Mat time vs space time

One without the other is useless in grappling, and in life. Mat time is the data input and space time is the data analysis.

The Mat Time: During your hands-on live training, you’re taking in infinite data, mostly downloaded into the unconscious, but some hanging at the forefront of our consciousness. Either way, data is being entered in an infinite stream, constantly reinforced and corrected with a series of micro punishment and reward, offering instant feedback along it’s gathering. Mat time is your doing, your actual practice in your art, or life. The power of mat time? Your conscious choice to make this happen. Train live, as life is lived live! 

The Space Time: As immediately as our subconscious starts analyzing all this data, it does take time, time to space on shit a bit, let it sink in. This is especially when trying to make it’s way from the subconscious to the conscious. The power of space time? All this happens in the background, while you’re doing other things, grappling or otherwise, driving to work, or sleeping. 

Everyone knows that mat time is crucial and is usually the major focus of training, as it should be. What good is training, or living, or you’re not doing it. But Space Time?

An example of space time at work: when you return to training after a decent break, especially when lasting weeks or more, you fear how much worse you’ll perform than before you left. But the opposite can happen, you return to roll better than before your break! Minus your physical conditioning, your first day back to live training takes on the cliff notes version of your prior grappling ability.  You instead focus only on the main takeaways of what you’ve already learned, what’s already been boiled down, even if only subconsciously. Your conscious brain isn’t “distracting” by the interference of constantly streaming and compounding new data from last week or the week before. Taking the break from mat time gives your unconscious a chance to “sleep on it”, distilling your thoughts and patterns during space time.  After your reset, you have shaken out the non-essentials, and can now focus on the next wave of new input while your constant subconscious analysis remains at work.

*Consider this be your pep talk if you’ve been on a break for a bit, you’re still learning, and weeding out the weak non-essentials 🙂

Without mat time, there is nothing meaningful to analyze. And without space time, you’re just getting a workout. Luckily the space time analysis happens whether you like it or not, and continues well after your last roll. But the all important data gathering mat time needs to be a conscious choice. Choose mat time today, and let space time happen.

 

Published by: neutralgroundbjj

Jon Friedland here, finally putting some of my thoughts to type. I've been training well over 20 years, receiving my black belt in 2007. I’m a 14-year dojo owner and head instructor of Brazilian Jiujitsu. Started training Jiujitsu casually in early 1995, formally in 1997. Teaching BJJ since 2000, i received my black belt in 2007, opened my academy, Neutral Ground, in 2005, am the head instructor, and am currently a 2nd degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer.

Categories bjj, jiujitsu, subconsciousTags, , , 1 Comment

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