35: Ryan Hall on Moral Victory, the Underlying Principles of Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, and the Value of Competition

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Ryan Hall is a BJJ black belt, head instructor of 50/50 BJJ, an ADCC bronze medalist with a long career in high level competition throughout which he has beaten many of the top grapplers in the world; we talked about moral victory, maintaining a stoic expression, a unified theory of grappling, the value of competition, a lifelong pursuit of a singular goal, best martial art for self defense, cultivating ego, and much more.

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Excerpt: Value of Competition

Excerpt: Moral Victory

Excerpt: Best Martial Art for Self Defense

Excerpt: Principles of Jiu Jitsu

Full Audio of Interview on YouTube

Quotes

Ryan referencing Frank Herbert’s Dune in discussing the value of pursuing a singular goal for a long time:

“If you search for freedom, you become a slave to your own desires, ironically. But if you search for discipline, you find liberty, in the long-run.”

Ryan on the courage of giving 100%:

“It takes courage and heart to properly prepare (for competition), because you’re risking horrible dissapointment. I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard before and I won. And other times, I’ve prepared so hard, tried so hard and I lost. It hurts. It really hurts. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much if you half ass it, because you didn’t put that much into it. But that’s a cowardly approach. The right way is to prepare properly, you train hard, and then win, lose, or draw you deal with the results.”

Ryan discussing that most people are not honest with themselves about how hard they work:

“Most people would rather look like the thing, than be the thing.”

Ryan on what is involved in working hard:

“Trying hard doesn’t just mean having to be carried off the mat. It means thinking, reassessing, reevaluating, asking ‘how can I be better?’ It takes honest self analysis.”

Ryan on the cost of excellence:

“You show me someone who is well adjusted, and I will show you someone who is probably not a high achiever.”

Ryan on removing extraneous details:

“A principle-based approach to grappling is incredibly important. What I try to do is block out the extraneous nonsense. Talking about 55 details and reasons for something that’s going on is only clouding your thought process.”

Ryan on moral victory versus actual victory:

“If Fedor slaps your mother, you have to hit him. You have to. And he’s going to kick the shit out of you, almost certainly. But you have to hit him. Trying your best and losing would be the honorable thing to do.”

Ryan on the importance of ego (grounded in reality) in progress:

“Most progress over the course of human history has been made by unreasonable people that said: ‘fuck you, I’m going to win.'”

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6 thoughts on “35: Ryan Hall on Moral Victory, the Underlying Principles of Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, and the Value of Competition”

  1. Bit too pseudo psychology for me bro.

    Love watching your bjj and mma matches tho and think you’re a monster on the mat.

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