Friday, January 30, 2009

Interview: Josh Waitzkin

You guys know I wouldn't subject you to a 56 minute video unless it was truly extraordinary and worth every second.  The following video definitely is.  This is an interview with Josh Waitzkin, World Champion chess master, World Champion tai chi competitor, BJJ practitioner, and all-around with-it dude.  Everything that he says in this interview about tai chi and most of the things he says about chess, you can mentally re-word in your mind to be about judo or aikido and you will have had the best aikido/judo lesson you've had in a while. 
If you can watch this guy's 56 minute video and not want to buy his book (from my Amazon link below) then I suspect that you weren't thinking about what you were listening to.
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  1. Fabulous interview -- almost a continuous highlight reel -- and very well interviewed.

    One example from the excellent Q&A section starting at around the 40 minute mark: Josh describes how he broke his hand with 40 seconds to go in the taijiquan world championship, subjective time slowed down, and consequently he was able to win easily "with one hand". But the highlight was that rather than be thrilled with this peak experience (or annoyed by the breaking of his hand) he subsequently spent a long time figuring out how to "slow down time at will, without breaking a limb to do it" and the viewer is referred to his book for the details!

  2. The book is excellent, by the way. I just finished reading it a few days ago.

    Josh has put a lot of time into training himself for peak psychological performance in chess and martial arts. His ideas are definitely applicable to practitioners of any art.


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