What’s your special move?

When I think about the way I fight in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my strategy revolves around only one technique and I consider it to be my special move.

I know, most of you are not familiar with or interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu per se. In this post, though, I want to introduce this strategy of mine, because I believe it’s applicable to what we do… yes, what you do.

In short, I have one main attack and everything else I do is a path to setting up a good situation to execute that technique. I’ve been practicing this technique, triangle choke, over and over, since I started practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in July 2002. I believe I’m doing well with this strategy; it at least helped me come to the 2nd place in my category at Asian Open Championship 2010.

Triangle choke is one of the basic moves in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it’s not a fancy move that only few people can pull off. But then, there are people who do it well and those who don’t.

By the way, I want you to think about your special move in your area/s of interest. Do you have one? If you do, what is it and how did you make it your special move? I want to hear from you about it in the comment section. If you don’t, which move do you want to have as your special move?

In the following, I’ll tell you about what makes my triangle choke better than average. If you are in the process of developing your special move, think about what you do with your special move and see if anything below applies to your special move development. If it does, great!

Here’s what I do with triangle choke.

I work hard on improving my triangle choke

Over the past 8 years, I worked hard on improving my triangle choke. I drilled this move a number of times; also, I used it in sparring and in competitions. In the beginning, it was sloppy and chances of pulling it off were lower. But I kept trying and it got much, much better.

If you are working on developing your special move, do you work hard on it? Are you persistent in this process?

I have a clear goal and I use triangle choke to pursue it

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as a sport, uses a score system in case the designated time limit runs out in a given match, in order to decide the winner of the match. But, your ultimate goal is to defend yourself by finishing your opponent. Some people play the scoring game – that is, they score some points and defend these points till the end of a match. But that’s not for me or for most great fighters, who I believe go for submission.

Since I have a clear goal of winning by submission, it becomes easier for me to know what I need to do. Once I’m clear about this goal, all I need to do is to take action to get there. And triangle choke is my favorite means of achieving that goal.

What’s your special move for? Are you clear about what you want to achieve by using it?

I’m extremely persistent and I have various set ups for triangle choke

When others go for triangle choke, they might try this technique twice or so, and when these attempts fail, they might change their strategy and use another technique. That’s not a bad idea, but I’d keep going with triangle choke.

One thing to note is that I have various set ups for triangle choke. So, even if one set up fails and my opponent knows what’s going on with that set up and can block it, I have another way of going for triangle choke.

I think having variations within one technique is fabulous, because focusing on one technique is much simpler than working on multiple techniques, and at the same time, if you have variations within one technique, you get to have similar effects of having multiple moves in your stock.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s better if you have multiple moves in your stock as you progress, provided that they are all special moves for you, but it’s best to start with one move and to deepen it as much as possible.

How persistent are you with your special move? Do you have more than one way of executing it?

I set my game in such a way that everything revolves around triangle choke

For me, my ultimate goal in a match is to win by submission. I use triangle choke as a means to achieve that goal. There are things I need to do to make that triangle choke happen as well. When it comes to these things, I do them as a preparation for triangle choke.

It’s no exaggeration, but my triangle choke set up starts as soon as the match begins, because everything I do is a preparation for triangle choke.

Now, when it comes to practicing other moves, I work on moves that have strong ties with triangle choke. In other words, I work on moves that allow me to transition smoothly into a triangle choke set up – I work on what’s relevant to me and try to cut out what’s irrelevant.

It’s great to have this clear focus, because when there’s a gap in my game, that is, a gap between triangle choke and whatever position I am in, I know what I need to work on in order to fill in this gap. What I need to work on is to connect two dots, which I already know. Sometimes we only know that there’s a gap without knowing what the other side of the gap is and even what your side is like.

In regard to your special move, do you know what’s relevant to you? Do you work on it? How about what’s irrelevant to you? Do you cut it out?

I love triangle choke

This one sounds obvious, but loving what you do is the shortest path to get better at it. If you are keen on and enjoy practicing it, you will get better at it quickly. For me, that’s pretty much the case with triangle choke.

Do you love your special move? Do you love what you do?


Did you enjoy this post and do you want to subscribe to this blog? I’ll be offering a free, 30 minute Skype brain storming session for the first 50 people who subscribe to this blog via the e-mail system I will implement on 4 Feb 2011. If you are interested, check this post.

Photo: R’eyes

Coming next: Free 30 minute brainstorming sessions for 50 people

What will happen on 4 February 2011

I have an idea. Why don’t I offer free 30 minute Skype brainstorming sessions for the first 50 people who subscribe to this blog via e-mail? Not with the e-mail subscription service that I use now, but with another e-mail subscription service I will implement on this website.

I will make it happen on 4 February – since this blog is small, it will take a while to fill up the 50 sessions, but if you are keen, you know when you should come back to here.

More about brain storming sessions

So, here’s what I’m offering.

What you will get: A 30 minute Skype brainstorming session for free

How to get it: Subscribe to this blog via the system I will implement on this blog on 4 February 2011

Now. Brainstorming sessions. I could help you with identifying your goal and/or a small action you can take towards that goal. Alternatively, if you have questions about the following topics, I can help you, provided that I’m more experienced than you in that topic of your choice.

  • The male-female dynamics
  • How to learn languages effectively
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or things related to martial arts in general

Or if you are actually looking for unsolicited ideas for a brainstorm, you can use me for that as well.

Also… what you will need to do is to subscribe to this blog – so, if you are not interested in reading what I write, I don’t think it’s a good idea to subscribe to this blog or even to have a brainstorming session with me.

If you are new to this blog, check the latest posts I wrote. You can browse the archive for this month here and read what looks interesting to you. Or you can read the following posts, which I think represent who I am well.


Who’s in?

By the way, if you have any questions regarding the topics above or other things, you can always ask me through the comment section or send me a message via the contact page.


Photo: @boetter

Learn travel hacks and get 4 free plane tickets per year

Join the Travel Hacking CartelMr. Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau – a man who has been inspiring me for the last few years and a man who aims to visit every country in the world by April 7, 2013 – has launched his new service Travel Hacking Cartel.

Travel Hacking Cartel is a membership site that teaches you “exactly what you need to do to accumulate Frequent Flyer Miles, and what you need to do to redeem them for fantastic trips”.

As a member of the site, you’ll have access to…

  • A number of video lectures on travel hacking
  • Knowledge base, which is a growing database of answers to frequently asked questions
  • Real-time updates of mileage deals and offers

Travel Hacking Cartel makes a very strong guarantee – it promises you one free plane ticket every quarter (25,000 miles) or four a year (100,000 miles), provided that you spend 30 minutes on the cartel  a month.

There are three plans – Economy ($15/month), Business ($25/month), and First Class ($39/month). The guarantee above is effective for the Economy plan as well, which means you spend $45 and can get a free plane ticket worth $250 or so.

I’ve been following Chris for some time and he does deliver what he promises – so, even if it sounds too good to be true, I firmly believe that you will get what he promises in Travel Hacking Cartel. I immediately signed up for the cartel after it launched yesterday.

If you are interested in traveling for free and learning more about travel hacking, I believe you will enjoy subscribing to Travel Hacking Cartel.

Oh, I forgot to mention, but…

  1. it’s limited to 1000 subscribers initially and then it will be open only by referrals and
  2. there’s a 14 day $1 trial – after this trial period, you’ll pay the monthly payment of your plan or you can cancel if you don’t like it.

Chris writes travel hacking tips and essays on traveling on his website – check out the articles below if you are new to Chris Guillebeau’s works.

How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles For Low-Cost, High-Value Trips

Thoughts on Risk and 808,185 Frequent Flyer Miles

Beginner’s Guide to Travel Hacking

28 Things I wish I knew Before I Started Traveling

Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World


Since I’m planning to go to the USA for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship (to win in my division) and World Domination Summit and then off to South America somehow (I was thinking of cycling from Portland, OR to Mexico and then rolling from there…), I thought Travel Hacking Cartel would help me with flying for less costs. For me, considering long term values the cartel will give me, I had no hesitation about joining it. Maybe it’s different for you, and that’s totally fine. But if you are interested, check out its site. You won’t regret it.

Disclosure: The links to Travel Hacking Cartel above are affiliate links. If you sign up for the $1 trial and continue after that period, I will get 500 miles. If you want to use a non-affiliate link to Travel Hacking Cartel, go to the site from here.

Curiosity meets romance: the art of being a hopeful romantic

The Art of Curiosity + The Art of Romance = The Art of Being A Hopeful Romantic

One of the greatest things I learnt from the Ars Amorata program, an online course on how to live a purposeful life as a man who loves and celebrates women, is the importance of curiosity.

This trait is so fascinating that I’ve been curious and thinking about it for some time. Recently, things have started falling into place and some fresh ideas came to me. I want to share these ideas with you in this post.

The focus of this post is curiosity applied to romance – I believe there’s a strong connection between these things.

In my view…

  • Curiosity brings romances to you.
  • Curiosity helps you make deeper connections with people you find attractive.
  • Curiosity helps you become more attractive as a person.

Let me explain each one in turn.

Curiosity brings romances to you

A romance begins when you are (romantically) curious about someone. There’s something that fascinates you about that person, and it makes you curious. You don’t know what that is and can’t quite figure it out. So, your curiosity stirs up your desire to know that person better.

So, what now? You can talk with him or her and discover who he or she is.

When you interact with that person, make sure to let him or her know that you are curious about him or her as well.

I believe this “letting them know” part is crucial. It can be subtle or direct, but do make sure to convey your curiosity to that person. What you are conveying, essentially, is that you find that person interesting and you want to know more about him or her. When you do it correctly, this can become a powerful compliment you can give to that person. (If you don’t do it, you might end up letting that potential romance go… as this short video illustrates.)

Yes, I know what some of you are thinking.

“But, I can’t find people who I can be curious about! I’ve got higher expectations and standards!”


I see your expectations and standards are high, but why don’t you choose to be curious about others? Not just about those you find attractive, but also people around you. I will explain this idea a bit more later, but I believe that people who have genuine curiosity towards other people tend to be much more attractive than those who have no curiosity towards people around them.

Actually, I was once there. Don’t look for someone to notice you, but choose to be curious about others instead. It’s much more rewarding and fun.

Curiosity is like a seed and you need to cultivate your curiosity in order for it to develop into a full romance. But if you are never curious about others, then it’s hard for potential romances to grow further.

Curiosity helps you make deeper connections with people you find attractive

Curiosity is not just for igniting a potential romance and turning it into a substantial relationship.

Being and staying curious about your partner is essential in maintaining a great relationship with him or her as well.

The following quotes express what I want to say about this idea.

The quality of your relationship does not depend on the clear communication between you and your partner, but on your willingness to understand each other.” – Hans Comijn

Love is three quarter curiosity.” – Giacomo Casanova

I believe curiosity towards your partner is a fuel for your willingness to understand him or her. Being in a relationship is like going on an adventure together; it’s not about one chasing the other, but about finding treasures and growing up with one another.

Stay curious, and try to understand your partner in this journey.

Some of you might have noticed, but I’m fond of this Casanova quote. I’m still wondering what the other quarter of love is, but let me mention something – I believe the opposite of love is not hatred, but I believe it’s indifference. When you are no longer curious about your partner is when your relationship is coming to an end.

Oh well. Where’s the passion gone…?

Don’t let that happen. Stay curious. Keep seducing your partner by being curious about him or her! Keep that fire burning. Yes.

Curiosity helps you become more attractive as a person

The kind of curiosity I’m talking about here is more general and broader than the kind I was talking about in the previous ideas. Let’s talk about something much, much broader. It’s curiosity about what your life has to offer that helps you become more attractive as a person.

Let this kind of curiosity guide you in your life! You will be more active, enjoy your life, and grow significantly as a person. There’s a lot of talk about passion, and I’m inclined to think that curiosity is an essential ingredient for passion as well. Be curious and be passionate about your life. Living your life this way will make you much, much more attractive as a person.

People who have no curiosity about how they live are boring. OK, that sounds like a big statement, but hey, how can bored people be interesting? They don’t live an active life, they don’t try anything new, they don’t interact with others, and they are stuck with their routines.

Remember Neil Pasricha‘s TED talk that I introduced in a recent post? In that talk, Neil talks about how to have an awesome life and he identifies 3 key traits that make your life awesome: attitude, awareness, and authenticity. We can apply this curiosity business to these traits as well.

You can have the attitude of curiosity that you choose to be curious about what your life has to offer. By being curious about it, you’ll be aware of what’s happening around you. Your curiosity is unique to yourself – embrace your curiosity, because that’s an authentic part of you. I’m even happy to say that you are what you are curious about.

Now. Let me go back to something I said earlier… that people who have genuine curiosity towards other people tend to be much more attractive than those who have no curiosity towards people around them.

What does that mean?

I’m still brewing this idea, but I want to share it with you and want to hear what you think about it.

So, there has been a lot of talks about how to attract men or women. These talks give you tips, but they are usually about manipulating or tricking others into liking you. Even something like “presenting your best self” can become a manipulation or a trick when there is such an intention, although it is a great piece of advice when you do it naturally.

But, why should we try to attract others anyway? Well, maybe that’s because we want them to like us… and that’s because we like them, right?

What I want to express here is: Why don’t we get attracted to them first? I can’t draw a precise line between being attracted and being curious. I don’t know what differentiates them if there is a difference between them, but I assume they are essentially the same. Or at least, it seems to me that being attracted involves being curious.

Before waiting for others to notice you and be curious about you, why don’t you actively seek for something interesting about people you find attractive – actually, people in general – and try to find out why they make you curious. This attitude will help you interact with them better. Why? If you treat them as interesting people, it’s very likely that they will respond you as interesting people. It’s simple as that. And we all love to be treated as someone interesting.

Another idea I have is that by being curious about that person, you are almost making an instant mini-connection with him or her – you’ve just established that you share the same interest with that person. I’m pretty sure we’re all interested in ourselves and your curiosity towards that person connects with that person’s curiosity towards himself or herself.

I firmly believe that similarities between you and others will bring you guys closer and connect with one another. So, this similar interest can help you get you and that person closer.

One thing to note in relation to these ideas is… you must be genuinely curious and genuinely attracted to people you find attractive. If you have hidden agendas or don’t express your intention clearly, then you are likely to lose something genuine from the way you behave around them.

Really, really try to understand them, rather than just being nosy or halfheartedly curious.

By the way, if you haven’t looked at the previous post that collects 15 quotes on curiosity, here it is.

What do you think about these ideas?


I hope this post has given you some insights. If you liked it and thought it was thought provoking, do share this article with your friends. That’s how you can support me and I’d really appreciate it. You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: Alain Wibert

How to keep the fire of your life burning hot and bright: 15 quotes on curiosity

A simple answer – by using your curiosity!

I believe curiosity is one of the most important traits human beings can have and use. I believe it’s connected with creativity, love, motivation, happiness and probably other important things in life. I believe that even if curiosity killed the cat, the cat died happily. I believe exercising curiosity is how you maximize experience and live your life as your art.

For reference and as a starting point of inquiry on curiosity, I’ve collected 15 quotes that tell us something important about curiosity.

Curious about what they are? Great.

Here you go.

15 Quotes on Curiosity

– 1 –

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Albert Einstein

– 2 –

People die when curiosity goes.
Graham Swift

– 3 –

Let’s just say I was testing the bounds of reality. I was curious to see what would happen. That’s all it was: curiosity.
Jim Morrison

– 4 –

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.
Leo Burnett

– 5 –

Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.
James Stephens

– 6 –

Seize the moment of excited curiosity on any subject to solve your doubts; for if you let it pass, the desire may never return, and you may remain in ignorance.
William Wirt

– 7 –

Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
Isaiah Berlin

– 8 –

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.
Anatole France

– 9 –

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.
Eleanor Roosevelt

– 10 –

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
Samuel Johnson

– 11 –

If you give people tools, [and they use] their natural ability and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.
Bill Gates

– 12 –

Love is three quarters curiosity.
Giacomo Casanova

– 13 –

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.
Arnold Edinborough

– 14 –

Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.
Dr. Linus Pauling

– 15 –

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
Albert Einstein

Which quote does resonate with you most? Do you practice curiosity? What are you curious about?


If you enjoyed reading this post, I want you to… 1) tell me what you liked about it in the comment section, and/ or 2) share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below, or by telling them about it. Thank you! If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: *Zephyrance

How to create a digital stream of inspirations and remind yourself of your life purpose

I bet most of you who read this blog has access to a computer, portable music listening/video viewing device, or smart phone, and use such a device on a daily basis. If that’s the case, you can turn it into a source of inspirations – by creating a video clip that inspires you and watching it on that device.

I’m sure you can find a bunch of inspirational video clips on YouTube, but I believe it’s better to make your own video clip, because you can choose your own favorite song, pictures and words.

Yes. You know what inspires you. If you make a video clip just for yourself… it will be more inspiring than any other clips made by others.

In this post, I will give you a quick guide to creating such a clip.

I’ve used Picasa to create my own clip, and I bet it’s one of the easiest ways to do it. Quick and easy. Yes. If you are already familiar with another software, use it by all means.

A sample clip

The clip I made specifically for myself uses my favorite song (The bold and the beautiful by Bane) and pictures that I found through Google Images as well as Flickr. Since I don’t have the rights to use the song and some of the images, I cannot show you this clip. So, I made another clip as a sample, using materials licensed under Creative Commons.

Check it out. This is the kind of video clip I’m talking about.

How to create a kick ass video clip that inspires you every time you watch it

Finding images that inspire you

Let’s start with collecting materials. You will need to find images and pictures that represent what you want in your life.

For searching images, I recommend you to use Flickr and Google Images.

If you go to the top page of Flickr, you’ll see a search box. Type and look for images you want. You favorite images might show up in the first page of the search results. But, it’s possible that some of those images are not available for download for a copyright reason.

In order to view downloadable images only, you need to customize your search option a little bit. Click Advanced Search right next to the blue Search box.

In the Advanced Search page, go to the bottom of the page. You’ll find a section on Creative Commons. Check “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”; now you’re ready to search for downloadable photos.

Click the blue Search box below this section and it will take you back to the search result page. If you’ve changed your setting correctly, you’ll see a text that says “Showing Creative Commons-licensed content” below the search box.

Now you are ready to have fun with browsing excellent photos taken by amazing photographers.

Using Google Images is much simpler. You just need to go to this page and search for what you are looking for.

Using Picasa

After collecting images and photos that inspire you, you are ready to make your own inspirational video clip.

I assume that you are familiar with Picasa. If not, Picasa is a free software created and provided by Google and you can organize and edit pictures easily with this software. You can download it from here for free.

Now… run Picasa. Go to the folder you’ve download the photos and images into. Select the files, and click the Video button in the right bottom of the main window. Or alternatively, you can choose, in the menu, Create -> Video, to get the video making function started.

I only did the following steps in order to create the sample clip:

  • Choose your favorite song from your digital music collection. You can use an mp3 file or wma file for audio. To fit photos into audio… well, choose that option “Fit photos into audio”.
  • Create text slides. You can add a text slide by clicking the button below the play button.
  • Add license information to the picture slides. I needed to take this step, because I wanted to show the sample in public and I must display license information for each photo. If you are to make a clip only for your personal use, you don’t need to do this. (If you want to add texts to a slide with a picture, by the way, you can select the Slide tab in the left column)

I believe you can play with it and get used to other editing functions. For the sample clip I made, all I did was to select a music file, to make text slides, and to add some texts to photos for a Creative Commons license reason. I didn’t do anything else.


Once you are done with editing, click Create Video in the bottom of the Video tab. Picasa will process the movie and turn it into a wmv file.

If you want to watch it on iPhone, you need to convert the wmv file into a mp4 file. I used DVD Catalyst Free for converting a wmv file into a mp4 file. You can search for a convert software on Google as well. (And you will need to if you are using Mac. Handbrake seems to be a great option both for Windows and for Mac.)

Now you have your own video-graphic source of inspiration. I bet it’s the best you’ve ever seen.

I have my home-made video clip on my iPhone and watch it in the morning and whenever I want to remind myself of what I want in my life.

Now, here’s a question – how do you remind yourself of what you want in your life? Do you keep a list and take a look at it every day? Do you use a vision map? Or something else? Please share with us!


If you enjoyed reading this post, I want you to… 1) tell me what you liked about it in the comment section, and/ or 2) share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below, or by telling them about it. Thank you! If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: mckaysavage