Philosophy: I have made many foolish decisions in my life, but one decision I made that I never regretted and am eternally grateful for was my decision to study Philosophy when I went to College and Graduate school. This might seem strange as Philosophy is not what I ended doing as a career, nor will it lead to what most people associate with success – money, fame or status. Yet I honestly believe that outside of sport specific physical training and study, the study of philosophy was the single most helpful activity I bought with me when I began Jiu Jitsu. My reasoning is that the study of philosophy teaches you the crucial of clearly identifying a problem and assessing the merit of proposed solutions. Interestingly Philosophy itself struggles to make progress on the many questions it seeks to answer. It is probably fair to say that Western Philosophy is no closer to answering its central problems than the Ancient Greeks who voiced them at its outset. The real value of Philosophy is in its ability to get people asking deep questions and applying reason to battle towards a solution. This creates a mindset that can be applied profitably in any field – including Jiu Jitsu. Here I am outside my office at the University of Auckland in New Zealand the day I left for America to begin study at Graduate School at Columbia University in New York. I had no idea what direction my life would go, but I knew that the ability to identify and clearly differentiate a problem and apply a set of rational criteria for grading prospective solutions would be a useful thing – that much I got correct (although my sense of fashion got even worse ) When Jiu Jitsu, always try to clear state and understand the problems you are confronted with – this will give you a strong that can greatly reduce the time taken to make improvements to your game.