Jiu-Jitsu Letter

I Know That Already

Sometimes you go to class and you’ve seen the lesson before. You think, “I’ve seen that already,” or “I know that already.” And then you don’t pay close attention.

Sometimes, that’s fine. But most of the time, it’s not.

It always goes back to recognizing there are things you don’t know that you don’t know.

You never know when a detail you never noticed before will be noticed.

There are so many times when I learn something through a throwaway comment the instructor made, or when I saw something in a new way in an instructional video I’ve seen many times previously.

When you have more knowledge about something, you actually increase what you don’t know. “The more you learn, the less you know.” So that means the better you are at a technique, the more need to pay attention.

In his autobiography, The Way of the Fight, Georges St. Pierre uses a cooking analogy:

When you learn something—like how to make chili, for example—you acquire some real knowledge. Which ingredients to pick, how to prepare the meat, what order to place things in the pot, and how to use a secret ingredient. What happens, though, is that while you learn how to cook the beef and add the ingredients and put everything in the pot, you realize something: there is so much more to learn about cooking. There are so many other combinations for preparing the same meal. Some vary because of the cook, or the country, or the ingredients, or the taste. So proportionally, even though you learned something new, you realize there is so much more you still don’t know about cooking. Therefore, you know less than you knew before.

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