Exponential Function People have been talking a lot lately about this being the age of information. We even have the information highway on the World Wide Web. The word information is used with some reverence, and rightly so, of course information is important, you might say that information is currency; certainly people do use it as a lucrative means of commerce. But I don’t think that we are residing any longer in the information age, not from my observation, in business and in the business of life. Undoubtedly there was an information age, but we are now through it, certainly we are on the exiting periphery, and entering into a new era, a fresh orbit, a brand new reality called the age of experience.
People have heard about experience, of course, they have read about experience definitely, and every day we all have experiences of one kind or another, but not often the magnificent experiences, the big experiences that we would really like to have – people (it has been noticed) are ready to expand, they are ready to break free from the mundane in order to encounter the extraordinary – they want to immerse themselves into great experiences, because they know that great knowledge without great action is impotent. What is the use of knowing stuff if you can’t apply it?
I know many people for instance that have a great academic knowledge of martial ways but they do not know how to apply it, if you want to see these people in herd go onto any of the MA forums and look out for the folk being negative and spiteful and tabloid. You cannot be a great martial artist, not even a good martial artist whilst indulging in this kind of white belt behaviour, the two are mutually exclusive.
Similarly most people understand palate, they know what food is good for them and what food is bad, and yet they still carry too much body weight and ingest substances that poison them. They have the knowledge but they do not have the power to apply the knowledge.
Why do we do what we do when we know what we know?
Because there is no power in knowing alone, we have to develop the will to put our knowing to work. Knowledge without experience is impotent.
We had the fist session of my masterclass (2010) last week and it was a great session. Not just because the students had invested in world class instruction, rather it was because they had travelled from far and wide – from as far as Poland – to have the experience, and in doing so they placed a greater demand on their will, and their will responded by growing stronger. Getting to the masterclass is challenging for people, time is against many of them, financially some of them are stretched and for many more it is geographically taxing. Most of them said that they experienced a lot of fear when making the commitment, in fact some of them said that it took more will power than they knew they had just to get to the centre, and on their journey down they had the urge to turn back and go home. They felt that the experience was beyond their capacity. We had one person that actually did go home. He paid his fees and was unable to make it to Coventry. But the rest of them, against all these worthy obstacles, made it. And even in that one session you could see people growing, because they had all loaded a demand on their will that placed them ever so slightly out of their depth. So the added demand triggered new growth.
Isn’t that inspiring? How fucking exciting is that? Their will expanded not despite the fear, it expanded not in spite of the geography, it ‘manned-up’ not regardless of the time and the cost implications, it expanded exponentially because of them. All of these elements placed a demand on their will that it had not experienced before, so it was forced to grow.
You will not grow courage without placing yourself before fear.
You will not grow physical strength without placing demand on your muscles.
You will not grow money without creating a fiscal demand.
This is one of the reasons I make my courses difficult for people to attend, I make it a course of high demand, because without it no growth will occur.
And the higher the demand, the greater the development.
People know this innately, that is why my courses fill quickly.
What people experience here is Exponential Function. Look it up in the Concise Oxford Dictionary. It is a mathematical exponent in which a function is increased (more and more rapidly) as a quantity raised to a power and this is determined by the variable on which the function depends.
In other words, if you increase the variable (the demand – on your courage, on your finances, on your physique) the quantity will respond.
In even simper terms; increase the weight on your barbell and your muscles will grow proportionately bigger and stronger. Keep the weight the same and no new growth will occur. Why would it? It is not necessary. Growth is determined by demand, so if you want growth that is more and more rapid then keep increasing the demand and watch how your ability will go through the ceiling.
Let me give you a good example.
I wanted to be a strong judo player. I intended to get my black belt in a system that I think is the best kept secret in the martial arts. I didn’t want to be an average player, that does not suit my mind set. I wanted to be really good. So I placed myself under the instruction of Neil Adams, one of the best judo players in history. He had a full time class that contained about twelve international players, most of them in the Olympic squad. I brought five judo suits and I joined his class. I trained two to three times a day in this magnificent art (with Neil, with his amazing students, privately with British champion Wayne Lakin, with my own students and on my own) and the demand I placed on myself forced rapid growth, fuck it demanded rapid growth. This was one of the hardest things I have ever undertaken but within an eighteen month period I could hold my own with internationals in the art of judo.
I am not saying that everyone should jump in the deep end like this, my method works for me, you can increase the demand one small disc at a time, as long as you increase it.
If you want better health, create the demand for better health.
If you want to run faster, run with faster runners, it will demand speed.
If you want more money, create the demand for more money and more money will grow.
If you want better martial arts skills, place yourself under amazing instruction; invest the time and the money and the effort (and the more you speculate the more you will accumulate) and you with grow exponentially.
When people tell me that they do not have the time, the money or the energy I know that they do not want it enough yet. Because when you want it enough you will slide more discs along the bar and force yourself to grow.
And I know this because I have made the same excuses myself before.
The universe does not deal in excuses. It deals in concrete laws. You want growth, place yourself in challenging experiences and you will be given growth. No questions asked. And do not bitch and moan when the demands are too expensive too heavy or too geographically challenging, put your bones into the arena – like the Mexican Shamans who collect their power from difficulty – and make growth your business.
But do not ask for growth without demand because the Big Man is not listening.
And neither am I.
Be well Geoff Thompson
NOTE FROM FELIPE: “Special thanks to Geoff Thompson for allowing me to reproduce this article from his website. Please check it out at www.geoffthompson.com or www.geoffthompson.tv . Thanks again Geoff, much appreciated and you have been a mentor/role model of mine for quite some time now!
Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!
Jiu jitsu Kingdom