Monday, December 4, 2006


Last night there was a news magazine show on tv that had a story about a young woman pianist. I wish I could tell you more about her but I was doing something else and thought it was getting Tivo'd and I'd go back and get the details later. Unfortunately, it didn't get recorded. I spent some time searching for the story on the web, but didn't get too far. So, from what I saw, apparently she is one of the big up and coming classical pianists...but she's supercontroversial because she has a "secret" life. It's a secret life in which she plays classical pieces and improvises in the style of the composers. She will actually go off and "jam" instead of just playing the piece as they were written. This is something that is very common in Jazz (which she also plays) as well as most other musical styles. Musicians do it all the time, but not the classical musicians. It also used to be done back in the day when the classical composers were actually alive and composing...but somehow improvisation got phased out of the "classical" world. It occurred to me that the classical music world was similar to that of traditional martial arts that do things such as forms and katas...once based in practice for real, actual physical combat but eventually became choreographed routines. "Competition" became scoring how perfectly the forms could be executed. Part of the beauty of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling is the very idea that it IS improvisation. You learn techniques. You drill them over and over. You practice until your body knows how to move in the correct and desired way...but when it's time to roll or spar, it's all about improv! Sometimes a great roll is like when you see a musician with his eyes closed and the music has taken's not about how he plays each's not about his technique with his instrument...he has become absorbed and lost in the music, lost in the instrument, lost in the moment.


Kei said...

I saw a part of the program. She was fantastic!!!

Improvisation is probably one of the most important factors to become successful in life.

Good balance between conviciotns and improv's will lead us to the right path.

...I kinda suck @ it, though... ;)

2Old said...

Ok. So if there is a lot of improv in jits, then why all the heartburn about Eddie, for example? People have a cow because he "invents" moves. As opposed to Marcel Garcia I guess because he's from the "old country."

Maybe it's going to get better for me when I get more experienced, but NOTHING I EVER DRILL AT WORKS ON THE MAT. (At least if you are a pianist, there isn't someone with their hands on your fingers messing up your playing in concert.)

On the other hand people tell me my rolling is getting better, as I "feel" my way through positions (most of them bad). So I don't understand it at all.

Denny showed me a guard pass which hasn't worked once for me. But it works in drilling just fine. People I am rolling against just compensate naturally and automatically to foil me (maybe I need to do it faster or do it more precisely or more forcefully?). Then I saw a video of Sim Go trying the same guard pass and it didn't work for him either - at least that time :-) ! So I guess sometimes this stuff works and sometimes it doesn't. It's all about numbers and percentages.

On the other hand I'm getting pretty good at basing up in guard. Which leads to an impasse. I've learned to control their hips so they can't sweep, triangle, or arm bar me, but then I can't pass, so no one goes anywhere.

Well. I'm older than them and don't mind frustrating and annoying my more athletic (and younger) classmates. But I don't think I'm going to enter and win any tournaments with stalling tactics.

I keep wanting to do a collar choke, though everyone tells me you just don't do collar chokes from the top....

Segun said...

You can watch it here. I saw this after watching Renzo get interviewed by some dude...
Gabriela Montero's Gift...

Congrats on the Pan American Victories