Coach’s Corner: Using your Superpowers for Successful Training

Every Monday Coach Barry sends out a mail on training. There are hints, tips, and often videos and training ideas.

You can subscribe to these mails by clicking here. Here’s today’s:


Good morning!

I hope the weekend was good. Today I’m going to write a bit about one of humankind’s genuine super powers, and one of the things I think anyone who gets on well in martial arts has accessed- the awesome power of Habits.

Habits, if you want to nail down a definition as it applies to lifestyle, would be the things that you do daily without any real conscious thought. They require no forethought, no focus, no concentration, and no physical or mental exertion.

For example, this morning, and every morning for the past decade, I woke up and made coffee. I made it the same way that I always make it. Every now and then, I say I might cut down on caffeine and I might not make it for a few days, but I always return to making it. I don’t think about it. It’s just something I do, every day.

Habits are on the Good/Evil spectrum, the same as having Superpowers. Superman uses his to rescue falling jets, Zod uses his to smash buildings. Same Terran star induced abilities, different usage.

You can use the power of habits to drink more water, or you can use them to pick up a coke from the fridge every lunchtime. You can use them to cook, or you can use them to order take-away.

Superman also used his superpowers to reverse time by flying backwards around the world a bunch of times. A part of the old movie I was never really comfortable with, even as a 6 year old seeing it for the first time. Seemed ridiculous to me, even in the context of a flying alien who looked identical to us in every way. But I digress.

Once you get a good habit, it’s hard to beak. Training every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for example. If it’s your habit to collect your gear and stuff your dinner down your neck super quick on these days, you’ll do it without thinking about it. It’s just something you do. And when you don’t do that, you’ll sit at home thinking something isn’t quite right.

Bad habits are the Evil part of the equation. They’re much more tempting, delicious, or energy saving. No one ever says “Oh I’ve lapsed back into walking to work every day! What was I thinking?!”, or “Oh shit, I can’t believe how much broccoli I’ve eaten the past few weeks! what a terrible vegetable eating habit I have!”

But we can create new, Good, habits, and break old Evil ones. It’s a part of chiseling ourselves into better people. Sometimes that’s painful, even disgusting, like when my mother painted my nails with bitter nail varnish remover in my sleep to stop me from habitually biting them as a kid. It can be difficult to get your new habit hard wired in. You might need a little help. Some of it slightly cruel.

We’re inclined toward easy solutions and short term gains. Why stand and cook when you can sit and order? Why walk when you can drive? Why go and sweat when you can sit and watch? Why work when you can rest?

In training terms, staying on the couch this evening after a day in work will be twice as easy as getting your gear ready and coming training. Why even do it? Because as (hopefully) grown up people we can resist the short term reward in favour of the of the long term gain. You’ll even get a slightly shorter term one of those in the shape of the endorphin rush at 9pm when you’re done.

And it is a Superpower. Sure you won’t leap a tall building with it, or kiss Lois Lane and make her lose specific memories of you (just as ridiculous as the time travel thing. “C’mon! I said, I’m 6, not stupid!”) but you will start to do long-term rewarding things without thinking.

But first, you have to force yourself to do them, and avoid the Evil pitfalls of your bad habits. Literally force yourself to do the right thing until it becomes natural. It was too late for Zod who seemed to have some issues anyway, but it might not be too late for you.

And with that, I’m off to my new habit which is forcing myself to do some Yoga every second day. Two weeks on and going well so far.

See you on the mat!

No wait, not signing off yet, I almost forgot to add in that the Female Only class is starting this coming Thursday and we’re starting to get sign ups! We’d love to see you there so go to this link Female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

NOW I’ll see you on the mat!


Kyuzo is Dublin’s Premier Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA club for Beginners in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Mixed Martial Arts, Children’s Classes, and Martial Arts Training. Contact us now for more information. and remember to keep glued to our facebook page for more articles, offers, and Beginner courses.

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