The new white belt asking how to execute the flying, reverse or inverted version of something they kinda saw once. The enthusiasm for knowledge is admirable and contagious, and is better than none at all. The fun challenge to “think outside the box” keeps us stimulated and helps us to look at things from another angle.

Thinking “outside the box” too early or too much however, leads to instability, without being rooted to what’s “inside the box”. Growing pains appear, caused by weak foundations, and oftentimes tempts us to seek out MORE “outside the box”.

Before we try to change the game of BJJ or the game of life or the world, we should first understand what it is exactly we are attempting to change. Instead of asking for all the variations of what we’re learning, there is definitely plenty already in the box we aren’t even aware exists.

We must make sure to stand on the shoulder of giants before us, the work has been done for us, and it’s on us to internalize it, gain a deeper understanding than simple awareness, and run it through our system until it can run itself.

On the other hand, staying “within the box” without exploration outside can lead to stagnation.

If we spent more time understanding the world we lived in, we’d be more effective in changing it. Before we jump to change the world, we should make sure we spend a considerable amount of time understanding it. If we don’t, like most, it will pass and fade ineffectively, as the newest technique with a funny name, and as a world unchanged by our efforts.

The challenge is to toggle between exploration and consolidation, they are symbiotic as the old strengthens your foundation making the new more accessible, and the new challenges us to grow that foundation and our individual garden of you.