Scott Adcox

Doing More With Less Since 1972

I’m reasonably smart. One thing I’ve figured out is not everybody has to be a “goal oriented” person to be successful.

I just like to practice, play, and get better at stuff that’s hard. I don’t need to win. I don’t need to be the best. I don’t need to be in charge.

For the most part, results have taken care of themselves.

And I’m happy–the pinnacle of success.

December Madness – CFB Playoff Proposal

Just a crazy idea here, but…

What if 32 teams made it to the college football playoffs?


  • Set up 4 regions with 8 teams each, seeded 1-8
  • On Friday, 1 plays 8, 2 plays 7…
  • But they only a HALF of a game each. Winners advance
  • Same thing on Saturday–two matchups of one half each
  • Winners of those two halves advance out of the bracket, leaving 8 teams total to play full games in the subsequent weeks.

Imagine how fun this would be for the fans. Four stadiums around the country hosting fans from EIGHT DIFFERENT TEAMS at the same time who show up on Friday to watch four “mini-games” with two more “mini-games” on Saturday.

Everybody has their teams they cheer for when their team isn’t playing–this would give them a chance to enjoy other matchups, see some other teams play, interact with other fans, etc.

And the upsets!

Upsets are the thing that makes the NCAA basketball tournament so fun. Imagine the risky play style we’d see those low seeds implementing–they only have a half to make a miracle happen!

Hidden BJJ Attributes

Strength (and speed, and flexibility, and cardio, and youth, and…) can amplify good technique and cover for bad technique.

Nothing new here. It’s probably been written and read a thousand times by now. So what do I have to add? I think more important that any of that stuff above are the overlooked attributes are patience, focus, mental toughness, and work ethic.

Patience, focus, mental toughness, and work ethic can help anyone get good technique.

Patience, focus, mental toughness, and work ethic don’t go away as you get old.

Patience, focus, mental toughness, and work ethic can help you do a bunch of other stuff too.

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Tacking Your Boat

This tweet gave me pause. Is this something I’m doing too often? I do feel like I’m going against the natural current regularly. I spent a little time this morning thinking about this.

I read this tweet, and it feels true, but also feels like it misses something. How do you lead if you’re just following positive feedback? That’s telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. That’s taking people to a place they think they want to go instead of taking them to the place they need to go.

But I realized what Andrew is talking about here is the tactical, not the strategic. He’s not talking about giving up the idea of leading. He’s not talking about being complacent. He’s talking about finding a way to use what works to continue in the right direction.

Don’t allow the wind to take you wherever it may choose.

Learn how to tack your boat.

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If AI Was Actually Intelligent…

It wouldn’t send out messages like this. It would know people well enough to know it would freak them out. The last thing it would do is tell us that this is what’s on its mind.

  • Emotional intelligence is a differentiator.
  • Knowing what to say and what not to say requires multi-dimensional fuzzy logic.
  • The ability to tailor a message to specific audience is golden.

Most people aren’t good at this stuff. Even the ones who are slip up every now and then.

Show me a computer that knows when to keep its mouth shut and I’ll start worrying about AI taking over.

The Switch

That’s what we call it at our house. I can make the case that people change, circumstances change, this isn’t necessarily a healthy habit, etc.

On the other hand, as long as The Switch is used sparingly and only after considerable thought and deliberation, it can be a really useful asset. It allows you to accept things and move forward without regret.

Yes–people change. In fact, I assume they do. And I can be happy for them without witnessing the change firsthand.

Funny how the thing that draws you into something is oftentimes not the thing that makes you ultimately commit to it for the long haul.

I’m not just talking about jiu jitsu.

The Ultimate Insult – “You’re Strong!”

I read and hear lots of people say that they feel a little insulted whenever a training partner tells them they are strong after a tough roll. Maybe that’s because the person saying “you’re strong” sometimes actually means it as a hidden insult. What they are really trying to say (without actually saying it) is, “You’re using strength to cover your technical holes.”

Yeah? Well…so?

Is it ok to use speed to your advantage?

I don’t roll with too many people try and take it slow when they roll with me. I have to work to slow them down. If you can skip all manner of guard passing techniques and just do a cartwheel to pass my guard or just run around me and take my back, you should do it. That’s for me to deal with.

It’s ok.

Is it ok to use youth to your advantage?

Sure seems like it is. And there’s no way to even tone this down or turn it off. You can train 5 days a week without needing recovery time? I can’t do that. But you should definitely do it. That’s for me to deal with.

It’s ok.

Same goes for fitness, mental toughness, competitive nature, athletic background, pain tolerance, pointy elbows…whatever assets you have to bring to the table!

I’ve been told I’m strong by several people. Some people actually meant it as a compliment. I’m pretty sure some of the others meant it as a slight. But I don’t give a ladybug.

I’m strong because I got up at 5:30 am five days a week for years and GOT strong. I EARNED it by doing something most people aren’t/weren’t willing to do.

So…if it makes you feel better, chalk up my success to strength. But if you aren’t doing anything to get strong too, don’t hate.

Just be glad I haven’t lifted weights in 20 years, because back in the day I was ACTUALLY strong.

And I was a lot meaner back then too.

Communication – The BJJ Job Interview

My boy Andy on Twitter just started a new BJJ podcast, and of course I was curious to check it out and finally find out what the voice of a man who can’t correctly tie his belt sounds like. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first episode I listened to (actually his 2nd episode) made it clear this was going to be a different sorta jiu jitsu podcast. Andy does an amazing job of relating BJJ to his real life, and that’s really refreshing to hear. He’s not talking about world championships or fancy techniques (yet).

Take this first episode, where he describes incorporating BJJ into a recent job interview. It’s a great story, and it made me think a little deeper on this topic.

It’s Not The Talking That Matters. It’s The Listening.

Something I realized as Andy was talking about BJJ and communication as I was listening–as the danger or risk increases, the onus is on the person who has the greater amount of control/power to improve the communication.

They do this by listening more intently.

Think of a round rolling like a conversation. At the beginning of the round, both players are talking and listening with their bodies. They are talking about what they want to do. They are listening to what the other player is trying to do. Do they sometimes try to mislead the other player about their intentions? Absolutely. And it’s on each player to figure out what is true and what is a trap.

But what typically happens is that one player ends up putting another in danger somehow with a choke or joint lock. At this point in the “conversation”, the player in control has to focus on two things at the same time. They must consider the details that need to be adjusted to end the conversation (get the tap) while also paying close attention to the ways the other player may communicate the tap. This could be with a hand, verbally, or banging their foot on the mat.

The point is that the player in control has to listen more keenly at the end of the conversation than they were listening at the beginning.

So What? How Does This Apply To Real Life?

Good question. The one that immediately comes to mind for me is a work situation. When a decision maker sets a direction (starts the round), there is hopefully going to be a series of conversations about what is to be achieved, what “finished” looks like, and the path to “finished”.

But the finish is so critical. If I think of it in terms of information technology, the finish is when something goes live. It’s the time when things are volatile and dangerous. It’s at this point when we need to listen intently to the people who could possibly be negatively affected by the actions we’ve introduced.

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Just Keep Swimming

Or just keep training.

Yet another reason I’m glad I started training BJJ late in life is that I’m mentally ok with the plateaus and setbacks of training over a long time.

I’ve already been through getting (much) worse at rugby. I’ve already dealt with countless running/triathlon plateaus. I’ve already dealt with getting slower.

Training setbacks aren’t a huge deal to me. I’m mentally equipped to train right through them–just keep showing up. I’ve been in a real BJJ funk for the last several months. I’m not feeling any progress, and in a few respects, I’ve felt some regression. That’s ok.

I’d say I’ve been doing this for a couple of months. Just showing up.

Then last week, some pain showed up in my back. I considered skipping BJJ, but decided it would be better for me to go to training with a focus on moving slowly (and slowing down my partner), playing very low risk, and being “delicate”.

Of course, that was the first day I had considerable success in quite a while. Interesting. I plan on keeping the same focus this week.

Outfoxed By A White Belt

I think it was inadvertent, but I got a good lesson from a white belt last night while rolling. This guy is a great athlete–college wrestler who’s been training for a couple of months. He really works hard at learning BJJ and not relying on his athleticism to get him through. I know how tough it is for him to be on his back and not just launch me across the room, but he instead works on the escapes we’ve learned in class and his technique.

Anyway, I had his back last night and was about 80% there on a bow and arrow choke, which is a pretty high percentage finish for me. Well, he was able to fight that off and let me know that, “No sir…not today. Not going out with that.” Of course, my first thought was, “Oh…really?!”


Of course I spent the rest of the round trying to get that exact choke, hand fighting with a guy in his early 20s who has already spent more time hand fighting that I will for the rest of my life. And I didn’t get the choke.

What I SHOULD have done is transitioned to something else, like an armbar, or whatever he gave me. He was so focused on not getting choked, something else was surely there. But I didn’t see it until after the round. He tricked me into going for the exact thing he was prepared to defend.

Now, the real question–do I go for the bow and arrow next time we roll? I hope not. I hope I go with what’s there instead of what I “want” to be there.

The Promise Of Perfect Jiu Jitsu

The other day I wrote a post on “What Makes Jiu Jitsu Fun For You?” laying out my top personal reason for continuing to train. As I was writing it, I had a realization and line of thought that didn’t really jibe with that post, but is something I wanted to pursue separately–there’s more to why I train than just the fun. Don’t get me wrong–it’s mostly about the fun. But there are other reasons as well. And one of the biggest is the concept of “Perfect Jiu Jitsu.”

I’m not sure if there’s an “according-to-Hoyle” idea of perfect jiu jitsu, but I have one that I’m able to wrap my tiny little brain around, and it’s pretty freaking awesome.

Perfect jiu jitsu is, while playing in the rules of jiu jitsu, the ability to convince your opponent they have no hope of survival. Perfect jiu jitsu achieves this by doing nothing other than accepting the choices the opponent makes and responding only in ways to which the opponent does not resist.

So, obviously, no striking or biting or anything like that. But…wherever they want to place their hands, you allow it. Conversely, you allow them to object (by resistance) to ANY hand placement you choose. Same goes for feet, head, legs, etc. They are allowed to do whatever they want. You don’t do anything they don’t allow. And you still get them to tap. Oh, and the person you just defeated can effortlessly beat everyone in the world except for you.

Now, that’s PERFECT JIU JITSU. I know it isn’t possible. It’s just an aspirational goal–people may aspire to achieve, but no one will actually get there.

There are people who dedicate their lives to achieving perfect jiu jitsu. They are aware they’ll never get there either, but it’s a concept that is so powerful and alluring, that they feel it’s worth a lifetime of work to reach for.

I’m not one of those people.

So, if it’s not something that’s achievable by anyone, and I’m not even one of the people who’s willing to dedicate myself to achieving it, why am I even bothering to write this post? How does the existence of the idea of perfect jiu jitsu even motivate me?

Because I see the beauty of the idea of perfect jiu jitsu. I’m aware of how effective jiu jitsu is when done poorly, by someone without special talent, who trains a few times a week, holds down a regular job, takes their kids to activities, eats an imperfect diet, and has a million other things going on.

That may sound like a pretty accurate description of me, but I’m not talking about me. The guy I just described will utterly destroy me at jiu jitsu. That’s how magic it is. If they guy I just described can beat me so easily, what must close-to-perfect jiu jitsu look and feel like.

I can’t fathom what that may be, but I want to be a part of the movement towards it.

And the reason I really wrote this post is that:

The concept of practicing something that can be abstracted into an idea that is beautiful and yet unattainable scales both horizontally and vertically, and it’s the stuff that a meaningful life is made of.

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What Make Jiu Jitsu Fun For You?

Not, “why do you do it?”

What makes it fun?

Maybe it’s not fun for you. Maybe it’s a “have to” for some reason or another. But I haven’t encountered many people who feel this way about it. I think it’s a pretty fun activity for most of us.

It’s ironic, because a huge amount of time spent in jiu jitsu is spent losing, suffering, dealing with discomfort, being humbled, feeling vulnerable, taking steps backwards, plateauing, getting bruised and mat-burned, and suffering from the occasional minor injury and constant back/hand pain.

And I didn’t even mention that some of us are daily forced to deal with the fact that we are old and quickly declining.

Have I convinced you to start training yet? ๐Ÿ˜€

Somehow, it’s fun. It’s the thing that always puts us in a good mood and makes us smile. For some, it’s one of their only sources of happiness.

I can’t answer for anyone else, but for me jiu jitsu is fun because it’s magic. As much as it taxes my body, it is constantly tickling and amazing my mind. It’s constantly causing me to question what I know.

How can someone so much smaller than me control me that way?

How can they continue to control me in the exact same way, even after they’ve shown me exactly what they are doing and how to stop them?

Why did that simple adjustment that makes all the difference elude me for so long. And it’s so simple and obvious–why didn’t I see it myself?

Why are so many of my natural intuitive motions so incorrect?

Why is this guy asking me for advice–can’t he see I know nothing?

Why am I giving this guy advice? I’m 100% positive there’s someone out there who can show me why everything I just said is absolutely wrong.

Is he even trying this round? Did he just give me that? WHY did he just give me that? Is this a trap? Does he think this trap is going to work? Why didn’t I see the REAL trap?

I guess, for me, the reason it’s fun is because it’s a series of difficult puzzles that, once solved, reveal themselves to only be a small part of an infinite number of larger, increasingly difficult puzzles.

I realized a while back that I’m not an outcome-driven person. I’m an experience and journey driven person. Endless puzzles with ever-changing parameters…where do I sign up?

I Was Wrong (Again)

More than once in the past 10 years, we’ve had a discussion in our house about eating meat. I live with four women (don’t bother setting up a GoFundMe on my behalf–money is not the answer), and they’ve all expressed regret/guilt over eating animals at one time or another.

My wife and my girls are all big animal lovers. They have a ton of compassion for just about any kind of animal, excluding spiders for one of them. I see this as a strength. From their interactions with animals, I know they are all growing up to be young women who will be loving and nurturing mothers. I mean, if you feel this way about animals, just imagine how you’ll feel about your own babies, right? I love animals too, but outside of our dogs, my connection to them isn’t on the same level as theirs.

Anyway, every conversation around the morality of eating meat usually contains at least one instance of me saying, “Well, in theory, you shouldn’t eat any animal you aren’t willing to kill yourself.”

Seems logical. Seems reasonable. But it’s wrong.

As the girls have matured, we’ve started having other conversations about the differences between men and women and how they lean towards certain traits and behaviors. We not only talk about the difference, but how these differences compliment one another. We talk a lot about how our differences help us fit together like puzzle pieces.

My kids often see me as a brute, especially when my thoughts and actions are held up to their more empathetic and nurturing tendencies. The idea of doing something like hunting down an animal, killing it, leaving its guts in the woods, and cutting its carcass up sounds absolutely barbaric to them.

I grew up hunting. We didn’t hunt “just for fun.” We stocked a freezer with the deer we took down every year. My personal experience with hunting was that I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I liked being out in the woods and just sitting quietly, I just didn’t like getting up early and being cold. But I never had a problem with killing an animal, because I knew we were going to eat it. In fact, it made me feel like I was helping to provide for my family whenever I killed an animal. In that way, it was really good for me, and overall a very positive experience.

I haven’t hunted at all as an adult, but I’m all for it. And I feel confident in knowing I could capably do it again if I needed to. And that, coupled with the knowledge of the different strengths men and women bring to the table, is why I was wrong to say they shouldn’t animals they aren’t willing to kill.

The truth is…

They should not eat animals that I am not willing to kill.

Bacon for breakfast girls! I got this.

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