Published In

Radical Pedagogy

Document Type


Publication Date



Pedagogy, Critical thinking -- Study and teaching (Higher), Jiu jitsu, Mixed martial arts


This paper argues that training methodologies similar to those used in Brazilian jiu jitsu and other realistic combat arts like Western boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and college wrestling should constitute a pedagogical core of college critical thinking courses. To make this argument, first, we briefly define and explain “critical thinking” using the American Philosophical Association’s Delphi Report; second, we describe traditional content taught in nearly all undergraduate critical thinking classes and explain why this content may not achieve its epistemological and educational ambitions; third, we discuss the pedagogy, termed “aliveness,” used in jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts training; and finally, we detail how to thematically incorporate pedagogical aspects of aliveness into critical thinking classes through the use of the “I Method” (Introduction, Isolation, Integration).


Originally appeared in Radical Pedagogy, vol. 14, no. 1, 2017, published by the International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication, ICAAP.

© Radical Pedagogy

Persistent Identifier