Simple and Stupid

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2 minute read

Sometimes we overcomplicate things.

We run into some problems and try to come up with super complicated solutions that are too hard to execute in reality.

But the solutions you need may be much simpler than you think. They may be so simple that they make you feel rather stupid.

Yesterday, I skimmed this list of the “best purchases under 100 dollars” according to some of the guests who appeared on Tim Ferriss’s podcast.

I hardly remember any of the items mentioned.

But two of them caught my attention.

Steve Aoki, an internationally famous DJ, mentioned some eye mask as his best purchase. Because… it helps him sleep better. Yeah, right.

And then you have Ray Dalio, the co-chief investment officer of the world’s biggest hedge fund Bridge Water Associates. He’s a billionaire, by the way.

For him, the best things he can buy under $100 are some pen and paper because he can write down his thoughts with these instruments.

Of course, there’s this limitation of $100 here, but I sense that he would probably choose this classic combination of pen and paper over, say, the latest model of MacBook Pro or something.

Because… well, his problem here is something like “How can I record my thoughts easily?” and pen and paper can give him the simplest solution he needs.

Now… the reason why I bring up this “simple and stupid” thing is that someone asked me the following question today:

“When I take my opponent with a single leg takedown, they usually make a hook against my inner thigh with their foot and sweep me over the head (like a butterfly/sumi-gaeshi kind of sweep)… What should I do in this case? Should I sit down?”

My answer was:

Well, yes. Sit down. (More like squatting, but that’s what we mean by “sitting down here”.)

I gave him a bit more explanation, though. He’s probably leaning too forward after he’s completed the takedown and his posture is not stable… and told him to shift his body weight backward when his opponent is trying to move him forward.

But really. The simplest thing here is to squat and stabilize your position. Nothing overly complicated.

The moral of this post is…

If you run into BJJ problems, think about what might be the simplest thing you could do and how to make it happen. Figuring out the “how” part might be tricky, but it helps if you also think about what needs to happen before doing this “simplest thing”.

I hope this doesn’t sound too complicated 😀