game Of MMA and
Jun Fan Gung Fu: Seeking The Path Of Jeet Kune Do. All
available in print at Tai Kai or Kindle and iBook

You can pick up your copy here


Do you want to train with Phil Migliarese for Free and Win a Brand New IPAD2?

Saturday February 25th, at Tai Kai Jiu-Jitsu, Phil Migliarese will be doing a NO GI seminar from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM. You can train for free and win an IPAD. For everyone that you refer to the school that tries out a class you get one raffle ticket. If they enroll before Feb. 25th, you will get five raffle tickets and free admission to the seminar. So get your friends in here and you could attend the seminar for free. Then at the end of the seminar Phil will pull the winning ticket and someone will win a brand new IPAD2. Free Jiu-jitsu and an IPAD2. Start referring friends, FEB 25th is getting closer.

Helio Gracie Quotes to Motivate you

“The Jiu-Jitsu that I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and strong. It was so successful that they decided to create a sportive version of it. I would like to make it clear that of course I am in favor of the sportive practice and -Jitsu, based on rules and time limits, which benefits the heavier, stronger, and more athletic individuals. The primary objective of Jiu-Jitsu is to empower the weak who, for not having the physical attributes, are often intimidated. My Jiu-Jitsu is an art of self-defense in which rules and time limits are unacceptable. These are the reasons for which I can’t support events that reflect an anti Jiu-Jitsu.”

“Jiu-jitsu is personal efficiency to protest the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force.”

“Learning jiu-jitsu is something for the subconscious, not for the consciousness. “

A real jiu-jitsu fighter does not go around beating people down. Our defense is made to neutralize aggression. ”

“For the choke, there are no “tough guys”.. with an arm lock he can be tough and resist the pain.. With the choke he just passes out, goes to sleep.”

“(jiu jitsu) is to protect the indivisual, the older man, the weak, the child, the lady and the young woman from being dominanted and hurt by some bum because they don’t have the physical attributes to defend themselves. Like i never had. ”

“Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you; so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage rather than brute strength”

“Jiu Jitsu is personal efficiency to protect the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force”

Why train with the Gi? by Gustavo Dantas

About the Uniform

The official uniform of Jiu-Jitsu in which you will be training is called a “Kimono” or “Gi”. This uniform consists of 3 pieces: a jacket or top, a pair of drawstring pants, and a belt. The uniform is made out of a specially weaved cotton material that will be able to withstand the rigorous practice of Jiu-jitsu without immediately tearing. Your Kimono should be kept as clean as possible and treated as your armor.

Why Train with the Gi?

As you practice Jiu-Jitsu, you will find it useful as both an offensive and defensive tool. You will also realize its value as a common uniform to promote safe and technical practice of Jiu-jitsu.

The Gi game obviously has a lot more to it. Everything that can be done with the Gi, can be done without it, making it a more complex game. Additionally, taking away the Gi allows physical attributes such as size, strength, and athleticism to come to play with greater effect due to the lack of levers and friction. Working with the Gi is generally considered more of a “thinking man’s” game. Training “No-Gi” can also be a thinking game, but because the gi removes many physical advantages, it adds more techniques.

For now, you should view your Kimono as a set of training wheels. As you develop a higher level of proficiency, you will learn to perform Jiu-Jitsu techniques with and without a Kimono. The kimono will add a level of sophistication to your game that will result in you, as a student, becoming a more advanced and technical fighter.

Chess and Checkers

It is simply logic that when you add the Gi to a grappling match, it will add more possibilities. The match therefore becomes more complex; Just as a game of Chess. Since Chess has more pieces with various types of attacks and movements, it is more intricate and takes many years to master. This is the same concept for Jiu-Jitsu with the Gi. It would be much easier for a good chess player to join in on a game of checkers than the other way around.

Fighters Become More Technical

The Gi “levels the playing field” by taking away many physical attributes. Without the Gi, a bigger person can use more of their strength and faster opponents, more of their speed. The addition of the Gi therefore forces fighters to slow down in order to be more aware of their movements. The point of any art is to use more technique and skill than strength; using the Gi will help develop that skill. As a fighter progresses, and their understanding of the use of the Gi grows, they can then learn to apply their physical traits to their advantage.

You Can Always Take It Off

I’ve seen submission grapplers and wrestlers with ten years or more experience get choked by people with half that time while wearing the Gi; they look as if you’ve just put them in a straight jacket.

When you train with the Gi (properly), it is just a matter of a few grip adjustments in order to fight without it. If you do not train with the Gi enough, you’re the checkers guy.

Military and Law Enforcement Application

Unless you are patrolling a beach (in which case, you have a sweet assignment and nothing to complain about), your opponents are wearing clothes. There have been many reports from Military/Law Enforcement personnel saying that they favor training with the Gi and make good use of collar chokes. In fact, the core of the Modern Army Manual is based on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and soldiers often train in their BDUs.

Overcoming your Limitations with Jiu-Jitsu by Aaron Lapointe, Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt

One of the best things about jiu-jitsu is that it can work for almost anyone as long as you put in the time and effort and make the proper adjustments. I’ll use myself as an example. Even though my right arm is fully paralyzed, I was still able to achieve my black belt in jiu-jitsu and compete in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. Sure I was fortunate to have learned from some of the biggest legends in the sport; I will talk about them in a separate write-up. Even so, a large part of my success was directly related to the fundamentals of jiu-jitsu and the inherent ability we all have to overcome physical and emotional roadblocks.

Sometimes an apparent limitation is a blessing in disguise because it pushes you to find the simplest and most efficient way of doing something. Whereas some people might perform a technique by following steps 1 through 5, someone who is unable to do steps 3 and 4 might discover that the same end result can be achieved in fewer or alternative movements. Because the margin for error is much smaller when you have a disability, your movements need to be timely and precise. In addition, a significant limitation in one area can help promote a major strength in another. Because I was unable to use my right arm to stop people from passing my guard, I developed excellent hip movement, a strong grip, and proficient use of my hooks. I also had to develop a strong base and keen sense of balance so I would not be easily swept to my right. Most importantly, I acquired an advanced understanding of the basic principles that make jiu-jitsu work. For example, sweeps work because you disrupt a person’s base and prevent him or her from reestablishing it, not because you put your foot in a certain position or grab the collar in a specific way.

Some people think my jiu-jitsu would be even better if I could use both arms. I’m not so sure about that. In fact I kind of doubt it. The only thing I do know is that my jiu-jitsu would be different, and most likely those areas that are essential to my game (e.g., hip movement) would be much less developed. Not only did my disability help shape my jiu-jitsu, but it also motivated me to train hard and establish a “never say die” attitude. Unfortunately, this drive and attitude was not always a good thing since the playful side of jiu-jitsu sometimes escaped me. Nowadays I train jiu-jitsu because it’s fun, not because I feel the need to prove myself on the mat.

If you train jiu-jitsu long enough you’re bound to roll with someone who has a physical disability. Heck, we all have physical limitations of one kind or another. Some are just more obvious than others. Regardless of what that limitation is, I offer these words of advice. Help that person work around his or her disability, but don’t feel the need to try and simulate it when you spar. If your partner only has one arm you don’t need to roll with one arm tucked in your belt. If your partner is blind you don’t need to roll with your eyes closed. If you outweigh your partner by 75 pounds, you don’t need to jump in the sauna. You get my point. Hopefully, many of you out there already adjust your games accordingly depending on who you are rolling with. Generally speaking, you don’t spar the same way with everyone, and if you do you may want to reconsider that strategy. If your partner has a physical limitation, refrain from making any special accommodations without asking first. Don’t worry, that person will be just fine. Jiu-jitsu will make sure of it!

Kid’s MMA SEMINAR Saturday 1/20 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Kid’s Mixed Martial Art Seminar– Mixing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Grappling and Basic Striking Skills! Plus have the opportunity to TRAIN in THE CAGE! Taught in a Fun, Safe Environment!

SEMINAR $20.00


You can bring a friend to the seminar – even if they don’t currently take classes at Tai-Kai. We will have a special orientation class just for them!

Register Here

Congrats New Stripes and Promotions at Tai Kai 01/03/12

It was a busy night at Tai Kai Jiu-Jitsu tonight. There was almost 50 people in the Jiu-Jitsu class alone. First our good friend and student Jason Eggleston was in town visiting. Jason had to move out of the CNY area about two years ago because he is in the military. Jason was awarded the rest of the stripes on his Brown Belt making him a 4 stripe Brown Belt. We had an impromptu test for him tonight. He had to take all 50 people down, then sweep them all, and then grapple live almost all of the people. He had to grapple the purple, brown, and black belts at the end. Jason fought hard and looked good. Congrats Jason. It was great seeing you.

Also tonight Rob White received the rest of his stripes on his Purple Belt, Kevin MacDougall received two more stripes on his Blue Belt, Ben Tallini received another stripe on his Purple Belt, and Robert Solano, Shane Manley, and Mike Leone received their Blue Belts. Congrats guys!! It was a great class and great rolling session.