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It’s not about the music

14 Nov

I was chatting to a friend about my latest post ‘Music to Motivate‘ and he said he wasn’t too sure about the choice of music on my playlist, ‘not really my thing’ is what he said. Anyway, I wanted to follow up and say, it’s not about the music. Continue reading

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Music to motivate

11 Nov

Music is a great tool to motivate you. No great surprises there! Although the way I use music in my training really changed when I listened to Brandon Mullins (BJJ Black Belt and No-Gi world champion) being interviewed by Stephen Kesting (also a BJJ Black Belt).

 Brandon was talking about strategies for BJJ competitions and he talked about listening to the same music before every training session and then using the same music on the day of a competition. The idea being, when you listen to the familiar music on competition day, your mind just thinks it’s just another day at the office. Simple classical conditioning.

I jumped on this straight away. It was about 6 weeks out from the IBJJF 2012 London Open, so I put together my own playlist of songs that would help me focus and get motivated for BJJ training, working out and visualising my BJJ.This is how the list ended up:

1. I Giorni (Ludovico Einaudi)

2. Fuori Dal Mondo (as above)

3. Witness Dub (Roots Manuva)

4. Quills (The Roots)

5. Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja (Lostprophets)

6. Their Law (The Prodigy)

7. The Darkness (Sensai)

8. Duality (Slipknot)

9. Dirty Knails (Les Savy Fav)

10. That Golden Rule (Biffy Clyro)

11. Romeo & Juliet (Prokofiev)

12. Son Et Lumiere / Intertiatic Esp (The Mars Volta)

 Quite a mix, although these songs do it for me. They either help me relax and get in the moment, slowly build up my energy levels or give me a rush of adrenalin and really want to go for it. Did it work for the competition? Well I won my weight class in the adult purple belt division. Did the music make the difference between winning and losing? Probably not, although it did three things for me:

1. Made me really focused before every BJJ session, time and time again

2. Helped me push through tough workouts when I started to get tired

3. Helped me mentally switch on very quickly when I was warming up to fight

 I’d certainly recommended building your own list not just for competitions, also for exercise in general or everyday life. Those couple of songs that will give you the kick you sometimes needs. In fact, while writing this post I have accidentally deleted my work twice, so I’m listening to the above playlist right now as I needed to just get on with it, rather than quitting and writing this another time.