On Challenging Beliefs

Yesterday I went with one of my training partners to an open mat at a nearby Jiu-Jitsu academy. I have traveled to other gyms before for classes, but this was my first open mat. You just show up and spar with strangers. This was an interesting experience as it reinforced certain aspects of my game that work but totally opened up some blindspots. For example, I considered myself to have strong defensive wrestling – as it turns out my wrestling defense is effective against the type of wrestler I am used to. Whereas the style of guard passing I prefer was effective at both gyms.

After leaving the gym I pondered this idea in comparison to the modern internet. The algorithm feeds us content that it “knows” we like; similar to the martial artist who hones his skills against the same training partner. How much healthier of a perspective would we all have if we deliberately chose to read books and articles we wouldn’t normally find in the algorithm? By challenging existing beliefs we would be able to strengthen sound beliefs and identify blind spots in others.

The alternative, like I experienced yesterday, is to walk around too sure that no one can take you down…until they do.

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