The Art of Chunking

When you first were learning to read, you started with sounding out each constant and vowel of the alphabet.  Then came simple words: cat, hat, can,  that were easy to recognize once you understood how the alphabet was used to form words.   As your vocabulary began to broaden, you started to see patterns which made your reading and comprehension flow, as if it was already natural to you.

Now, with your learning complete, you can read the following:

I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan  mnid,  aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are

What you just did was recall and organize the data from prior experiences, formulate patterns, and perform the exercise to read the passage with little or no problems.  This is chunking: the efficient organization of information in your mind so that you may recall knowledge faster and store more information.

For us that train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, chunking is a powerful concept because it accentuates what we are always striving for: efficiency.   Efficient, organized, technical training will help create the habit of chunking.   You must obsess over the minutia of every technique to understand its dimensions, cause and effect, leverage, and direction.  You must practice it over and over.  As time goes on, each characteristic of the technique blends together in chunks and the technique becomes fluid.   Speed, which at the beginning was slow, clumsy, and staggered, is now clean, unencumbered, and  faster then your opponent.  Accuracy, which once was almost always off the mark, is now on target, all the time.

Chunking does something else.  It takes time, but eventually, it gives you predictive powers.  The more developed your pattern recognition becomes, the faster you recognize what your opponent will attempt against you.

So pay attention to every detail of your training and master the the art of chunking.


Building Our Legacy

There are many proud moments that I can point to in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Career.   My Black Belt promotion, my first IBJJF Medal, and cornering at UFC 96 are on the list.  But, what will rank very high is my first Black Belt Promotion.   As a coach and ambassador of the sport, what I want most is for my students to flourish in this art and to pass it along to the next generation.  To graduate a member of my team to Black Belt is the pinnacle of our art and a portal to the next journey that awaits.

Congratulations to Paul Bartholet.