The power of symbols: I am a big believer in the power of symbols to inspire, educate and motivate towards their goals. I try to use them as much as in my own life and those who I coach. For example I believe that edged tools and weapons – knives and swords – have important metaphorical value (in addition to their obvious practical value) in martial arts training (one day I will discuss this at length). One of my favorite symbols since my childhood is the famous MITSU-TOMOE (sometimes mitsu domoe) – often seen throughout Asia. I use it’s symbolic power whenever possible in my coaching and living. My own version of it is a double mitsu- tomoe; a smaller one inside a larger one. This captures the biggest theme of my coaching philosophy in Jiu Jitsu – the idea of Jiu Jitsu as a and my attempt to create subsystems within that system to create a new approach to Jiu Jitsu. Traditionally the most common forms of this symbol have three “commas” inside a circle (there are other versions with more or less commas) and these are usually seem to represent heaven, earth and humans. My personal rendition of it sees the trinity of commas representing the three fundamental skill sets of Jiu Jitsu – standing position skills, ground top position skills and ground position skills. Interestingly the three commas create an optical illusion. If you look you can either see three spokes or blades, or three commas – depending on your focus. Two people can look at the same thing and see two different things – just like Jiu Jitsu – where two athletes can be in the same situation and see two completely different opportunities – and both be correct. Like the mitsu tomoe, Jiu Jitsu involves interpretation on top of technique. So many key themes of Jiu Jitsu and my interpretation of it are bound up in this beautiful image – I love to surround myself with it when I can. Do you have your own favorite symbols to keep your mind on what you do? Do they capture how you feel about your passions? Put them around you in daily life and let them help keep you focused on your dreams and goals